No chamapgne and roses at this party . . . Red, white and blue and lots of yellow ribbons

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mikebannerTaking a break from weddings, I had the honor to be a part of a very special event. . . the surprise birthday and farewell party for Sgt. 1st Class Michael Horner of Clifton Park, New York who is being deployed to Kuwait just after the holidays. With 17 years as an Army National Guardsman and 18 years as a member of the Clifton Volunteer Park Fire Department, this brave man was truly deserving of a special sendoff.

My involvement all began over the summer when Michael’s wife, Christine, contacted me for advice on choosing the perfect venue for this family and community affair. Caseysclass183What better place than the firehouse, a second home to her husband? Compelled to help this family and to honor a man who serves my country AND my local community, I jumped in with both feet and offered to help Christine plan the entire event. Over several months, Christine and I had a great time putting together a party full of patriotic flair.

Of course the room was bathed in red, white and blue . . . everything from balloons to cupcakes reminded guests of Mike’s service to our country. Games2UGuests were given favors of yellow ribbon car magnets and pins to symbolize a collective hope for Mike’s safe return. Adding a little humor to the event, the custom designed cake featured a bomb with a fireman extinguishing its flame. One of Christine’s main goals in planning this event was to ensure that the large number of kids attending this event would really enjoy it. I am happy to say that we didn’t disappoint. I called in a unique entertainment company called Games2U who provided a mobile gaming van, hamster ball and laser tag for kids (of all ages) to enjoy and with the gorgeous weather we had that day . . . enjoy they did!