Hawkins Family

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Dear Heidi,

Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful weekend of memories for us. From our arrival at the Marina Marriott on Friday evening to our-post Emmy’s Awards dinner Sunday night, the weekend was such a positive experience for the three of us.

The weekend started with our arrival at the Marina Marriott where staff was waiting in the lobby for our arrival with keys in hand. We didn’t even have to check-in. We were escorted to our two adjoining Marina-view rooms where fruit, cheese, and dessert platters were awaiting us. What a nice treat that was! That was followed by a wonderful dinner at the hotel.

The next day, after enjoying breakfast served in our rooms, we set off for Catalina on the Catalina Express out of Long Beach. After arriving on the island, we walked over to Island Rentals where a canopied four-seater golf cart awaited us. The golf cart made all the difference. We were able to drive all over the island and enjoy the wonderful scenery. We had lunch at a great little restaurant that is a local landmark. Then back onto the Catalina Express where we passed a huge school of dolphins while en route back to Long Beach.

Sunday was the Emmy Awards! That was truly something special. As I mentioned to you in the planning stages for our WOW weekend, you could not have selected a better opportunity for our family as my fifteen year-old son Noah is a big entertainment buff. We traveled to the awards in our black-tie finery via a fully stocked luxurious limousine, spent time on the Red Carpet, and had great seats for the show. All of us had a great time and my son was so excited to see one of his favorite pundits win an Emmy. How perfect was that!

Our Emmy’s Awards hosts, Steve Kasten and his family, could not have been more gracious. Steve made sure all of us, including me, were ok at all times. It was a hot, sunny afternoon and Steve even made sure I found a shady place to stand on the Red Carpet which was no easy feat.

In addition to accompanying Steve and his family to the Emmy’s, we had the pleasure of being accompanied by JAJF founder Jon Albert. Being able to spend time with Jon and thank him in person for this wonderful opportunity as well as the very idea of the foundation added to the uniqueness of the weekend.

We feel truly fortunate to have had this experience in what has been a most difficult and trying year for our family. I can’t find the words to truly express how wonderful it was to take a break from the routine of medical appointments and major illness and do normal things. Well, not too normal I guess, as how many folks get to attend the Emmy’s!

So thank you, thank you, thank you to you and Jon for making all this possible. And please extend my thanks to Marina Marriott General Manager Murray Lowe for his gracious hospitality, to Steve Kasten without whom the Emmy’s experience would not have been possible, and to the staff of Catalina Express and Island Rentals for their generous donations to our weekend experience. We are so appreciative and truly touched by the kindness and generosity of all the parties involved.

This was truly a “WOW! Experience” and a “memory opportunity” we will always remember and cherish.

With much gratitude,

Gayle Hawkins and family