Tara's 20th Birthday Gifts from her fans at TaraFans.com!
Tara's 20th Birthday GIFTS!
TO: TARA FROM: HER GREATEST FANS
"Life is a scrapbook, torn and old
In which our little lives are told,
And when the twilight shadows fall
This is the sweetest thing of all;
To turn the pages of the years,
Remembering with happy tears...
The faithful love, the perfect friend...
These things are treasured to the end."
"FROM YOU TO TARA"
Once again it was time to present Tara with special greetings and gifts, fit for a queen, from YOU, her fans. And once again, we the officers of YOUR CLUB, TaraFans.com, called on you the members to come together, and once again you came through and delivered! Most importantly, we all aimed, and did our best, to put a bright smile on Tara's face again!
Some of you went WAY beyond what was expected and we as a group are extremely grateful for your generosity.
So, what did our Superstar get from her Superfans? The story begins.....
CALLING ALL FANS
The call went out to Tara's fans for monetary contributions, greeting cards, poems, and anything you wanted to send us to put together into a "package of gifts" for Tara. Almost immediately TaraFans began to see results in donations from Miss Lipinski's loyal fans. Dollar by dollar, and often much more, the funds accumulated. Meanwhile, the TaraFans team of officers was quiet but extremely hard at work on a very special secret project to surprise all of you and Tara too!
In keeping with TaraFans' reputation of never doing anything halfway, when we decided to put together a book of well wishes for Tara for her birthday, we knew it had to have something extra... something special... something out of the ordinary! When we say the call went out to "all" of Tara's Fans, we weren't exaggerating. Many letters were written to a long list of substantial people numbering in the hundreds to request greetings for Tara for her birthday. We went ALL OUT, making contacts with dozens of famous athletes, organizations, government officials, friends, costars, family, coaches, and celebrities, and many special dignitaries all the way to American President George Bush!
The responses were VERY FAVORABLE and energizing!
It is to all of those persons and groups, that we express our sincere thanks and appreciation!
The *entire* list of those who responded is too long to detail here in this message, but a good number of people deserve special mention, and several letters have been scanned for your enjoyment!
Let's begin with our friend Charles Fetter, Director of the "SKATERS FUND," a nonprofit organization, founded in 1999, that assists coaches and performing skaters across the United States who need financial assistance, located online at www.skatersfund.org.
Charles responded to TaraFans' contact and sent us a very nice letter for Tara along with other special greetings on the Skater's Fund's letterhead. Sadly, since that time, we recently received word from Charles that he was diagnosed with cancer and will soon be undergoing surgery and treatment.
Charles, we want to THANK YOU publicly for your special contribution to Tara's special birthday project. Our prayers are with you as you begin your fight to get through the battle ahead - one that we are certain you will win!
Then there are our awesome friends at St. Jude Children's Hospital. When asked if there was something they could do to bring a smile to Tara for her birthday, St. Jude's responded to TaraFans with delight!
The staff at St. Jude's worked on a special project with the kids, for Tara, involving many of the hospital's patients and staff! It was exactly what we had hoped for! Imagine the smiles on the faces of the kids at St. Jude's as they prepared their greeting to "Tara Lipinski," who many of them have previously met! The children's' gift was a winner for Tara as well as everyone at St. Jude's, for all the smiles it surely induced!
Then there was the reply from the staff and friends of Tara's at the "Carolina Ice Palace"! The Ice Palace is Tara's official training center while she's enjoying time at her new home on Kiawah Island.
While we're mentioning South Carolina, let's not forget the wonderful greeting sent to TaraFans, for Tara, from the Governor of South Carolina, Jim Hodges! Governor Hodges and his wife, Rachel, expressed a warm "Welcome to the Palmetto State" to Tara, thanked her for being the wonderful role model she is, and offered to help Tara in the future if there was ever anything she needed from his office! (Click the small image to read Governor Hodges' letter to Tara!)
