February 10, 2007

An awesome last day of being 30 years old

For my birthday this year, we decided to throw a party at Pizzeria Picco in Larkspur, home of pretty much the greatest thin crust Neapolitan style pizza we've ever tasted. With a real wood-burning brick oven (clocking in at 986 degrees F, no joke!), perfectly executed pizzas are whipped out in less than 90 seconds -- with beautifully blistered, crisp exteriors, balanced by chewy and pillowy interiors, and topped with phenomenal ingredients. Man, I'm going to miss this place.

We wanted to give the party a bit of a social ethic; with all of the wonderful food we were about to enjoy, it seemed like an appropriate thing to also raise some money to donate to a food-related cause.

The original concept was to try and raise enough funds to purchase several goats for a needy family or village overseas through World Vision. Thanks to the amazing generosity of our family and friends, we ended up raising WAY more than I ever expected... We ended up with enough funds to purchase:
  • A "trio" of dairy animals: a goat, a cow, and a sheep — the "big three" milk producers

  • A share of a deep well to supply clean, fresh water

  • A supply of water purification tablets for a school

  • A further contribution to the development of clean water sources

  • The provision of $455 worth of clothing for needy families abroad (enabled by the matching of World Vision's corporate partners)

  • The provision of $1800 Worth of Necessities for needy families in the U.S. (again, thanks to the matching program of World Vision's corporate partners)

  • Financing for an empowering small business loan (a model of micro-loans similar to the program conceived by this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner)
Here are some of the fine folks who helped make this happen:

The loft gang intensely examining the fresh, organic and seasonal ingredients in the radicchio salad...

While Andrew and Marie look on...
Trying to get the pizza addiction going on at an early age...

The "Men with Beards" table...

Jay and Em discussing the merits of Steve Young vs. Joe Montana with my mom, while Ray shares some ideas for film roles for my sister...

A satisfied table of pizza afficionados, many of whom were with us on our first visit to Pizzeria Picco on that foggy winter evening...

Steve is... well, he's just being Steve...
How great is this? For the first time since our wedding 3 1/2 years ago, I've got all my groomsmen in the same place at the same time.
It feels fantastic to be able to have a great time at a party while also pulling together some resources for those in need. I'm truly blessed by the showing of generosity from our family and friends, and I hope each of them is equally enriched by the impact of their awesome contribution.

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