A Heartfelt Thank You for Ocean of Love
It has now been a few days since we have finished the 2012 Ocean of Love Billboard Radiothon, and I still am processing the week's events. I am still in awe the way the community comes together year after year. I am still in awe of what Linda Gillick and her staff from Ocean of Love does for the families. They are there in EVERY SINGLE instance for these families in need.
People say to me quite often "Andy, You guys are going to do it. You always reach your goal". That is true, but what if we don't? It is possible. We have been dealing with an unfavorable economy for a while now. Far too many people are STILL unemployed. We can't get complacent! I couldn't deal with the fact that a year could happen that we don't hit the goal. Couldn't even process that!
I have to reiterate something important. The Ocean of Love Radiothon raises 99% of the money through YOU! We don't have the luxury of the corporate donations. Yes there is Stop N Shop, and a few others (maybe), but the money raised is a few bucks here, and a few hundred there. This is GRASSROOTS! This is all because of YOU.The community coming together. I can't stress that enough.
People also ask me why I am so emotional when i get down from the billboard every year (in other words...why do i cry? lol) First of all, it's tears of joy! I am so happy that we hit the goal that we set for ourselves. These families need us!
Living up there also is a strange thing. The week goes by slowly, but yet is also a blur. It's weird that a week of my life is gone after the radiothon is over. After I go up the billboard on Monday, next thing I know it's Friday.
Dealing with the weather is very stressful as well. Rain causes havoc. the wind can get quite annoying, and all other variables that get thrown in the mix really affect the living up there. I'm sure they are tears of exhaustion as well. I am "on" from 5a-10p all week.
Also, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I know that I am not in this by myself. I have a huge support staff helping me every step of the way, but since I am the guy who is living on the billboard, The pressure ( I feel) is on me!
But even having said all that, I WOULDN"T CHANGE A THING! I am honored to be up there. I am honored to be the "voice" of the radiothon. I wouldn't miss it for a minute, and I would do it again TOMORROW if I was asked to.
You have also heard me say countless times how it is so inspirational that the families who need the help, give money out of their own pocket! Seeing the acts of love and generosity for a week straight really hits the "heart strings". Watching the community come pouring into the parking lot to make donations is quite moving. Seeing the kids playing tag. And catch. And football. And dancing/singing is AWESOME! It's kids doing what they are supposed to do. And that's act like children.
Thank you for coming to the Radiothon. Making the donations. Thank you for all the text messages. The Facebook posts. The special "care packages" , all the kind words, and letting the music on the radio take a "backseat" for a few days to focus on what's truly important in life....And that's helping those in need!
So you have heard me say all this before, but I guess I just needed to put it down in writing and say thank you to everyone who made the 2012 Ocean of Love Radiothon a complete success! Each one of you forever holds a special place in my heart, and because of ALL OF YOU, I am the luckiest man in the world.
See you in 2013!
Below are some of my favorite moments captured through pictures: