Lucky:|:May 20, 2016

Silent Auction 2016Friday May 6th's Dinner for Herm was stellar.

For our family, it is a four-day event punctuated with a 12-hour party plunked in the middle.

Friends and sisters from New England arrive for the weekend. We fill our cars and theirs on Friday morning with fragrant flowers, framed photos and the bounty for the night’s auction, guitars, mikes and song lists.

All day, at the Skaneateles Country Club, we unpack and set up.  We are not the only ones who marvel at the sparkling generosity of our community.

People waft by all day: friends we love who can’t attend the dinner stop to tell stories about Herm. Waiters, diners, even the fellows working on the driveway ask if they can bid on the 'BIG GREEN EGG', the diamond necklace or the paintings.

IMG_3653 Thank you Rogers & Goffigon and Marlee Brewster Brockmann
Thank you Memoire! Thank you Memoire!
Grill 2016 Thank you Tank Family and Home Depot!

We have the best auction ever.

Gathering the items is a magical team effort between Herm, my tireless brother in law, Jim Gregg and Melissa Scala.

PB Janet Dustin Lindsay photo provided by Ellen Leahy
IMG_0607 photo provided by Annie Vanacore


Over several weeks Holly, Marietta and I watch the seats fill up and the donations mount.

Our friends and relatives present oil paintings and prints, diamonds, watches, and baskets of necklaces to us, often before we have to ask. The father of Holland’s good pal, canes an antique chair with vintage neck ties, then paints the chair in matching colors and patterns. Holland’s teacher, who was also his tennis coach and boss, donates a dinner for 20, 2 cases of wine, and then bakes the cookies and cannoli for everyone there! Cottage and Hotel stays are donated from all over the area. Even an opportunity to join local ABC news anchor, Carrie Lazarus, behind the scenes for the unfolding of a broadcast is on the table for bidding.

IMG_3658 Thank you Skaneateles Jewelry!
Beak&Skiff Table Thank you Beak & Skiff and family!
Jill Scwartz Silent Auction Thank you Elements by Jill Schwartz!

Over whelming generosity.

This year there is great news: I no longer have to describe what Immunotherapy is. It has become a familiar concept. It is now featured on the cover of TIME magazine rather than buried inside as it was in 2005.

DSCN2281 photo provided by Ellen Leahy
PB speech photo provided by Ellen Leahy

It is even better news that tech giant, Sean Parker, recently donated $250 million to the same immunotherapy research we have been supporting since 2008. Our son Holland discovered first hand that this is the way to go to cure cancer if you care about the patient, his comfort and his future health, if you care about more than just killing random cells. Holland’s doctor reports an over 90% success rate with her clinical trials, and an over 50% cure rate long term. We see in our sights a day when no one ever has to undergo archaic chemotherapy again.

Holland was, and still is, a conduit for bright ideas. He was, and still is, a magnet whose strength was, and is, not just bringing people together, but bringing out the best in them.

His energy drew everyone into that room on Friday night. His energy put the gifts on the table and the money in the bank for the LLS. Everyone felt it.

Dinner for Herm 2016 photo provided by Annie Vanacore
DSCN2252 photo provided by Ellen Leahy

We feel profound gratitude every time we do this.

But, this year, sprinkled on top was the best possible news, that our daughter has found her Prince Charming and Herm would definitely approve.

For me, there was more.

If you read our invitation or knew Herm, you know he was a happy boy who felt lucky most of his life.

DSCN2186 photo provided by Ellen Leahy

I admit it has been hard for me to feel "lucky" for the past 14 years.

But this night, amidst the outpouring of love, with real hope for a cure at hand and with Herm’s energy tangible in the room, I felt beyond grateful. I felt happy for Herm and what has happened in his name.

That was when I got his memo.

And I actually felt lucky.

Thank you from the Gregg and Brewster families to every one who was able to attend, who donated or sent thoughts our way. Thank you for listening.

It is you who carries us all forward on this mighty mission.

Thank you LLS donation sm

Donations towards a cure can always be made at: 

Thank you Ellen Leahy for this incredible video that helps capture the night!

4 thoughts on “Lucky”

  • Annie

    A moving evening filled with love, light and laughter! Your son's spirit and presence were felt. An amazing tribute to his beautiful life.


    Wonderful blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I'm hoping to start my own website soon but I'm a little lost on everything.
    Would you propose starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out
    there that I'm completely confused .. Any suggestions? Many thanks!

    • Patience

      Hello! Thank you for the comment! We have been very happy with our wordpress, and wouldn't be able to recommend much else! There is a lot to choose from! Patience's most common advice is to aspiring writers is to write, write, and write some more! The more you do it, the better you will become! Cheers and good luck!

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