We hosted our first “Southern Setting” Farm to Table fundraiser for MTJ Foundation and SherryStrong on Sunday evening, Oct. 9. It was honestly one of the most amazing events we’ve ever done. I was in awe of the glow of lights strung over the longest farm table I’ve ever seen (160 feet long!) and the constant, excited chatter coming from more than 125 people — some friends, some strangers.
But most amazing of all was having everyone come together for two causes that are so dear to Martin’s and my hearts: childhood and ovarian cancer. We won’t know the final tally for a few more days, but we know that one night raised nearly $20,000. That’s incredible and we are so, so grateful!
It’s so humbling every time we have an event to see the number of people who come out to support our passion for helping others. I told Martin when we got home, the best part of the night for me was looking down either end of the table and seeing complete strangers sharing intimate conversations and toasting their wine glasses to each other. Almost no one had a cell phone out on the table. It’s the first time in a long time that I saw people just being present in the moment. Isn’t that what life is all about? So often we pick up our phones to document everything and miss out on the moment.
It was exciting for me to get up and share our two newest initiatives, which Southern Setting will help fund – and now I can share them with you, too! Martin and I are so proud to announce that SherryStrong and the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation will create and distribute Hope Boxes and Superhero Bags to women and children going through chemotherapy.
Superhero Bags will go to children and teens battling cancer treatment. They’ll be filled with fun and interactive items that will help keep kids busy while going through the long and rigorous treatments they endure during each infusion.
Hope Boxes will go to women battling cancer treatment, and honestly, the goal will be the same: inspire, comfort, warm and distract! Chemo is boring and tough on all patients, mentally and physically, so we want to do anything we can to make that experience just a little more bearable for these amazing, strong women.
Please consider donating to SherryStrong.org or sending an item from the list below to help us bring more of these gifts to children and women going through what is hopefully the toughest fight they’ll ever face.
For Hope Boxes, we’re collecting these items:
- Colored pencils (these are to accompany lovely coloring book donations we received already — but we may ask for these to be donated in the future, when we run out!)
- Inspirational books
- Nontoxic hand sanitizer
- All-natural hand lotion (travel size)
For Superhero Bags, we’re collecting items saved to the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Amazon.com Wish List.
All donations may be mailed to or dropped off at:
Re: Hope Boxes & Superhero Bags
156 Cayuga Drive
Mooresville, NC 28117
OK, back to this incredible event… Everything about Sunday night’s event was perfect! The decor, the food, the people! I want to thank everyone who made it happen! Thank you to Chef Tim Groody, owner of the incredible farm-to-table restaurant FORK! in Cornelius, N.C., which Martin and I love to frequent, for creating a magical evening of locally sourced food.
Thank you to the local breweries, distilleries and wineries that provided the adult beverages for the night! Very important, haha! D9 Brewing Company in Cornelius (Martin is obsessed with their Tangerine IPA) and Raffaldini Vineyards for the amazing wine with dinner! Huge thank yous go to guest chefs Troy Gagliardo (Troy’s Everyday Eats, WCCB) and Samantha Ward (The Fig Tree Restaurant), as well as talented mixologists Melanie Groody of Fork! and Brian Lorusso from Dogwood Southern Table & Bar, who helped pair each course with delicious beverages.
And last but not least, my FAVORITE new musician, Kip Georgeson! I am obsessed with his music! Y’all need to go check out his YouTube channel! He is amazing! He will definitely be playing for us again soon!
Thank you to everyone who attended from near and far. It was amazing to meet new survivors, some of whom traveled all the way from Florida just to have dinner with us for the night. Thank you for inspiring us every day – and we can’t wait to see you all again next year!