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RECAP JingleBALLS: 4th & Goal

JingleBALLS: 4th & Goal (photo: Quy Ngo)

JingleBALLS: 4th & Goal (photo: Quy Ngo)

Our 4th annual JingleBALLS has come and gone, and boy was it a good time!

For starters, THANK YOU to all who came, donated, sponsored and just showed support. This is The Blonde Side’s 4th year doing this charity event, and each year it has benefited the Ronald McDonald House Houston. (See the end of this post why we picked RMH as our beneficiary.)

This year, our beautiful co-host was a fellow blonde, Caitlyn Beth – former Houston Texans Cheerleader and model and just an all around do-gooder and fun time. Caitlyn added a bit of flair and fancy to this year’s event and we were so honored to have her as part of the team.

Event Recap: For the 2nd straight year, JingleBALLS was hosted at Gage Lounge in Midtown, and they were the best hosts imaginable. The staff truly went above and beyond helping us set up and keep the night rolling. Thanks to you guys!

We raised more money at JingleBALLS: 4th & Goal than any others and we packed TWO CHEVY TAHOE’S to the rim with brand new balls that we took to the Santa Store at RMH the next day. We raised a couple thousand dollars this year as well, which is a new addition to the balls we’ve donated in the past.

Our Silent Auction table was a hit (as always) and for those curious – our top two items were the Mike Trout autographed baseball (generously donated by BODYARMOR SuperDrink), and the seats and field passes to a 2016 Astros v. Rangers game (generously donated by Astros GM Jeff Luhnow).

A big thank you to FOX26 Houston for having Caitlyn and I on the morning show promoting JingleBALLS – every year the FOX26 family has been so helpful getting the word out and we love working with them (not to mention a number of their amazing staff attended the event!).

Another big thank you to our title event sponsor, TicketCity for not only sponsoring the

How many blonde co-hosts does it take to work a photobooth?

How many blonde co-hosts does it take to work a photobooth?

event, but giving away a $500 raffle item for future use of tickets. NOTE: use the link above for 10% off any concert/sporting tickets purchased BY December 31st – discount is automatically taken at checkout.

To keep the party rocking, drinks were donated (each guest who donated a ball for RMH or $20 received two complimentary drink tickets) by Dos Equis (STAY THIRSTY) and Finlandia Vodka, Jack Daniel’s (Honey and Jack Daniel’s Fire) tasty concoctions. Probably our best (and most festive) drink menu yet!

Our check-in table was sponsored by The Millennium High Street luxury apartments off Westheimer and we had light bites courtesy of one of Houston’s most popular restaurants, Corner Table.

We also had a super fun photobooth – this was our 2nd year working with Mark McVey at TapSnap1088, and it was amazing. (If you plan to have a photobooth at your next event, please mention JingleBALLS or The Blonde Side for a small discount and to thank him for his donation!)

Please be sure to LIKE The Blonde Side on FB to stay up-to-date with all things sports, humor, fitness, travel and other great events like this. Here are the event pictures from the evening – a big thanks to Quy Ngo and Bryan Anderson (Beauty in Art) for stopping by and snapping some festive photos.

This year’s event committee: Justin Capetillo, Leigh Evans, Hollie Fulsom (and CharitaBulls), April Guzik (our graphic designer – DayZeroCreative), Braidee Ireland, Ciara Major (the lady behind the silent auction table each year!), David Nagy (EndZone King, duh!), Sarah Smith, and Rodney Waites. We also had the folks at Running Game Clothing  there – check out their Houston sports apparel line – use code THEBLONDESIDE for 10% off.

JingleBALLS: 4th & Goal Silent Auction Table (photo: Quy Ngo)

JingleBALLS: 4th & Goal Silent Auction Table (photo: Quy Ngo)

One last big T H A N K Y O U to all who came, donated, and especially sponsored. If you’re reading this, please go show some LOVE to our sponsors – follow them on social media and go visit their businesses. Donating time and money to a charity is a very unique thing and JingleBALLS wouldn’t exist without them.

Lastly, for those still reading…I wanted to share why The Blonde Side has chosen Ronald McDonald House as our beneficiary for this great event the last four years.

I have always had a big heart for giving back, but as someone who doesn’t make a lot of money (oh the joys of being a freelance writer!), I’ve always wanted to work with charities that benefit immediately from every dollar and ball we donate. I know times are tough and not everyone has hundreds or thousands of dollars to donate, especially around the holidays, so we wanted a charity that would be happy and able to use what we were able to give – no matter how small it may seem compared to that of other large corporations or events.

Four years ago, I reached out to a few friends that were very tapped into the Houston community, especially the non-profit world. I asked them to share what charities they thought would benefit most from this idea of an event that was brewing in my little blonde mind and they came back with some great suggestions.

One of them, Kevin Moody (Kevin, I hope you’re reading this, because I’m not sure you even know you’re the reason behind all of this!) suggested the Ronald McDonald House (RMH). He not only suggested it, he championed for it.

One thing I learned after reaching out to RMH and their Santa Store was that it not only

Ronald McDonald House Houston Santa Store (via RMH-H FB page)

Ronald McDonald House Houston Santa Store (via RMH-H FB page)

benefited the sick children at the house, but their siblings. I personally have FOUR friends I went to college with that have children under the age of four that have been diagnosed with some form of cancer. After talking with them, the parents and staff at the RMH, one of the biggest things I learned was that the siblings are often not a top priority, especially during the holidays.

The parents and other family members are so focused on their sick child – trying to heal them, make them comfortable, always visiting the doctor, trying new meds, etc. – that there isn’t a lot of time for holiday shopping. The RMH Santa Store benefits the entire family, so they can all enjoy the happiest of holidays, as best they can. To me, that is something special.

Dropping off the JingleGALLS good at RMH Houston

Dropping off the JingleGALLS good at RMH Houston

Even now, writing this post, I have goosebumps. Some might think a silly basketball means nothing in the grand scheme of things, especially when up against a terrible disease like cancer, but it means the absolute world to some children.

So thank you, truly from the bottom of my heart for not only supporting The Blonde Side’s annual holiday event, but for making a huge difference in the lives of so many that walk through the doors of Ronald McDonald Houses across the nation.

And here’s one last plug/encouragement to each of you (the few still reading!) – I urge you to find a charity near and dear to your heart that you can help. Maybe it isn’t planning a huge event like JingleBALLS or donating money, but volunteering your time. Find what you’re passionate about, what your strengths are, what makes you happy and go find that non-profit in your area that can use your help. Send emails to friends (like I did), or post on FB asking for suggestions. Giving back is something we are able to and should do. I know we don’t all have a lot of time (remember, we all have the same number of hours in a day as Beyonce!), but it can be as simple as reading at a local library or helping deliver meals.

THAT’S IT – HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND THANKS AGAIN TO ALL OF YOU!