We kicked off the day of my dad's celebration dinner with donuts! Graham stayed on Eastern time for his wake-up times, so we were up bright and early most mornings... Yesterday, we chose to use that time wisely and go get donuts for everyone! LOL Guess who LOVES his chocolate munchkin?
We pretty much went from eating one delicious thing to the next since the Conners came over to have Herms with us for lunch :) We were THRILLED to spend the morning with them!!! We didn't manage to get our usual group shot this time, but here's a cute one of Paige and Graham!
And we got one of Paige and Jackson at Herm's while they were playing the games at Herms! I swear Lexi and Caleb were there too! These kids play so nicely together--we love getting to spend time with them!
Late in the afternoon, we headed over to hotel where my dad's celebration was. We actually had our babysitter come stay at the hotel because we wanted Jackson to join us downstairs for the program portion of the evening. So, Amanda stayed upstairs with Graham while he slept and played with Jackson until it was time for him to join us. Unfortunately, Jackson was feeling under the weather, so he mostly rested. But he was so anxious to come down and be part of Bampa's special night anyways!
Cocktail hour was such a fun time! There was a great mix of people present to celebrate with Dad.
There were old babysitters,
old friends of mine,
friends of Mom and Dad,
family members from out of town,
and these guys! They sure felt important when the photographer took a shot of them :)
Larry was the emcee for the whole program, and he did an amazing job! His speech was very thoughtful, but he made sure to include plenty of humorous anecdotes :)
I LOVE these two pictures of my dad listening as people spoke about him and the legacy he will leave for Roycemore!
There were three special speakers to talk about my dad in one way or another. Sara Dreiling spoke first--she is currently the Head of the Middle School, but Larry actually had her as an English teacher when she first started at Roycemore. Margaret McCamant was next. She is a past parent (her daughter, Jane, and I were friends) and past Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Lanie DeWolfe. She used to go to Roycemore, was on the Board of Trustees, AND was one of my old babysitters! They each did a wonderful job--it was really neat hearing people talk about all different parts of my dad's 44 years with Roycemore! Tom Ellis was the last to speak, and he is the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He had the special job of presenting my mom with a beautiful, engraved clock recognizing all of the support she provided my dad over the years. He also presented Dad with a very handsome plaque, as well as the news that the gym at 1200 Davis St. will be named The Joseph A. Becker Gymnasium!!!
One of many standing ovations during the evening :)
Dad spoke at the end of the program, and it really made me stop to think about how MANY speeches I have heard of his over time. Of course, in the beginning, I didn't really listen, and they just seemed really long. But, as I got older and started listening, I realized what a wonderful speaker my dad is. Everyone who spoke about him last night mentioned that. I am so glad we were there to hear this important speech :)
A classic Joe Becker speech pose.
Jackson came down to join us after dinner for the program. He looked so pathetic, but he sat so nicely! He looked so handsome in his button down shirt and khakis :)
I was so excited that Katie came into town for the celebration! We had a great time hanging out and catching up with some other old friends that also came!
Larry, Katie, Kelley (Katie's brother) and Me
A group shot of the Beckers and Smiths and the Wunders and Conners! I can't believe how well this turned out considering it was quite an effort to get us in one place all together!
The night was WONDERFUL! We loved hearing everyone share memories about my dad, tell funny stories, catching up with old friends and teachers, and watching a video all about him. What an amazing 44 years! Many people said it, but my dad's legacy will forever live on at Roycemore :)
The professional photos I included were taken by Evanston Photographic Studios.