Highly inspiring night catapults NorCal SCI's Fundraising Party to $45,000 haul

Aerial dancer, Joe Simms

Aerial dancer, Joe Simms

What happens when you mix a great venue, a great cause, an incredibly inspiring group of individuals who have successfully conquered their spinal cord injury, festive environment with beer & wine flowing all throughout the night, a surprise presentation that no one expected, and finally, a large group of supporters who paid $150 each to join us and help raise money for NorCal SCI? How about $45,000.

We are once again astonished of the incredible generosity demonstrated by our guests who saw with their own eyes the struggles and accomplishments of the members of the SCI community who were presenters at NorCal SCI’s 2nd Annual Fundraising Party, INSPIRE 2019. This year, we decided to hold the event at the more spacious and slick-looking GlassHouse in Downtown San Jose. Though it was a more expensive venue than last year’s, we felt confident that it would be well worth it and judging by all the comments and curious looks people were giving, we think we made the right choice.

Tresa Honaker

Tresa Honaker

This year, we wanted to have a special presentation that would take our guests through the highs and lows of someone with a spinal cord injury. For that, we called on our friend, Tresa Honaker, the Artistic Director of AirAligned, the aerial dance company in Sacramento. For this presentation, Tresa brought along the incredibly talented Joe Simms, the artistic co-director of AirAligned who put on an exhilarating five minute performance to an upbeat song that left the crowd holding their breath as he was effortlessly going up and dropping down the aerial silk hanging from the ceiling.

Following that breath-taking performance, a very moving and inspirational video of Tresa’s life before and after her injury was shown while the audience was still unsure of what was about to happen. At the conclusion of the five minute video, Tresa took the stage and introduced herself to the audience and shared a bit of her life, before her accident and after. There were not many dry eyes in the audience but we’d like to think those were tears of joy and happiness of seeing how far Tresa has come along in her journey and that she has not allowed her disability dictate the terms of her life.

We have much more to share next week about our event but at the end of the night, we had netted $45,000 that will help support our ambitious plans for 2020 … which we will unveil next week.