Superbowl for (Jeff) Saturday’s Kids

We were thrilled and honored to represent American Family Insurance, who was one of the title corporate sponsors at Monday’s fundraising event:  Superbowl for Saturday’s Kids at Woodland Bowl, benefiting The Peoples Burn Foundation.

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Money raised at this event benefits Jeff and Karen Saturday’s “Camp Saturday“, a FREE week long camp in the summer at Flat Rock River Camp for any child age 5 to 18 who has suffered a burn injury.

Camp Saturday is a week-long specialized residential camp for children who are burn survivors to heal from physical and emotional scars by providing opportunity “just to be kids” with volunteer counselors comprised mostly of firefighters and paramedics. The camp offers traditional adventures filled with therapeutic healing for young burn survivors for a week of summertime fun within a nurturing environment amongst their peers.

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Many campers were in attendance at Monday’s event to mingle with those who came to bowl and raise money for next summer’s camp while enjoying a yummy meal, compliments of Sullivan’s Steakhouse.  Jeff and Karen Saturday welcomed everyone and spoke from their heart about why this event was so special to them and their campers.

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Per their bio on Camp Saturday’s website, The Saturday’s became involved with The Peoples Burn Foundation after their youngest son burned both of his hands on the glass doors of a lit fireplace. They learned first hand the long recovery process of a burn injury and how it affects a child.

Former Colts Player and Superbowl Champion, Hunter Smith and his band, The Hunter Smith Band, performed live while we bowled and bid on silent auction items.  (The band is AWESOME!  Check them out – we all bought their CD, which Hunter Smith autographed for us.  He was so NICE).

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Band members Justin Langebartels, Alex Reiff, Ethan Ehrstine, Kyle Whiteley, and Hunter Smith

We LOVED the shirts available for purchase from Zella Mae Inspirations.  Every shirt they make conveys a positive message and for each shirt purchased Monday night, they donated a shirt to camp.  We HIGHLY encourage you check them out!  Amazing stuff!

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Writing our names on our purchases from Zella Mae. 🙂

Here’s some more fun pictures from the night:

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Girls V. Boys. We ALMOST beat them 1st Game.

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Camp Saturday
Healing through Encouragement, Acceptance, Respect, Togetherness & Sanctity

For information about Camp Saturday, please contact:
Lora Hays (317-518-5820) lhays@peoplesburnfoundation.org
Cindy Allison, Camp Director (317-803-2876), callison@peoplesburnfoundation.org

As part of the American Family Insurance “family”, we couldn’t be prouder that year round our company partners with & supports local organizations such as this in & around Indianapolis.  American Family Insurance, year after year, shows up and validates why we became a part of this company 12 years ago.

Shawna O’Brien
The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency

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Walking to Raise Awareness For Kidney Disease

It was a HOT day last Saturday but that didn’t stop Cindy, along with her family, Gary, Garrett, Ciara, and Bella from participating in the Kidney Walk on the Canal to raise awareness for Kidney Disease.

This initiative hits close to home for Cindy because she is a kidney donor.  In October 2009, Cindy donated her left kidney to her brother-in-law, Ed Pino.  Since doing so, his life has improved tremendously.  Cindy jokes that Ed is her sixth child since the experience was life-giving – much like childbirth.

Applause to you, Cindy!!

Walking

walkThe National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk.  The Kidney Walk is the nation’s largest walk to fight kidney disease.

 

Cindy

More than 80 cents of every dollar donated directly supports programs and services.

Lookin’ good Pino Family!  Love the hat, Cindy!

– S.O.
The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency

 

Hoosier High School Basketball Hysteria

In Indiana, Hoosier hysteria is a way of life.

Though you won’t find it in the dictionary, this phrase is well known and describes the excitement surrounding Indiana basketball – specifically, Indiana high school basketball. My staff and I witnessed the hysteria earlier this month at the Fifth Annual High School Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championship at Carmel High School, sponsored by American Family Insurance.

HS Slam Dunk

This event featured 16 outstanding high school seniors – eight young men and eight young women – from all over the country, competing in a one-minute three-point shooting contest. The senior boys also had just two opportunities to demonstrate their creative, challenging slam dunk skills for a panel of Indiana celebrity judges in the Slam Dunk Championship.

When we walked into the gymnasium, the energy was electric. Spectators from all over Indiana came out to witness and support the athletes demonstrating their amazing talent. This night had the potential to be history-making for some of these young players as they competed, hoping to become one step closer to pursuing their dreams. The cheers were deafening as Carmel senior Ryan Cline made it to the finals and won the three-point competition with 22 points in the final round (one and two points are awarded per shot).

Everyone from my office was thrilled to attend this event, as each has a love for Indiana basketball. Basketball brings together the old and young, boys and girls, urbanites and those from tiny rural communities. We gather at homes or at a restaurant to watch the games. And whether you live in the city, suburbs or on a country road, chances are, there’s a basketball goal within a rock’s throw.

