Monday, May 16, 2011

Amato's and More

Tonight I went to Amato's Pizzeria.  Let me just say, I was in awe.  First, yes...we did a Chevy's fundraiser back in April and the turnout was shockingly amazing, to say the least.  Tonight, while I was there, the crowd was smaller, but just a glorious.  I saw friends and family.  I met Mahmood, the owner of Amato's.  He is a kind and generous man.  To name a few things, he bought an acquaintance's shopping items in the checkout line once without her knowing it...until she went to pay and her bill ended up being $5.49 (when the value of her purchase was clearly much much more).  Another acquaintance was stranded and he drove up a rental car to give to her so she wouldn't be stuck.  There are plenty of other stories like this.  He's just a good man.

Mahmood doesn't know me personally, or Samantha.  When he heard about her, though, he decided he needed to get involved and whipped up this fundraiser.  He then told Kelly (I'll introduce her in a moment), "After tonight, I'll write a check for $500 in addition to whatever the fundraiser brings in."  I mean, really.  He also offered his restaurant to me for a silent auction, or anything else we would want to use it for.  This man beams charitable love and goodness.

I also met Kelly Dippel tonight.  She's a petite woman with a powerful drive.  This lady is incredible.  My friend, Penni Allen, decided that she needed to have a meeting with Kelly -- since Kelly was awarded Most Influential Woman in Silicon Valley a couple years back.  Now, it's obvious Penni has some drive of her own!  Kelly, once hearing about Samantha, got involved.  Her organization, Silicon Valley Cares, took Samantha on and got the word out.  They have their members participating in the run.  They are advertising it.  Their PR person, Cheryl Ryan, wrote an article that will be going in the Almaden Times on Wednesday (by the way, Cheryl was delightful...very warm and beautiful).  Kelly talked with Mahmood and instigated the shindig tonight.  Tonight, I met Kelly's other members on Silicon Valley Cares.  They are all like her -- kind, warm, generous, loving, wanting to make a difference in the lives of people living in their community.  I was so touched by their goodness.  And as they gushed over my baby girl, I was so proud to be Sammy's mom. 

I feel like a broken record saying this, but I feel like Samantha is so much more than this one child.  I feel like she is truly representative of the impact one child, one individual, can have on an entire community.  It's amazing for me to witness. 

So, tonight. Thank you to Kelly Dippel and her crew.  Thank you to Silicon Valley Cares.  Thank you to Mahmood and Amato's Pizzeria.  Thank you for loving my little girl and showing it through your service.  It has left a deep impression on our hearts.

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