Thursday, October 30, 2008

Georgia on my mind

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - WOW! I don’t know if it was the warm atmosphere, the warm company, or the warm smiles, but this party was just about the most sweet, welcoming and comfortable event ever. Although there were 400+ people in attendance, somehow our hostess and host (Dina and Cy) were able to make everyone enjoy this party like no other. With gracious hosts, a large crowd, a small auction and numerous donations all benefiting the Vera Bradley Foundation – always good stepping stones for a successful luncheon – you couldn’t ask more.

Several luminaries from Atlanta families attended, and there was also one very special guest speaker from our home office – Barbara Bradley Baekgaard!!! It’s always such a gift for people hosting events to have Barbara or Patricia R. Miller, Vera Bradley co-founders, attend. Usually, events are stuck with just me, so when one of them comes - it’s like getting a huge bonus!

Barbara Bradley Baekgaard



Saturday, October 25, 2008

A walk in the sun

VALRICO, FLORIDA - What a fun morning! Yes, we had a little bit of rain to start off the 5K walk sponsored by the Green Boutique, a Vera Bradley retailer. But, that didn’t stop the crowd from coming out and wearing their prettiest pinks! Even the little doggies got into the groove. This event happened to be at the right time and in the right location to coincide with my family vacation, so I got to speak with my whole family there. It’s always good for people to be reminded that cancer patients aren’t the only ones who are affected - everyone around you feels the impact. Thanks, Roz and Green Boutique crew, for helping us work toward finding a cure!!!

Pups in pink

My girls

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hope is in fashion

Columbia, MD - Kokopelli, Vera Bradley retailer extraordinaire, hosted a luncheon, auction and fashion show at a wonderful local restaurant – Trapeze. This was a great event with a remarkable turnout! The luncheon honored and saluted survivors, who were even featured as models in the fashion show. Guests applauded the women (some as young as 23) for their tenacity through this disease. It was incredibly special to meet and speak with them. And one final note, take a look at this fabulous coat! If you are going to wear pink, might as well wear it with a bang!

Tips from the road

COLUMBIA, MARYLAND - When your 3-year-old helps you pack, make sure you specify that you need MOMMY'S sunglasses. That’s right, I’m sporting the Buzz Lightyears for this event. Rock on!

Friday, October 17, 2008

On the radio waves!

Today I taped an interview for the Lia Show on the radio. Lia was wonderful and she's a huge supporter of promoting breast cancer awareness! The interview will be played during her show on various stations across the country next week starting Monday, October 20, through Monday, October 27. Check for stations and times, and tune in.

You can listen to the interview online at and Both stations will be airing the interview on the Lia Show Monday, October 20, at night.

Great news! As part of their Pink Promotion this month, the Lia Show will be giving away 10 Vera Bradley Pinwheel Pink Totes! Visit for details.

Reading for tonight's flight...

I'm taking off to Maryland for the last stop on the Hope Trail. Here are my reads. I'm looking for book suggestions, what are you reading these days?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"High Cotton"

ATHENS, ALABAMA - High Cotton. That’s a phrase that means life is good, things are well, your spirits are high! It may not be a phrase bandied about up in the north, but I certainly understand its meaning. Felicia and Amy from Athens-Limestone Hospital hosted a sold out crowd at the beautiful and historic Athens State University. (There was even a waiting list!) Look at this building, isn’t it amazing?

Our hostesses had the wonderful foresight to invite ALL ages to the lunch and fashion show, making it a wonderful day for all. Thank you, ladies! We appreciate your efforts and your donations to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.

A young participant & her mommy and me

Coming home, just for a minute!

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA - As I travel around the country, I think it is important to remember just how pretty the Midwest is. No hills, no mountains, no oceans. But we do have all four seasons. Just look at these beautiful trees!

And there are other pretty things in the Midwest, too. My girls. :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

My babies

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - I have been in Orlando for the Vera Bradley Premiere for our retailers this week. The good news is people are really getting excited to help us on our mission and I am being flooded with requests to do events next year. The bad news is that I really miss my family. It's been a long season on the road this year!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tickled Pink

FORT WAYNE, INDIANA - Delta. We told you she was coming to party with us at Tickled Pink, and party she did. We owe that all to Barb Richards from local radio station Majic 95.1 FM . We are so blessed to have Barb in our corner, she has never let us down. (You can read about Barb in this year’s Foundation: The Vera Bradley for Breast Cancer Magazine.) Now let me tell you about this Delta. Simply put, she is breathtaking. Everyone who has her new CD Delta knows she is not only beautiful but also talented. The fact that those things are just the surface is what really puts everything into perspective. She is a cancer survivor, and her mama has just completed treatment as well. She has come through so many trials in her life and still radiates joy and happiness - just a shining example of how we all should face adversity. That being said, she was a great element of the Tickled Pink party, putting on a moving performance. Another memorable moment of the evening was when our sweet friend Carolyn from Skate for Hope presented a check to the Foundation. And the Foundation also presented a check to the IU Simon Cancer Center staff. Now that my job entails attending fundraising events about once per week or more, I think I'm speaking from a position of authority when I say this one was tops! (You can check out more photos in our Tickled Pink 2008 album on Flickr to see what I mean.) I already can't wait for next year's party!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A pink tie affair

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - B105.7 and National City Bank in Indianapolis know how to honor and celebrate women - especially those with breast cancer. All survivors in attendance were treated to fabulous food and beverages and a fantastic gift bag. Most impressive, however, was the lighting of the Monument Circle right in downtown Indianapolis. All survivors took a pink candle after dark, and the steps of the beautiful monument came alive with the flames of these tiny luminaries. What a special evening! I wish that every city across the nation could follow this example - what a generous gift for patients, friends and families. (See the slide show on B105.7's website.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One-on-one connections

LEWISBURG, PA, - Earlier this year, I took a trip to Boston to speak at a Vera Bradley Premiere event for our retailers. My session was…how shall I say this…sparsely attended. I am never disappointed when I don’t meet large groups of people, however, because I know that if I can touch just one person and encourage them to make a difference, it is worth it. This event was an example of just this type of thing. The Mercantile store in Lewisburg, PA, had two staff members at the Premiere. They were the sole attendees of my session! Wonderfully, they left with an absolute passion to do something for breast cancer. After my talk, they asked me to attend one of their events, but the original date of their event conflicted with another event that I had already scheduled. "No problem," said Laurie (the owner). She asked what day I was available, and then worked the entire event around that. “It is crucial,” she said, “that we have a speaker who is a survivor and has a connection to the Foundation.” She was right, it made quite an impact on the crowd. She partnered with a local hospital, Evangelical Community Hospital, and in one the most charming things I have seen, our servers were breast cancer surgeons. I wanted to share this with you, and, for a change of pace, show you what it looks like to see an audience from behind the microphone!!!

And I just simply couldn't resist. Saw a tractor and had to take another pic. The Foundation loves tractors!

Flying solo with another book

And here I thought the Ft. Wayne airport was not too terribly busy...

Here is the book for the flight going home!