More than half the homes in our neighborhood have basketball goals in their driveways. We see kids gathering nightly to play. I grew up playing in the neighborhood, on my high school team, and later with a group at our church. Our son has played basketball the last two seasons and this year I coached his third grade team. A basketball goal was a must-have feature on our “wish list” when we purchased our home late last year.

One of our office’s licensed producers is Noblesville, Indiana native Tom Coverdale, Mr. Basketball 1998. He was asked to judge the Slam Dunk Competition with four others including Boom Herron, running back with the Indianapolis Colts. Tom says in Indiana you are basically born with a basketball in your hands. Every kid dreams of playing for their high school team and in college. The state has a following unlike any other state when it comes to basketball. The atmosphere at Carmel High School was no different.

Bobby Plump, John Wooden, Larry Bird and Steve Alford all began pursuing their dreams in a high school gymnasium in Indiana. Hoosiers take great pride in remembering these young men before they were legendary players, and we feel a connection to their success.

It was an honor and a thrill for us to be involved in the High School Slam Dunk and Three-Point Championship representing American Family Insurance. This event allowed these young athletes to demonstrate their athleticism and to “dream big.”

Whatever becomes of them as they pursue their basketball dreams, we will be able to say, “we were there” when it began.

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American Family Insurance Partners With Colts during Friday Night Football Tour

We were honored to represent American Family Insurance in partnership with the Indianapolis Colts during their Friday Night Football tour.

Prior to kick off at Fisher’s High School’s Friday night game on August 29th, The Patrick O’Brien Agency represented American Family and presented a $1500 donation from AmFam and the Colts to the Fishers High School’s health/wellness program.

It was an honor and a lot of fun participating in the pre-game festivities.

Go, Tigers!

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-S.O.
The Patrick O’Brien Agency – Fishers, IN

Road Trip Essentials for Kids

Road tripIf you are heading out of town soon and driving with kids, a large chunk of your packing list is dedicated to what you’ll need inside your vehicle to keep everyone fed and entertained so you don’t have to STOP.

I could “Google” and “Pin” much more but here’s my favorite list of what to pack and what to do to pass the time in the car.

Activities:

  • Books, magazines, comics, activity books.  Bring books they’ve never read before.  Goodwill has LOTS for just pennies.
  • Sketchbook, notebook, washable markers, twist up colored pencils (no sharpening needed)
  • Games, such as the license plate game or travel bingo
  • disposable cameras so they can take pictures – or a digital one if you trust them with it.
  • Free up space on your smart device and let the kids make recordings along the drive.  Or use a good ol’ tape recorder: Let the kids produce a vacation broadcast
  • Pre-stamped blank postcards (find them at the post office), which your kids can decorate, or postcards bought on the road; have your children write to friends, relatives, even pets
  • Doodling doodads: a small dry-erase board, Etch A Sketch, Magna Doodle, tic tac toe board.
  • Pipe cleaners, easy origami, and other scissor-less craft supplies
  • Portable DVD player and DVDs; don’t forget headphones!
  • Books on CD for the whole family, such as the Harry Potter series or “The Chronicles of Narnia”.  Rent them free from your library.
  • Scrapbook envelope—entrust your children with the responsibility of collecting postcards, ticket stubs, and brochures for a scrapbook
  • Create your trip map and track it with the kids. Print a map off Google maps & insert it into a plastic sleeve.  Use a dry erase marker which will wipe off nicely.

Food:

  • Individually packaged, crumb-free snacks such as bite-sized goldfish crackers, raisins, string cheese.
  • Hard-to-bruise fruits such as apples, grapes and berries; or try fruit roll-ups.
  • Trail mix, which will leave kids feeling full longer (and keep fingers greaseless)
  • Reusable bottles filled with water

Miscellaneous:

  • First-aid items, such as Neosporin, bandages, anti-bacterial wipes, Tylenol, sunscreen, and Dramamine
  • Grocery bags to collect trash
  • Easy wipes & hand sanitizer
  • Change of clothes, in case of accidental spills
  • A blanket for spur-of-the-moment picnics at rest areas—and naps
  • Jump ropes, football, frisbee, baseball gloves, and balls, etc. so energetic little travelers can tire themselves out at rest stops!

What has worked for you on road trips with your kids?  Did you consult Pinterest like I did?  Check out our Pinterest board for more ideas on road tripping with kids.

– S.O.
POB Agency

8 Tips For Throwing A Successful Holiday Party

Tis the season for Holiday Parties!  When you attend one, you may not give much thought as to how much pre-planning a host may do prior to the event.  But if you’ve ever been the host – Oh my!  It can get pretty stressful.

We recently had a party for 12 and in between work, kids, volunteer work, and day-to-day household chores, thank goodness we gave ourselves two weeks to prepare!  But, it all came together nicely and I’ll share some tips I think will ensure your party is a success without the stress:

1. A store-bought veggie tray is OKAY. Yes, our guests liked the hearty finger food but at the end of the night, that veggie tray was empty.  Guests like to nibble and snack as they drink their cocktail and they don’t want to leave feeling stuffed.