And on a more local scale, close to Tara's home, we contacted the government in "Tara's backyard," Jim Piet, Mayor of Kiawah Island! Mayor Piet expressed his joy in having Tara added to the population of the Island and extended a warm "Welcome to Kiawah" to Tara! He also thanked Tara for her work in the antismoking and anti-drug campaigns she's been involved with, and other things she's done to set a positive example for today's youth. (Click here to read Mayor Piet's letter to Tara!)
And, while we're talking about VIP's and celebrities, there are many others who were contacted by TaraFans to send greetings to Tara!
We really "went to bat" for Tara and for all of you, Tara's Fans, and compiled a list of EVERYBODY we could think of to contact for Tara's special day. Once the contacts were ready to be made, everyone on the TaraFans Team worked together and we contacted EVERY single one of them!
People like the aforementioned Governor and Mrs. Hodges of South Carolina and Kiawah Island's Mayor Piet were just the beginning. After that, we picked up the tempo and made contacts with dozens of famous athletes, organizations, government officials, friends of Tara's, coaches, and celebrities from across the great nation - regardless of what it would cost to make them! We contacted Tara's "TOUR FRIENDS" from Stars on Ice including Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Kurt Browning, Ilia Kulik, Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, Steven Cousins, and fellow skaters Jennifer Kirk, Sara Wheat, and Sasha Cohen just to name a few! Next on the list of special contacts came Houston, TX resident and 1996 Olympic Gymnastics Champion, Dominique Moceanu! Acting stars Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen came next, followed by the mayor of Sugar Land, Texas, the Texas State Governor, and the Houston Galleria to complete our contacts in Texas.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital also heard from TaraFans early in the process, followed by the Carolina Ice Palace, the Kiawah Island welcoming committee, Harlick and Co., The National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, Skaters' Fund, our friends at the Detroit Skating Club, and to top it all off, we dropped a line to Texas native and United States President, George W. Bush!
1968 Olympic Champion Peggy Fleming even answered the call from TaraFans and sent us an autographed picture to include for Tara!
There are even MORE great people who sent greetings to Tara, but most importantly, many entries came in from YOU, Tara's Fans! A wide variety of letters, poems, cards, photos, key chains, necklaces, and all else you can imagine came in, and we are certain that your words and gifts touched Tara's heart once again, as only her fans can!
GIVE ME SOMETHING I CAN OPEN!
Well of course there have to be "presents for Tara"! The TaraFans team put on their thinking caps and came up with some very fitting gifts for our own Superstar. How fitting? Well, out there in the Heavens, there is NOW a "Superstar". Not just any Superstar, but one with the official name of "Superstar Tara K. Lipinski"! That's right! With your contributions, TaraFans.com worked with EcoPlanet and The Millennium Chronicle and purchased for Tara, her very own STAR - located in the "Hero" constellation!
Tara received a beautiful certificate, complete with a raised golden seal and all the information explaining how the stars are cataloged and named. Along with that, Tara received a star map, so she can see directly where her star is located.
We have the "Star Certificate" here for those of you who wish to setup your telescopes and go "Superstar Tara Hunting"!
Tara's own place in the Heavens, all from YOU, her beloved Fans.
Now "Superstar Tara K. Lipinski" reigns supreme over all the world! Well, she's over all of us anyway.
All star maps, certificates and a fact-filled Star Gazette with scientific data about Tara's star were included in a very nice, professional star naming portfolio, which we are certain again, Tara will treasure forever! After all, how many people can say they got a STAR for their birthday?
Next, TaraFans had a beautiful crystal plaque made for Tara with a custom message inscribed onto it. Once again we poured our hearts into it for all of you and Tara too! We actually had to scale back on the size of our message after we maxed out the allowable length requirements. We still managed to say as much as possible to Tara in trying to convey how much she means to us all. Now the message from Tara's Fans will SHINE BRIGHTLY for Tara on her plaque, the way she shines for us everyday!
