I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Operation Shower and I was so honored to be part of their most recent shower on August 22, 2012 at Barclays PGA at Bethpage State Park at the Black Course – the event was held on Military Appreciation Day at The Barclays, the first event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. Forty military moms-to-be whose spouses are deployed members of the New York National Guard and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (Trenton, N.J.) were invited to a baby shower conducted by non-profit group Operation Shower in partnership with the PGA TOUR’s Birdies for the Brave military outreach. The “Once Upon A Shower” themed event was sponsored by Barclays and baby bedding company Carousel Designs (both owners, Allan Sicat and Jonathan Hartley, are West Point graduates and former U.S. Army officers).
You know we are all about “Celebrating Life” at Party Bluprints and what better thing to celebrate than a NEW life! There were so many cool things about this baby shower for 40 – the highlights:
- Actress Melissa Joan Hart, best known for her role as “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and currently starring in “Melissa and Joey” hosted the event. As she is expecting her 3rd baby, she identified with the moms and stated, “I was very honored to have the opportunity to host the Operation Shower event during The Barclays and express my appreciation for all these women do in support of our military. I know how difficult it can be raising a family in the best of circumstances, and truly admire the strength, courage and perseverance it takes to keep things running smoothly at home during deployment.” She was too humble to share this story, but recently when Disney asked to host a baby shower for her, she agreed with the condition that all gifts be donated. Disney connected her with Operation Shower, she donated her baby shower gifts and through that connection she ended up hosting this shower. See you never know how a connection will be made!
- Forty military moms-to-be were invited to be honored for their sacrifice and be showered with love and gifts (a few had very recently given birth and brought their precious newborns with them). One of the honorees said, “I cannot thank Operations Shower’s team enough for the amazing day yesterday. Your generosity and kindness were truly unbelievable. I was able to Facetime with my husband yesterday and he was overwhelmed as well with all you have done for us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!” It must be so difficult for these men to be away from their expecting wives and knowing others are supporting them and giving them so TLC has got to be a great comfort.
- Operation Shower Founder, LeAnn Morrissey, said “I like to think of our showers as a chain of love we are taking across the country.” This was their 24th shower. When I asked LeAnn what inspired her to found Operation Shower, she shared with me that her favorite uncle had been in the military. When she asked what she could send him, he explained a few of the men in his unit had wives who were expecting and maybe she could send them a card. To think this effort began as sharing love and support through a card to fast forward 24 baby shower events later – inspiring!
- Designers lovingly crafted and personalized the guest tables based on the “Once Upon A Shower” theme. Each table was as beautiful and clever as the next. An added element of interest was the table competition where judges chose the best designed table – Congratulations our special friends from Frungillo Catering for their Dr. Seuss “Green Eggs and Hams” table (pictured above).
- Amy Belle Isles, Chief Event Planner, couldn’t contain her excitement as she started rolling out the gifts. At one point during the shower I felt like I was watching Oprah’s “Favorite Things” episode for expecting moms. There were individual items raffled off, but a few big surprises when all the moms were gifted a brand new Britax car seat and a Maclaren stroller, compliments of Barclays and an Operation Shower signature “Shower In A Box” – a gift of high-quality products for mothers and babies that were donated by companies including Carousel Designs, Petunia Pickle Bottom and others.
- Loved the theme “Once Upon a Shower” – books everywhere. Party Bluprints loves books for shower/baby gifts and we arranged with the help of Andrea Peskind Katz founder of Great Thoughts Blog to have 10+ different books donated as shower gifts for each mom!). Thanks to all who generously donated books – they were gifted in a sweet “Bag of Books” which included a few other goodies, like a BRA dvd and free fitting – from Bravado Designs. Some of the books the Moms-To-Be received were: Carol Brickell – “Cinco the Clinic Cat” – www.CincoTheClinicCat.com, Carolyn Berry – “Buster Tells It All” — www.PonyCreekRanch.com and Linda Gilleland – “I Love You Baby Deer” — www.ILoveYouBabyDeer.com. Check them out they make great gifts!
- High-ranking officials of the military joined the celebration to personally thank the military moms for their sacrifice. I was so very honored to meet and speak with General McKinley Chief of the National Guard Bureau and member, Joint Chiefs of Staff who is the highest-ranking National Guard and appointed by the President, and US Army New York Adjutant Major General Patrick Murphy. I thanked them both for their service and for protecting our freedoms and us.
- The shower was held overlooking the 18th fairway – post-shower we watched Tiger tee off and walk down the fairway past us.
••• About Operation Shower
Operation Shower is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and honoring military families by providing joyful baby showers for military moms-to-be to ease the burden of deployment, or in cases where spouses are seriously injured. Since the organization’s inception in 2007, Operation Shower has showered more than 900 military moms from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard on military bases, during PGA TOUR tournaments, and at
story by Elizabeth Mascali – photos by Alexandra Mascali.