Here we go!

First, Saturday’s fundraiser at Las Velas was SO. MUCH. FUN.

That’s right.  Sometimes it’s more than just fun.  Sometimes it’s more than just fun in ALL CAPS.  Sometimes, it’s fun in all caps and each word gets its own period.  THAT fun.

I’m not going to lie.  I drank several margaritas for the sick kids and a shot of something called Makers (yeah, NOW I know what it is.  IT. BURNS.).  I believe at one point, MindBling was doing Shots for Tots.  That’s love.

In attendance, that I spotted were Big Bob and Mikey who brought their wives as well, Tall Cathy who brought some seriously awesome blue boots, Sally Wiggin! whose time was hijacked by my twin sisters and I’m honestly surprised that the three of them didn’t dance on the bar at some point, Scott from Scarehouse, Amy from the Callapitter blog (I. KNOW! You guys, she is amazing and I spent about 20 minutes trying to convince her to write a book.), Dave Trygar from KDKA, Jim Lokay from KDKA, and lots of Pittsburgh’s finest.

Mike Woycheck and I headed over to Altar Bar to support Ali and Jamie and OMG. White chocolate-covered pretzel sticks.  FOR THE KIDS!  That’s a win.

Here we are at the event benefiting their orphanage:


I had so much fun talking to them about their work and I asked Jamie how long she saw herself living in Haiti, in an orphanage, especially considering she is married and that her husband lives here in Pittsburgh, and her response was, “Forever.”


I’d also like to say that the LOWER half of my outfit didn’t look so much like the nun-going-grocery-shopping vibe I’m giving off here.  God. I’m such a mom.

After spending some time there, we headed back to Las Velas and all in all, I am NEVER. DRINKING. AGAIN.  If you were there, I just don’t have a way to say thank you that will be sufficient to express just HOW grateful I am. I’d buy you a pony if I had the money.

My husband will give me the final totals today once he gets it all situated, but we’re looking at a Las Velas donation of above $500.


Now, it’s your turn. You’ll see the button on the top right there.  That will take you DIRECTLY to make a donation into the Mario Lemieux Foundation’s PayPal account and you’ll notice there’s a designation written under there that says “Make Room for Kids.”

I’ll let you know when the Las Velas money goes in and we’ll be placing a tracking mechanism on the site soon so you can see how we’re doing as we work toward our goal.

Now, I want to say something to you.  I understand if you don’t have a lot of money and can’t give very much. IT IS OKAY.

I’m unemployed and my husband just started a restaurant.  If you think he and I spend our spare time rolling around naked in hundred dollar bills while wiping our tears of joy with the measly fifties, you would be VERY VERY WRONG.  We understand the struggle, especially when it’s close to Christmas and your son mutters DSi, DSi, DSi in his sleep like he’s a malfunctioning robot.

Every little bit counts!  $3, $5, $10.  Whatever you can give, we will take it and it will mean something to us and hopefully to you.

We’re doing something here that will really have a lasting impact.  Something that will not just help the kids who are in the hospital now, but also the kids who will be in the hospital in the coming years.  We’re making a difference.

I told a few readers on Saturday about my son. He was born with a cosmetic defect on one of his ears that caused it to sort of floop down.  We called it his floopy ear and we had it corrected at Children’s Hospital when he turned 5.  This meant lots of visits to Children’s before the surgery and after the surgery, and to see so many sick kids all in one place — filling the waiting rooms, being rolled around in wheelchairs by their exhausted parents, young kids completely bald from chemo, or even the worst, when my son was immediately out of surgery, he was moved into a recovery area filled with beds of sick kids who also had just come out of surgery and who were clearly in the hospital for something much worse than a floopy ear.  I don’t really know if I started crying when I entered that room because I saw my son, unconscious and lying on a gurney with his head taped up, or because of the shocking sight of all of those other kids.

That experience is a big part of why I think this is important for us to do.