Friends Touch The Heart
Along with the many contributions to the special book of greetings and to the gifts, TaraFans also received, to add to Tara's gift package, a BEAUTIFUL, one of a kind, HANDMADE pillow, carefully designed and stitched. This was sent to us by a very good friend of ours and Tara's. Our friend "put on her thinking cap," as she told us, and came up with this terrific idea.
This is no ordinary pillow. It goes a step further in creativity, craftsmanship, and the obvious amount of love put into its creation.
Earlier this year our friend captured a beautiful photo of Tara and her best friend Erin, together, behind the scenes at a production. She then worked with another friend of hers and had that photo imposed onto the pillow, and the results are stunning!
At TaraFans.com, we know how much many of you like to have some of the same things which Tara also enjoys, so we secured FOR YOU info on how you, too, can own one of these pillows! That information is available at your request.
TIME TO SAY THANK YOU!
All of us with TaraFans have put more effort into this project then we could ever convey. Letters that were hand written to many of the VIP's number near 100 of those alone. Thanks to TaraFans' own Lisa for her tireless efforts making so many of those contacts.
We also want to apologize here to you all, and Tara too, for the belated nature of the gift.
We knew that we would be sending the gifts a little past Tara's birthday since we had to wait for a few special contributors to send us their messages, so we sent Tara a beautiful arrangement of roses ON her birthday and let her know that "the gifts are on the way!" You all saw Tara's thank you note for that. (Click here to view Tara's thank you!) Once all contributions were in, we found ourselves needing to take a mini pause from all of our activities as several members of your team took time out to graduate and deliver speeches.
Speaking of people working hard towards the end of the season.. Congratulations to Emily Buchanan, a key officer on the TaraFans Team! Emily graduated with high honors as her school's Salutatorian, preparing and flawlessly delivering the Salutatory Address for her graduation with over 5,000 people in attendance!
While all that happened, the gifts, with the exception of Tara's birthday book, were forwarded to our TaraFans photographer, Mike Mika, so we could show all of our members what their contributions went towards purchasing for Tara!
All of this took time, and again, we apologize for our delay in getting things to Tara, but we are extremely pleased with all we managed to accomplish, especially on the heels of TaraFans' project to honor Tara's fourth Golden Olympic Anniversary.
Without YOU, all of Tara's fans, none of these great gifts could have happened.
For Tara, and all of the officers at TaraFans.com, we THANK YOU SINCERELY for being so loving, kind, and generous to Tara - our Champion!
Wonderful Thank You's including a number of photos of Tara and the gifts, as well as several other goodies will be assembled and mailed to all contributors over the course of the summer. YOU are the ones who make all this happen!
"You're Welcome" to all of those who sent the many thank you's that have poured in for the work TaraFans did with Tara's last gift and for the "thank you's" that we sent you! You all deserve it!
Finally, we want to get you all excited about the direction of our next gifts for Tara. Tara's Golden Anniversary gifts from her fans at TaraFans.com combined touching words with awe-inspiring material gifts, and these recent birthday gifts were aimed to go straight to Tara's heart as she saw all the people who took the time to write to her and let her know how much they care about her. Now Christmas is next!
Members on the TaraFans Operations Team have already stated their extremely focused intentions to do something EXTRA SPECIAL for Tara for Christmas. That means we are already working on plans for our next special gift, to once again, touch the heart of our champion! We are asking all of you, right now ahead of time, to help us make Christmas extra special for Tara. Tara is an awesome person and we will continue to do our best to give her the best!
Christmas is Next!
Thank you AGAIN for helping us show Tara how special she is!
© 2002 TaraFans.com Tara Lipinski Fan Club
GIFT FLASHBACK In celebration of Tara's four year Olympic Anniversary, and in appreciation of Tara's unwavering devotion to her fans, TaraFans.com surprised Tara with the gifts of a lifetime in Albany, NY! Read the FULL STORY about TaraFans.com's Olympic GOLDEN Anniversary gifts for Tara from her fans!
~ A Complete Gallery of Photos from TaraFans.com's Presentation to Tara is now online! Click here to view the gallery! ~