2. If you’re serving dinner, choose something that you can make ahead of time.  Have a casserole or lasagna pre-prepared so you can greet your guests as they arrive.  You’ll be free to mingle with everyone instead of stuck cooking in the kitchen while your guests hover over you feeling as if they should be doing something to help.

3. Decorate with inexpensive festive décor & play music. Simple wreaths and a few candles are an inexpensive way to create a warm and cozy atmosphere.  Our decor was minimal this year (to save time):  a tree and a simply decorated mantle.  We put on holiday music from one of our TV channels (who has time to create a playlist?!??!), lit candles and dimmed our lamps.  It was just enough.  We received many compliments on how cozy the house felt.

Click for EASY recipe!
Click for EASY recipe!

4. Serve ONE holiday drink for all.  Check out Pinterest for a TON of ideas.  Try a Candy Cane or “The Grinch” Martini; A Hot Apple Rum Punch; or the one I served:  Pomagranate-Cranberry Sparklers.  Even the guys drank it and LOVED it.  If you’re worried about drinking and driving, have a list of driving services and/or taxi numbers on hand OR offer them a guest room.

5. On that note, don’t stress your guest room accommodations.  We have 1 guest room but 2 couples stayed over.  I knew this could be a possibility after serving cocktails so I made sure all the beds had neat and clean bedding – even if one couple had to sleep on (clean) Avengers sheets.  But, it’s okay!  These are our friends and no need to stress the accommodations.  They were safe and slept great!

6. If it’s a relatively small party, enjoy a white elephant gift exchange. This party we hosted is an annual party and we always do a white elephant gift exchange.  It’s a blast!  It can be something from your home that you are no longer using; something funny; or something purchased.  It’s always fun watching people switch and swap as each gift is chosen. We’ve lucked out some years with a great gift and other years we’ve gone home with a gag gift – like a singing turkey.  If that’s too risky due to a more conservative group, consider something even simpler than that, like an ornament exchange.

7 If you’ve got the funds, consider hiring help. A catering service will allow you to fully enjoy the party. A bartender is also a nice addition, especially if you’re going for more complicated & diverse cocktails to serve. You might feel like you’re taking the easy way out, but in the end, you’ll be glad you got to engage in the holiday merriment along with your guests.

Have you hosted a Holiday Party (or any party) recently?  What did you do to cut back on time and stress?  Share your tips and success stories with us!

S.O.
POB Agency

6 Halloween/Autumn School Class Party Ideas

This year I’ve volunteered to be the class parent for our Daughter’s pre-K class.  One of my responsibilities is to help with class parties throughout the year.

Thursday, October 31st is our first classroom party so I’ve been on the hunt for age appropriate party game ideas. 

Keeping the age range in mind (4-5 year olds), I’ve gathered a handful of games that aren’t too lengthy since this age has the attention span of about 5-10 minutes on any one activity. 

Here are 6 class party ideas I think will work for her class.  What do you think?  If you have ideas or games that have worked for you in the past, please share in the comments below.

Bobbing For Apples – without the germy water and kids using their mouths.
          Cut out several apples from red construction paper.  Write activities for kids to do on each apple such as “5 jumping jacks” or “running in place for 30 seconds”.  Attach a paper clip to each apple and place the apples in a large basket.  Tie a magnet to a string or create a fishing pole with a dowel rod, magnet and yarn.  Let the children take turns “bobbing” with their magnet and doing the activity written on each apple.

Halloween bingo2Candy Corn Bingo
          Cut out Halloween or Autumn images and use candy corn as place markers for a fun and tasty Bingo game.

Boo is it?
          Place slips of paper with names of characters on it (popular Halloween costumes like cowboy, ninja, spy, princess, etc.) and place one slip of paper into an inflated white balloon.  Use a black sharpie marker to draw ghost faces on the balloons.  Divide the class into teams.  Have one person from the team come up and choose a ghost and pop the balloon to release the clue.  Once he/she gets the clue out, he/she needs to act it out.  The other team gets to guess who it is.  Repeat until all “Ghosts” are popped.

Halloween Estimation Games
          Guess the pumpkin weight; Guess the number of candy corn in a jar; Guess the number of “eyeballs” (ping-pong balls) in the black bag (kids have to reach into the bag without looking and feel around to guess).

Pass the Pumpkin (Hot Potato with a small pumpkin)
          Kids sit in a circle.  One child starts with the pumpkin, turn on Halloween music, and have the kids pass the pumpkin around the circle.  Whoever is holding the pumpkin when the music stops is out of the game.

For Older Kids – Word Challenge
          Give the kids an autumn or Halloween word like pumpkin, scarecrow, hayride – and ask them to make as many other words from those letters as they can.  

Lastly, there’s always Pin the nose on the pumpkin. 

– S.O
POB Agency