Monday, May 11, 2015

Pinups for Patriots Michigan, The American Red Cross Hometown Heroes Celebration and my Amway Grand Plaza Hotel adventures

I've been so busy with family, work and photoshoots the last couple weeks that I have not had time to write a proper blog about my awesome experience  at my first Pinups for Patriots event and my mini vacation at the incredible Amway Grand Plaza Hotel!!

On Thursday April 30, the Michigan chapter of Pinups for Patriots was privileged to attend the American Red Cross Hometown Heroes Celebration as volunteer workers. Each year the American Red Cross celebrates the community heroes who inspire us with their commitment to service and their recognition of the humanity of neighbors across the street and around the world.  The event was held in the beautiful Devos Place, which is located on the Grand River in beautiful downtown Grand Rapids.  

An irresistible mix of historic and modern, downtown Grand Rapids is artistic and eclectic with architecturally glorious historic buildings, museums, shopping, art, delicious local eateries, craft breweries, there's a plethora of interesting things to see and do all while strolling cobblestone streets or enjoying the view along the riverbank.  Grand Rapids is a truly lovely city.   The Hometown Heroes event included a silent auction, strolling dinner, live auction and awards ceremony.  The Pinups for Patriots arrived dressed matching in red and black ready for our duties with seven members attending.  Our volunteer responsibilities gave us the opportunity to stroll around with our supper and mingle with many friendly and engaging community members.  Everyone loved our pinup style, many people asked to pose for pictures with our group and later we were happy to find our pictures made the local news.

  The food was excellent, I have a major love affair with food so I took great pleasure in the variety of gourmet treats available.  Hors d'oeuvres, basil wrapped marinated mozzarella with grape tomatoes, Italian salami with peppers, fresh fruit kebabs with melon, pineapple and strawberries, and crunchy fresh vegetable platters served with ranch veggie dip.  The potato martini bar was amazing!  Large martini glasses stood at one end of a buffet table with huge steaming serving plates of mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes in the middle and loads of great toppings to pile on top, delicious, healthy and a genius way to feed a crowd!  After dinner we were seated as the awards ceremony began.  Chilled local fruit pies of various kinds were served at our tables along with bottles of locally made wine and the most delicious coffee.  The ceremony honored many who have dedicated themselves to their communities helping meet medical needs, caring for those less fortunate and trying to make their world a better place, truly inspiring individuals!!  The live auction was interesting and it was somewhat comical to watch the bidding wars break out. It was such an honor to volunteer, to meet community heroes and it was a pleasure to spend the evening with the ladies in our Pinups for Patriots Michigan chapter.  We are a diverse group of beautiful women with a passion for serving others and we had a million laughs together.  I'm so thrilled to be a part of this organization!!!

I'm very lucky to be in Pinups for Patriots with a friend I've known since I was a kid whom I've worked several pinup shoots with and live close to.  Since we live over an hour from Grand Rapids and our event was scheduled to last until 11pm, she asked me if I would like to stay with her if she booked a hotel room.  Mom's night out in a way!  We told our other Pinups for Patriots gals our plan, offering our room to the other girls as a place to get ready for the event and were quickly referred to a friend of a member who got us a room at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, holy cow!!!!  I felt like a princess!!!  Our room was located in the beautiful historic Pantlind Tower which was built in 1913.  We were surrounded by opulence, running around in our curlers with vintage scarves tied around, we must've been quite the interesting sight.  Deep green, burgundy and gold everywhere.  Velvet draperies, golden figural railings, wall reliefs, period furnishings, it was a gorgeous glimpse into the glorious gradeur of the past. 

Our room was beautiful and spacious with a nice view of the river.  The hotel even sent us a thank you card with a complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolates because they knew we were there as volunteers.  A very thoughtful gesture!

  We got into our room and hurried to meet some of our fellow chapter members for a quick lunch then off to get pinup ready for our event together.  It was such chaotic fun getting ready together with a group of gals, we filled our room with pinup clutter, laughter and everyone gushed over one another's outfits, it was a great bonding experience!

I wore my Vivien of Holloway Grace dress in Silver Lace Bust to the event.  The Grace dress is elegant and suited to gala events such as this.  I recieved many compliments on my dress, positive comments regarding our group's retro glam style and told people about our mission to bring back the patriotism of the World War 2 era.  On our way back to our room from the benefit we snapped a few fun photos in the fantastic Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, taking advantage of the picturesque surroundings.

It was an absolutely unforgettable evening of laughter and memories made with women I am proud to call my friends!  I cannot wait for our Pinups for Patriots Michigan photoshoot on May 17 and all of our future events this year.  I am truly blessed to be a part of this organization!!!

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