It was a privilege to Emcee the Green Heart Gala for JA for the second straight year last week. I didn't know Danielle and Patrick McKain growing up, but I am sure that we would have hung out in High School if I did. They are great people and their son Jameson is an absolute inspiration. He's had 6 open heart surgeries and a heart transplant at 11 months old. He is not yet four years old and has been through more than people go through in a lifetime. Raising awareness for CHD and the work that Jameson's Army does has been my crown achievement since joining DVE. Go to their website and check out what they do. Trust me, it's worth supporting.
Pyrotecnico came to the event at the LeMont and offered to provide a surprise Fireworks show across the river in front of Heinz Field. It was going to end the speech and award segment of the night and set the party off. They were blocking off the streets on the North Shore and the guy I talked to was on his cell phone coordinating with his crew. He said it had to be at 9:20 and not a minute sooner. We stuck to our schedule, keeping it tight transitioning from speaker to speaker and we were done at 9:10. He told me to kill some time so I went up and reiterated what a pleasure it was for me to be a part of Jameson's Army and how great Children's Hospital is and Derek (the guy on the cell phone) tapped me on the shoulder. "We're ready!" I turned back around and Jameson and his brother Colin were standing in front of the podium. "Hey guys, do you know what's about to happen right now?" They just stared at me. Those two are a tough crowd. I directed everybody's attention to the window and told them that we had a surprise fireworks show. I think the guy on the phone literally said "blast off!" and fireworks started exploding high above Heinz. Right on cue the DJ started playing Katie Perry's song Firework. What took it from awesome to surreal was that Pedro Alverez hit a home run at the same time and fireworks started going off at PNC Park too! Can't make this up. And to top it all off someone captured the Fireworks in the shape of a perfect heart. What a special night.
(photo taken by Walter Muehlbauer)