You know, I guess all philanthropy really is a tiny bit selfish in some way, because helping?  Caring?  It feels damn good.

Try it.


  1. Woy
    November 30, 2009 10:25 am

    It was really an awesome time – thanks to all who came out to help the kids!

    White chocolate though – not so much.

  2. Captain Shrimptaco
    November 30, 2009 10:27 am

    I had the pleasure of attending on Saturday. Good luck with the fundraising drive — you deserve a lot of credit for taking up the cause and running with it!

  3. TwinMamaTeb
    November 30, 2009 10:27 am

    done. Thank you Las Velas, I know that donation hurts your bottom line, esp on a Sat nite. Thank you for doing this Ginny!

  4. rose
    November 30, 2009 10:29 am

    i spent some time in children’s hospital when i was in my early teens. i clicked the link and donated, and hope to give more. thanks for doing this!

  5. Stacey
    November 30, 2009 10:37 am

    Thanks for making it super easy to donate Ginny… looking forward to watching the $ add up!

  6. Kelsey Halling
    November 30, 2009 10:39 am

    So sorry I couldn’t be there! Las Velas is fast turning into a favorite spot for the Coro Pittsburgh Staff! Please consider having another one, so that I can come and support in person. Congratulations, and thanks for being awesome.

  7. TheJim
    November 30, 2009 10:39 am

    Some of the amazing things I saw on Saturday night:

    The look on Ginny and her sister’s faces as we downed those shots (for tots) of Maker’s Mark

    The Lokay/Tall Cathy hoe down

    Sally Wiggin

    desserts on fire

  8. ShanLin1022
    November 30, 2009 10:40 am

    saturday was a great time! i think the margaritas kicked everyones ass, complete with the shots for tots.

  9. Sarah
    November 30, 2009 10:41 am

    Done. Thanks for organizing this. We will be watching to see how quickly the goal is met.

  10. Nancy
    November 30, 2009 10:41 am

    We were planning to come on Saturday until hubby came down with the flu. :( Glad you had a fun time!!

    Loved how easy it was to donate. We also have a very soft spot for Children’s. Our firstborn had an undiagnosed birth defect, was flown by helicopter to Children’s just hours after his birth. Had surgery in the NICU at 4 days of age, discharged at 1 month of age. And now? Eight years old and healthy as a horse. All thanks to Children’s. There’s a debt that can never fully be repaid.

    Thanks so much for organizing this!!

  11. red pen mama
    November 30, 2009 10:48 am

    After dithering all week about coming down to Las Velas, I finally decided I deserved a night out without the spouse (or kids). The company was just fantastic, the margaritas were YUM (and I’m not a margarita drinker), and whatever corn tortilla and mushroom appetizer I got was delicious. The fact that some of my money was going to sick kids was icing on the cake.

    We have visited Children’s a couple of times in the past five years. When my second daughter was born, we thought there was a cyst on her lung that was going to have to be operated on (it had been on sonograms). As worried as I was about my Bun (as we called her then), what broke my heart was seeing all those sick kids, kids I knew had to keep coming back. Bun had a CAT scan, was declared cyst-free, and (knock on wood) we haven’t had to go back. I know how fortunate we are.

    So I did the Las Velas thing (and I would do it again!), and I will be back to donate more when I can. And now I will stop writing this novel!


    November 30, 2009 10:56 am

    Sorry I missed the party Saturday, but I am in Sarasota, fl.

    You got my donation this morning!!

    Thank-you for letting me be a part of this!


  13. Uncle Crappy
    November 30, 2009 11:05 am

    If we could’ve stuffed dollar bills in Lokay’s boxers while he was dancing, this fundraiser would have already met its goal.

    Saturday night rocked, and I’m happy that the money from my 137 margaritas (seriously, where do you guys get the crack you put in those?) will be doing something worthwhile. I’ll be back with more on payday.

