I’m really excited to be teaching at Creative Escape this year! I’ve got a cool new class planned that focuses on BOTH storytelling and getting crafty. Hoping to see some of you there!
One of the things that’s always impressed me about Creative Escape is the fundraising component. For the last few years they’ve usually done an auction at the event. This year they’re doing something a little different – which I think is very, very cool.
Here’s all the details:
For the fifth year, Bazzill Basics Paper and Heidi Swapp are hosting Creative Escape – the ultimate scrapbook indulgence in Phoenix, Arizona on August 25 – 27. Over the past few years, the guests attending CE have participated in raffles and live auctions raising more than $100,000 for charities including the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
This year, the fundraising element of the event is switching to a service project for U.S. troops overseas. For 2011 we are helping Stephen Goodman reach his goal of making 180,000 thank you cards for the U.S. Troops overseas. To encourage you to participate, Bazzill Basics Paper and Heidi Swapp are offering two free tickets to Creative Escape (more details below).
Here’s the story:
Boy Making Cards For 180,000 Troops
Original story by Amy B. Wang, writer for The Arizona Republic
Ten-year-old Stephen Goodman, a fifth-grader in Surprise, Arizona, wants to send a thank you card next to military personnel. Not to one platoon, or to just one division, but to every actively deployed service member in the U.S. military. Stephen said he thought of the idea while spending the summer with his grandparents in Phoenix. “My grandpa went to Vietnam and didn’t get any cards, and he felt forgotten,” he said.
Stephen started locally, creating and hand-delivering 218 Fourth of July cards for patients at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix. The feedback was so thrilling and positive that Stephen started thinking: Why not send one to everyone deployed? He began paying attention to news reports. Somewhere, he gleaned the number of overseas troops to be 180,000. “I was really taken aback when he said he wanted to do one for all the troops,” said Stephen’s father, Steven Goodman. “I explained to him it was a big project, and because of what his intentions were, he would have to carry it out.”
Each thank you card is handmade, using “construction paper and scissor designs and markers and stickers and my imagination and that’s it.” according to Stephen. The entire family pitches in. So far, they’ve made about 15,000 cards. Vice President Joe Biden happened to catch Stephen’s story while traveling through Phoenix last August. Stephen got his own thank you in the mail. “It just said thank you for what I’m doing, the soldiers will appreciate it,” he remembered. The letter made Stephen’s summer. “It made me feel very excited to know that the vice president sent me something,” he said.
When all 180,000 cards are done, the Goodmans plan to take them to Luke Air Force Base where they will be delivered overseas all at once to make sure no soldier is over looked.
To enter to win the Creative Escape tickets, create five thank you cards, go to www.creativeescapeaz.com, download the entry form, fill it out and mail the cards to Bazzill by July 1, 2011. The winner will be selected by random drawing. Enter as often as you like. Travel and hotel not included.
During the August event, Creative Escape will be staging a service project area for its guests to visit and help Stephen complete his enormous thank you card project. Bazzill Basics Paper, Provo Craft/Cricut, and other scrapbooking manufacturers in the industry, are supplying product and preparing kits to help make the workshop run quickly and smoothly.
Donations are being accepted from anyone who would like to create handmade thank you cards on Stephen’s behalf. For every five cards sent to Bazzill, the maker will be entered into a drawing to win two FREE tickets to the last Creative Escape 2011 (travel and accommodations, not included). Cards must be received by July 1, 2011.
Go to www.creativeescapeaz.com to download and fill out the entry form and mail it along with the cards to:
Stephen’s Thank You Card Project/Bazzill Basics Paper
7001 W. Erie St., Ste. 2, Chandler, AZ 85226