This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend my first Peter Facinelli event benefitting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. For those of you who may not be familiar, Peter is an actor currently starring in the Twilight movies, and the Nurse Jackie series on Showtime. Though my husband Jay had already been to the autograph signing in Middletown, New York, I had been at another foundation event, so this was my first chance to meet Peter and witness firsthand the unbelievable support he incites for us.
The event was held in Harrisburg, at the aptly titled Harrisburg Mall, last Sunday, October 4, 2009. When I first got to the mall, I was quite simply amazed by the amount of people in line. It is estimated that there were over 2,000 fans there awaiting their chance to meet Peter and possibly have their photo taken with him. For a moment, I wondered why people would wait in a line that long for just a few moments with their favorite star. It didn’t take long for that question to be answered – I saw firsthand how Peter’s involvement with ALSF brings an entirely new element to the event – and a very important one at that. The event was not only about meeting Peter, but it was also about connecting people to each other, to the movies and books they love, to helping each other, and to being part of something bigger. Everyone who attended that event - whether they waited in line, or just took a few moments to see what was going on – was connected to something much bigger.
This is when I share with you that this one event, at one mall, with one amazing celebrity, raised over $11,000 for the battle against childhood cancer. The monetary number isn’t the only part of the story though; there was also a huge amount of awareness raised that day. I was asked to speak to the crowd, which was a great honor, Peter also told everyone how to get involved, we held a lemonade stand, and I could tell that at the end of the day, these fans would in fact get involved.
Here is only one example of that -
After the event, I received an email from a young woman who wants to get involved. In fact, she is one of the girls in the below photo. She summed up just how special this event was to Peter’s fans and to anyone who heard about it:
"If someone like Peter Facinelli can fly across the country during his incredibly busy schedule to help this organization, why can't I? Why can't we all? What is so important in our lives that we can't find time to do good?"
To be moved like that by meeting someone, certainly seems like it is worth a few hours of line waiting! A big thank you to everyone who came out, everyone who supports the foundation, and of course to Peter Facinelli for his unwavering support. We look forward to many more opportunities to work with Peter, and to meet his amazing fans! It is an honor to have them support us.
- Liz Scott, Alex's Mom