Jordan and I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Tulsa to visit my parents. We had the most spectacular time! In a rare turn of luck, we got to attend two fabulous events back to back.
Friday night was the Memory Gala. This event, put on by the Tulsa Alzheimer's Association, was powerful in so many ways. The theme of this year's gala was "Untold Stories," highlighting the stories that we lose when our relatives and friends are crippled by a disease that really just feels so unfair. Hearing from men and women throughout the evening whose family members had been diagnosed with and/or died from Alzheimer's was an experience I'll never forget.
Adding to the beauty of this event was the fact that my parents co-chaired it. At the end of the night, the Alzheimer's Association had raised nearly $1.4 million, and I left believing the refrain I heard echoed over and over: "Alzheimer's can be cured in our lifetimes." Jordan and I felt incredibly blessed to be part of such a special night in Tulsa, but particularly because my parents are strong examples for me of what it means to be kind and generous - stepping out of the spotlight to highlight the hard work and stories of others.
After the seated dinner, there was a massive dance party. While I can't post any pictures (didn't have my phone on the dance floor!) I can tell you that I have N E V E R seen my husband dance that hard in my life. It was the absolute best.
Here are the very few photos we took - such a pleasure to hang out with the fabulous Mary Quinn Cooper and Quinn Cooper Eves!
Saturday night, hilariously enough, was another event in the exact same space. To see this convention center transformed in the span of 24 hours was really something. Saturday night was put on by Tulsa Cares, the local HIV/AIDS outreach organization. The party is known as the Red Ribbon Gala and is billed as one of the best parties of the year - boy, was it.
This event was a bit more formal and we were so thrilled to have a chance to really try and turn it out! It's so rare that I get a chance to go to a black tie event now that I'm not in a sorority anymore (JK Chi Omegas, #sisterforlife, but you know what I'm sayin'), so this was an EXTRA treat.
The evening featured powerful testimonials about stripping the stigma away from HIV/AIDS, and was beautifully chaired by Ty Kaszubowski. He and his partner, Mike, have become fast friends of my parents' and are just about the most fun you'll ever have. Here are some photos from this absolute rager that benefitted such an incredible cause:
At the end of the night, we tried to come home and watch SNL on the DVR. Sadly, only one of us made it through that experience, as three of four passed out on the couch. We all realized the next morning that all the McAnnallys had on the same exact white PJ's from J Crew. We looked like we were in an insane asylum.
Best weekend. Can't wait until next time!!