If you were out in downtown Annapolis Thursday, May 24th, chances are you were there for one of two events going on; The Naval Academy class of 2018 graduation, or the Kayaking4Vets inaugural Fundraiser Night. I'll let you determine which had the higher attendance. None the less, we had an awesome night full of food, fun, prizes, and socializing.
Armadillo's played host to our little event, and they really outdid themselves. The owners, Brendan and Scott made sure we had everything we needed for the setup and made us feel truly welcomed. They went above and beyond and even donated a substantial portion of all upstairs bar sales to Mission 22! Kasey was incredible behind bar. She had the drinks flowing, food served hot, and people laughing, enjoying themselves the entire night. If you find yourself downtown near ego alley, head on in and ask for Kasey, you won't be disappointed.
My dad and brother flew in for the event as reinforcements. That's right, they flew in for the fundraiser event, not that silly Navy gathering. Logistically, it was great having them there to help with the setup and the event itself. Personally, it made the night all the better to have them there supporting me and my pursuit to raise awareness for a cause I feel so deeply about. It really meant a lot for y'all to be there. I got pretty nervous at the start. If you know me, then you know that big social gatherings, especially when I'm at the center of attention, isn't my thing. They helped keep me in the game both mentally and socially.
We raffled off some pretty awesome prizes from local businesses who were more than happy to donate for such an amazing cause. Big thanks to all who donated: Capital SUP, Navy Athletics, Dogfish Head, Ace Hardware of Cape St. Claire, Yeti, Landry's, OPI, 31Bags, Even Keel, Muse Paint Bar, Iron Rooster, Federal House, Dry85, Washington Nationals, Mission BBQ, Chik-fil-A, KuhlWhip speed ropes, and The Clay Bakers.
All in all, at the end of the night, from raffle ticket sales, bar sales, and donations, we cleared just over $5000! THAT IS AWESOME!!! All of which is going straight to Mission 22. I can't thank everyone enough who came out that night (and those who couldn't make it but sent their encouragement), to support Mission 22 and myself as I take on this incredible trip. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. And also a huge thank you to my sister-in-law and the kids, my step-mom, and my little sister for being so open to my dad and brother coming out. It truly meant the world.