  14. bucdaddy
    November 30, 2009 11:16 am

    Thanks, thanks a lot, thanks for kicking those of us who had to work, which wasn’t quite as much fun as you had. You can make it up to me by telling me which one of the hotties (besides you) in that picture is Mike Woycheck and forwarding a phone #.

    Now seriously, I am in something of a dilemma here, because I don’t live in Pittsburgh (now) and we have our own children’s hospital here (which I don’t donate to either, unless they get a slice of the $600 or $700 we kick to the United Way each year). We are, however, giving $100 to the parents (Mrs. Daddy knows the mom and says they are not well-off) of a 21-year-old girl who died in a wreck here last week. We are going to the funeral home tonight. So I hope that counts for something.

    Also, I just learned today that a woman I used to work with, one of the coolest people I know, very healthy and outdoors-oriented, died of lung cancer at age 48 after a three-year battle and why didn’t I even know Kim was sick? So I’m very disappointed in myself right now.

  15. Jess
    November 30, 2009 11:23 am

    My co-worker spends more time at Children’s than she should with her two boys, so my drop in the bucket is for her.


  16. houndogg
    November 30, 2009 11:24 am

    thanks for the link, i look forward to making a donation!

  17. houndogg
    November 30, 2009 11:26 am

    quicker than i thought. lol

  18. Jagoff
    November 30, 2009 11:28 am

    Glad I got to make it in even if it was for only a little bit. The mariachi band was awesome and Sally Wiggin is HOT in person.

  19. KGC
    November 30, 2009 11:33 am

    Great time on Saturday night.. met some great people and had dinner with them (I was by myself).. the mariachi group was fabulous! The margauritas were.. well.. I didn’t get up real early on Sunday morning.. had a bit of a headache.

  20. ScareHouse Scott
    November 30, 2009 11:33 am

    GREAT night & cause, sorry we couldn’t have stayed longer. There is clearly crack in both the margaritas and the salsa, because I already find myself jonesing for another fix.

  21. btezra
    November 30, 2009 11:36 am

    Good luck with the fundraising drive, congrats on a successful event this past Saturday!

  22. Jonathan
    November 30, 2009 11:54 am

    On this Cyber Monday I’m so glad to be able to click on that little credit card logo for something useful, that will bring some joy to some kids, and that feels good. (No buyer’s remorse with that click!)

    Thanks for the great work, Ginny. And thanks to you and Mike for coming to Ti Kanaval at Altar Bar to support Jamie and Ali and the work they do. They truly appreciated it.

  23. Stacie
    November 30, 2009 12:25 pm

    Five years ago, my 3-year-old twin boys and 1-year-old baby contracted rota virus. They went from pretty sick to dangerously sick in hours, one after another, and all needed to be admitted to Children’s. In the four days we spent there, I couldn’t stop thinking about how many children in the developing world DIE from simple dehydration, without access to IV fluids. My boys entered the ER with gray pallor, lifeless and limp, but were soon pink and plump again with sparkle in their eyes. We are beyond blessed by the resources we have in this area. I love you for so many reasons, Ginny, and this current effort of yours is now firmly at the top of my list. ♥

  24. Carpetbagger
    November 30, 2009 12:42 pm

    Mrs. Carpetbagger and I had dinner with our Margaritas and OMG… we both dubbed it: Best Mexican Food Ever! And the Mrs was a Spanish teacher for 13 years. Awesome mariachi band, too!

    Only disappointment: out of flan. :( We still had dessert though. Calories for the kids doesn’t count, right?

    A great time. Thanks!

  25. Bojack
    November 30, 2009 12:45 pm

    What about auctioning off a lap dance from Sally Wiggin????

    I’m in!!!!! :-)

  26. Clair
    November 30, 2009 12:48 pm

    Glad it all went well! Wish we could have come up for the event…would have been the perfect time to try the restaurant, and for a good cause too! But alas, even if we had planned to, my oldest came down from Pittsburgh and surprised us for Thanksgiving so we would have had to change plans anyway! But happy to hear it was a successful evening! Such a good cause, those kids…
    Maybe over Christmas when we visit hubby and I can sneak away from the kids and try these margaritas I seem to be reading so much about LOL.

