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Vogt's Notes: Sometimes we find something good in the bad

Nancy Vogt - Vogt's Notes.jpg
Nancy Vogt, PineandLakes Echo Journal Editor

If anyone ever asks, “Hey, would you like to help plan a benefit?” think long and hard before you nonchalantly say, “Sure, why not?”

If you ever want to meet more great people than you knew existed all while helping someone in need, jump at that chance to help plan a benefit.

Before Oct. 26, I think I’d only been to one benefit. It was several years ago to help a Breezy Point boy fighting cancer with medical expenses. Attending his benefit was the only experience I had with such events.

When my daughter asked if I’d serve on the committee planning a benefit for her boyfriend, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and other injuries in a motorcycle accident at the end of May, of course I said yes without hesitation. I figured my role would be to help spread the word about the benefit with my newspaper connections.

I was partly right. I was asked to be the secretary and take notes at committee meetings. I easily agreed; after all, that’s what I do for a living.

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Then our nine-person committee decided we each needed to round up about 10 quality silent auction items. And then we each received thousands of dollars worth of raffle tickets to sell, and be responsible for.

Suddenly I wondered if I was in way over my head.

I knew this was all for a good cause, but I’m no salesperson. I hate asking for anything, whether it be a silent auction donation or especially money. Not many people I know have excess cash on hand.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about.

People came out of the woodwork to help. From immediate family to extended family to close friends to acquaintances to people I didn't even know … so many people wanted to help. I can honestly say nothing has touched me or affected me as much as people have in the past five and a half months.

My daughter’s employer - Panache Salon & Day Spa in Baxter - provided a great silent auction item and immediately offered to sell many of my raffle tickets. Belle Cheveux in Nisswa provided wonderful silent auction baskets and sold lots of raffle tickets for me. First Supply north of Brainerd sold a ton of raffle tickets for me and provided silent auction items. So many other business owners happily stepped forward to donate items.

Two friends of my daughter and her boyfriend contacted me again and again for more raffle tickets to sell. Both provided awesome silent auction donations as well. We ended up with double the number of silent auction items as we planned for.

Suffice it to say, I have so many thank you notes to write.

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Financial help continues to pour in. I have so many relatives and friends, including a couple of high school friends I haven’t had much - if any - contact with in years, donate money. Many have never met my daughter or her boyfriend. Many have only met the boyfriend once.

And the benefit? I’ll forever be so thankful for the great group of people I got to know while planning the event. I have never worked so hard during one day - the turnout was insane and my head was spinning that whole weekend.

I learned again that the world truly is filled with wonderful, kind, generous people. And good things truly do come from tragedy.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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