Sometimes, things just go right, and a weekend becomes one of the best ever. This past weekend was one of those.
Max’s niece was married in Kansas City on Friday, and Emily came home to celebrate. We spent the weekend in KC, and since we were there, we decided to attend Big Slick, a fundraiser for Children’s Mercy Hospital that began in 2010 when some famous Kansas Citians – Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis – hosted a fundraising poker tournament. A few years later, those Shawnee Mission alums called on two more KC area funny men – Eric Stonestreet of “Modern Family” and David Koechner, who hails from Tipton, of all places – to join the then-wildly successful fundraiser.
This year, the “boys” sponsored a bowling tournament and block party in Overland Park, a softball game at Royals stadium, and a party and concert at Sprint Center. Everybody who is anybody was there – and by that, I mean some people we have heard of, and some we haven’t. The best part was that they all stayed at Crown Center. So did we.
The fun started at Shelby’s wedding, which she held at a lovely outdoor venue; the ceremony was followed by dinner and dancing to music provided by an outstanding band. It was late when we left, but we stopped in the hotel lobby for a glass of wine before going to our rooms – a good decision. As we sat there, Paul Rudd walked by, and Emily had a conniption. She thanked him for raising money for Children’s Mercy and explained that she raises money for Arkansas Children’s Hospital, so she appreciated the gang’s efforts. She told us she was never going to get to sleep.
The next day, we went to the Liberty Memorial. If you haven’t been there, go. My knowledge of that time in history is embarrassingly limited, so I wanted to read every word presented while we were there. The museum displays several historical timelines, connecting the events leading to the war to the war itself, and though I learned a lot, I want to go back to see what I missed.
We then walked back to the hotel, sat in the lobby, and waited for Sedalia’s own Scott Holloway to arrive. Then Eric Stonestreet came in from the bowling tournament and walked our way. As we sat agog, we saw Rob Riggle and David Cook, the “American Idol” from Blue Springs, and Chris Daughtry, another “American Idol” success story. We also saw a cute little Maltese puppy who stole the show. Since the lobby was obviously the best place to be, we stayed there, stargazing until it was time for the evening’s event – the “party” at Sprint Center – and saw our last celebrity of the afternoon: Al Roker of the “Today Show.”
That party was so much fun. The Kansas City guys were entertaining, we heard some good music, we saw a magician – he owned the Maltese! – and we heard a hilarious G-rated comedian. The highlight of the night was the live auction, where people spent enormous amounts of money for luxury items – all for a good cause. The best item was a party for eight hosted by Chiefs players, and to encourage outlandish bidding, Paul Rudd donated the coat he was wearing when he emceed the NFL awards ceremony and announced that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had been voted Most Valuable Player. Mahomes signed the coat on stage for good measure.
After we had applauded and laughed and watched, we rode the streetcar back to the hotel, where we ended the night in the lucky lobby. While we were there, all the stars of Big Slick came in and we watched from a distance, wondering who would be next. We were rewarded very late in the night when Chiefs Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Dustin Colquitt came through the lobby on their way to the last event of the night and the thing that started it all – a private poker game.
It was just one of those weekends when everything went right – good food, good friends, happy celebrations, and, thankfully, beautiful weather. I’ll look forward to the next one, hoping that it comes soon.