  27. bluzdude
    November 30, 2009 1:25 pm

    Wish I could have been there:
    * Margaritas… mmmmmmmm.
    * Maker’s Mark… mmmmmmmmm.
    * Tall Cathy… mmmmmmmmmm.

    But instead, I’m glad to chip in to the effort on this Cyber Monday.

    You are the Heart of Pittsburgh, Ginny!

  28. PittinDC
    November 30, 2009 2:05 pm

    Thanks again for setting this up! I wish I could have been there on Saturday, but hopefully my little bit today will help you reach the goal as soon as possible!

  29. wckdcll
    November 30, 2009 2:43 pm

    SUPER SORRY I missed this Ginny! Boom chica on the pic, even in your nun gear…

    I will donate on the site for sure. Syscruncher just hit it up for everyone but we all individually give as well. You have a heart of gold and a head full of steam, awesome that you could get this going for the kidz!

    The Wicked Cool One

  30. Cassie
    November 30, 2009 2:45 pm

    Done. Thanks so much for doing this!!! Yay for the kids!!

  31. Pingback: It’s for the kids! « Sisters From Different Misters

  32. joe
    November 30, 2009 4:35 pm

    I donated on behalf of our little family, my wife who works at Childrens and a little one who I hope only sees the inside of the place on “Take Your Kid to Work Day!”

    Does anyone know of any Pittsburgh-themed video games for kids? Aren’t we a mini-hub of the game developing world? Any titles for little ones that introduce them to the history and land as it lay this way and that?

  33. Burgh Baby
    November 30, 2009 8:22 pm

    I’m still sad I missed the shenanigans on Saturday. I’ve heard some epic tales of crazy, most of them involving Lokay. Great job pulling it all together!

  34. Ali McMutrie
    November 30, 2009 8:30 pm

    Ginny – we can’t thank you enough for taking the time to come to our event! It was so nice to meet you and get to talk with you and Mike, it was a great night.

    I hope we cross paths again in the future, and congratulations on the success of your fundraiser as well, I hope it just keeps going and going (and going!) :):)

    Ali McMutrie

  35. Jenn
    November 30, 2009 11:55 pm

    Ginny- Thank you so much for doing this for Children’s Hospital. My daughter Emma was diagnosed with tethered spinal cord when she was two and had to have surgery on her spine (ugh). She spent four days at Children’s (along with her very worried parents) and was attended to by an incredible neurosurgeon and some of the nicest, but most overworked nurses ever. I made sure that we made a donation today and I thank you so much for doing such a wonderful thing!

  36. Emilie
    December 1, 2009 9:18 am

    Donation sent and it felt great to help such a wonderful cause. So sad I couldn’t go to Las Velas Saturday. We had my best friend’s son’s 2nd birthday party to attend or else we definitely would have been there. Maybe you’ll do another….

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  39. Danielle
    December 3, 2009 9:52 am

    Hi, Ginny. We also spent a bunch of time at Childrens when my son was younger for emergency asthma treatments. While it was always heart wrenching to see him hooked up to the hospital’s nebulizer and get pumped full of drugs, we always took him home at the end of the night. I know other parents are not as lucky as we were. But I also know that Childrens provides the best care and works hard to keep their kids and families as comfortable as possible during their stays – brief or extended. That’s why we donated. Thanks for setting up this program and for making it so easy to give!

  40. Justin Yinzit
    December 28, 2009 5:43 pm

    Love the blog. Great stuff.

    I recently started my own blog @ It would be much appreciated if everyone could comment on my latest post, how to increase teen usage at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The idea of the blog is to collect ideas that can be implemented into the community. Creatives that win a challenge will be awarded points!

    Thanks again and please try it out,
    Justin @

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