Love Hope Strength

Last night was probably the closest the Staffords will ever come to being rock stars. Before I share that story though, let me tell you that I now have concrete proof that some people actually read this thing. Inconceivable! What is this “proof” you ask? Well my wife got a message from a very awesome woman named Tonja, who remembered me mentioning that my family is a big fan of a certain movie. That movie, The Princess Bride, was being played at the world famous Red Rocks amphitheater last night and Tonja wanted to know if we wanted to be her VIP guests (Staffords VIP??? Inconceivable!!!). Tonja also happens to be a part of an awesome charity called Love Hope Strength, and she was going to be on stage for a few minutes before the movie started so she could educate the crowd of 20,000+ people on what the charity does. Just so YOU know, Love Hope Strength helps save lives by matching up patients who need a blood marrow donation with people that are a genetic match and are willing to donate. Now that you are all edumecated, lets fast forward to us being rock stars!
Tonja greeted us with two bracelets. “This one will get you in and this one will get you backstage.” Backstage??? Inconceivable!!! She escorted us through the guarded back entrance where we walked the same halls as U2, The Police, Rush, Dave Mathews Band, The Grateful Dead, and many others did before us. She then took us literally under the stage and we walked up this blocked stairway where all the artists who perform at Red Rocks are invited to sign their name. While the kids from The School of Rock jammed for the crowd above us, I snapped a couple of quick pics (Switchfoot, The Police, Widespread Panic). Before my family ditched me, I then followed Tonja to our VIP seats center stage five rows back.
The real highlight came later between the band and the movie when our entire family went on stage with Tonja. There was Delaney sporting her “swirly” mustache,mustache bow tie, and Peach’s Neet Feet shoes. Tonja encouraged the crowd to take 5 minutes and get on the donor list. She shared that last time Love Hope Strength did this at Red Rocks, SIX LIVES WERE SAVED just from matches from the Red Rocks crowd. She then told the crowd about the special little girl standing in front of them. She explained how she loves mustaches and asked the entire crowd to make a mustache with their finger. At that point Delaney got to look up at about 20,000 smiling mustached faces. How cool was that??? In fact, I would say it was Inconceivable!
The only thing cooler than that was when we exited the stage and the three of us in the family who are at least 18 years of age went and made sure that we got added to the list so we could also possibly help save lives. If you want more info, go to If you don’t know why I keep repeating inconceivable, go do yourself a favor and rent The Princess Bride. If you already know, I’ll leave you with two things:
1. Is this family pic taken beneath the stage of Red Rocks.
2. You know those generic name tags that say, “Hello, my name is _____.” Well a guy in the crowd was wearing one but wrote in, ” Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”


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