it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful:
in a word, more alive.
– Alice Waters
Friends, supporters, and program participants gathered last week for Illuminight, Firefly Sisterhood’s annual fundraising event. The power of Illuminight inspired guests to:
- be more joyful. While thousands of twinkling lights sparkled overhead, a steady hum of conversation, laughter, and guitar music floated through the Chowgirls’ Solar Arts event venue. Connections were sparked between old and new friends, female chefs and food entrepreneurs, and Firefly board members, program participants, and staff throughout the evening.
- be more thoughtful. Firefly Guide Claire Emery shared her wisdom and experience during the Illuminight program.
“When I found Firefly . . . it was going to be the way for me to give back and turn the negative into a positive. What I didn’t realize, though, was how much being a Guide would help me to continue my own healing and empower me to manage the post-treatment process. Through supporting a newly diagnosed woman, I am given the wonderful opportunity to help her; and unbeknownst to her, she’s given me the opportunity to process my own journey through diagnosis and treatment, which is something I didn’t know I needed until I experienced it.”
- be more hopeful. Claire Emery’s father, Cliff Allen, followed her narrative by sharing his experience as a caregiver and witness to the hope and healing that resulted from Claire embracing her role as a Firefly Guide.
“‘Dad, it’s malignant.’ That first year (was) a torrent of information, diagnosis, prognosis, treatments, and doctors…Fast forward a year and the dust is starting to settle when (Claire) starts talking about Firefly…I learned that (being a Firefly Guide) is helping her look outward from herself and her own little circle of issues and crisis, and look down the road…Firefly meets up with people when they are facing the gates of hell, brings them back, and gives them a direction and a path down the road.”
Illuminight, the largest gathering of Firefly supporters, allowed our signature peer-mentoring program to be more alive than ever, thanks to:
- The twelve female food chefs and entrepreneurs who showcased their talents.
- The donations from sponsors, guests, Fund-a-Need auction, raffle items, and wine pull that raised over $60,000 towards continuing the Firefly matching program. That’s double the amount raised last year!
- The Illuminight Committee (Jane Griffin, Cleo Swenson, and Darlene Personius) and everyone who donated their time and talent to making Illuminight a success!
We simply cannot say it enough: Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Written by Amy Tix, Firefly Staffer and breast cancer survivor.