'Extreme Evening of Fun' Puts Focus on Good Deeds
Event raises awareness while gratitude pours in for Haiti helpers and their benefactor, Jack Aronson, owner/founder of Garden Fresh Gourmet.
A lot of people in Ferndale may only remember Tuesday night for the snow that fell, making the commute home from work a little slower. But other people will remember this past Tuesday night as one when they got to hide out from the snow, snack on some great food and meet and learn about two guys who have made a huge impact on the island nation of Haiti.
"Extreme Evening of Fun" was put together to bring attention to two men who since last January have been spending their time in Haiti helping hospitals, orphanages and in general, those made homeless after the horrific earthquake that left the island nation in despair this past year.
Paul Sebring ("Big Paul") and Paul Waggoner ("Little Paul") are the two faces behind the Materials Management Relief Corp., which was founded last year by the two men to provide logistical support to medical teams in Haiti after a horrific earthquake hit the island nation Jan. 12, 2010. Before the quake, Sebring worked as a fashion and celebrity photographer, traveling to Haiti a mere 10 days after the earthquake. There, Sebring meant Waggoner, an owner of a construction company. Soon the two started helping the people of Haiti.
"It's completely different, what I used to value or what was important to me before wasn't now," Sebring said. "I can't go back to anything else but this."
It was clear the goal of Tuesday night was to help support these two men in their quest of good deeds, but the gratitude toward the man who brought it all together, Jack Aronson, owner and founder of Garden Fresh Gourmet, was in full force.
The founder of Garden Fresh Gourmet learned about "Big Paul" and "Little Paul" in a Men's Journal article. From then, Aronson reached out to MMRC with funding that lasted them a whole month.
"I told my daughter to read the article; I told her to contact these guys and find out a little more about them," Aronson said last week. "We sent them a donation of $3,000. Little did I know it really funded them for a month. ... They perform miracles on a shoestring."
Aronson later traveled to Haiti to see for himself just exactly what the situation was. After returning from his trip, Aronson knew more had to be done and began funding MMRC with help from his numerous vendors.
"Jack's been amazing," Waggoner said. "He took us from worrying about where funds were going to come from, what we were going to do about this vehicle that kept breaking down on us, to paying the rent...to really just becoming a lifesaver."
"He's been a Godsend. It's surreal that a gentlemen that read about us in a Men's Journal opened up his heart and his life to us," Sebring said. "I'm still in awe."
More than 400 tickets were sold before the event and even more were purchased at the door the night of the event with a minimum of a $10 donation. All proceeds raised at the event benefit the MMRC.
If you would like to learn more about MMRC visit www.mmrcglobal.org.
Correction: A caption incorrectly state where the cupcakes came from. The are from Just Baked in Royal Oak.