Last night was what I would call a special event. For the last three years or so I have been donating my time to DJ the events at Ranken Jordan Children's Hospital in St Louis Mo. The events range from fundraising, honoring the Volunteers that work so hard, to public awareness. Last nights event was the best of all, a Prom for the kids who are living at RJ
For those of you who do not know of Ranken Jordan Children's Hospital, you are missing out. I was introduced to RJ by my dear friend Albert Keys. "Uncle Keylay", as our family calls him, was in a car accident that left him wheel chair bound. He lived at Ranken for more that a year, rehabbing to where he is today. The time spent with Keylay at RJ was incredible for both of us. It was during my visits with him, that I learned RJ needed our help.
It is hard to describe how cool this place really is. It is part ICU, Rehab and part playplace. When you walk into Ranken, you feel like you have entered an oasis. The staff is always happy and there is energy that is quite undeniable.
The children at RJ are extraordinary. The challenges they face, they face head on. With the help of the Doctors, Nurses, and Volunteers, these kids can brag about some awesome recovery.
I have been there so many times now; patients and staff know me by name. But what is even more amazing, they know each of my family members even better. My kids are on the Junior board and volunteer themselves. This is due to my wifes commitment as an RJ volunteer. The blessing my family enjoys as a result of the time spent there, money can not buy.
Back to the party!
The Prom started with decorations, food and music. As the kids started to arrive, they were being pushed in on wheel chairs. Attached to most patients, were IVs of fluids that were helping them survived. Each child had at least one or two staff members by their sides. They were dressed up and ready to party.
When I first started DJing these events, I had to take a breath when I saw children in such need. Overtime though, I started to relax and saw through the IVs, and wheel chairs. I started to see kids that deserve the best Prom of all. The more time I was graced with these kids, the more fulfilled I became.
When I DJ and MC a party there is a lot happening behind the scenes most clients are not aware of. With all of the coordination required, it is hard to find a moment of peace. But this type of stage stress also creates importance. Personally I like to be a bit anxious before a big event; after all I am one of those adrenaline junkie type of guys.
Being a good prom DJ, is giving up the big DJ voice. Making announcements is sort of my thing. I like doing voiceovers. I always thought of myself as the "Movie Trailer Voice" guy. But after being the Disc Jockey for thise Prom last year, I had a clear picture of just how big I was going to make it. My plan to build it up slowly and create anticipation was well received. The face of each kid when they heard a voice announcing what was coming up next was priceless.
After Pizza, brownies and lemonade, the moment finally arrived. It was time to crown the King and Queen! This was the moment I was waiting for. As an MC, my biggest obstacle is the unplanned. Oh do I wish I had a crystal ball! I introduce celebrities, dignitaries and politicians of the highest office, but the responsibility to make the presentations of the Ranken Jordan Children's Hospital Prom King and Queen the best was my goal. The faces on the kids, who received honors, while sitting in their wheelchairs, were more then I could expect. The gracious acceptance from the Prom King and Queen of the ribbons made for them by the volunteers were amazing. Regardless of the pain they had or the discomfort or challenge, each kid received the honor with open arms.
I am humbled by the experience and I hope to DJ the Prom at Ranken Jordan Children's Hospital each year to come!
|Last Updated on Friday, 10 June 2011 21:16|
Written by John Larson
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 03:30