Thursday, April 3, 2014

Race for Hope Recap, Photos, and Sponsors!

Hello! We are excited to share with you some photos of the Race for Hope! We cannot thank everyone enough who attended, raced, volunteered, sponsored, bought raffle tickets, and bid on silent auctions! We are forever grateful! In the end, we were able to raise just over $10,000 for the Depew family. This is a tangible way YOU were able to help pay the high cost of his cancer treatment, and help his mother stay home and care for him, since his chemo keeps him from attending daycare. Amazing!!
How cute is this photo? It looks like he's standing next to his RC car.

This event WOULD NOT have been possible without the generous business sponsors and raffle donors! Thank you to:
Pro Citrus Network
KRC Safety
KRC Graphics 
Sequoia Beverage Co.
Suncrest Bank
Bravo Farms
Madera Hobbies
Exeter Hobbies
Volmer Excavation
Zenbot CNC
The Planing Mill
Praxxair of Tulare
Green Thumb Landscaping
Valley Tire and Brake
Empire Supply
Rueben's Home Service
Smokehouse of Kingsburg
Ron Ribeiro of Lawrence Tractor (Hanford)
Valley Oak A/C
Willits Pump
Greg Gonzales Painting
Cycle Art
The Smokehouse (Kingsburg)

Hopefully I didn't miss anyone! We also had individuals donate to our prizes, prepare our tri-tip (Thanks, Gary Colburn!!), and provide the volunteers with snacks and drinks throughout their shifts. We are SO thankful for each and every person that helped in any way. People even bought extra gift cards and brought them to me to add to the raffle prizes on the day of the race! 

Brandon sporting his Camden's Crew shirt while announcing a race.

 Whenever we give away a RC car kit, it always ends up being a child who wins it. It's always SO exciting to see their faces when you draw the ticket and announce THEIR name. SO awesome! This was his first time at our track and he walked away with a brand new car!

 Since this was the Race for Hope, I had this idea a couple of months ago. We wanted to give Camden (and his family) a brand new RC car, with his picture on the body, and the name of the race. To Brandon and I, this car represents the hope. The hope that we all have, that he will get to keep his vision when this is all said and done. He has a long road ahead of him, one that his family will need to take one step at a time. It can be overwhelming to think of how many years he will have to be treated/checked for retinoblastoma. One day at a time is very important, but we believe in the end, he will have retained at least a portion of his vision, if not all. At first I thought, maybe I'm silly for wanting to give a car to a baby, but then as we talked about it, we realized....this represents the hope. Madera Hobbies was extremely generous to give us this valuable car, Cycle Art gave us the body, MonkeyPaintz painted the body, and KRC Graphics added his photo and race info. Such an example of how everyone pitches in to help! Years from now, when he is driving this car, he will know the love that was shown to him on March 29th, 2014!
 Madera Hobbies also GAVE AWAY 12 RC helicopters to the first 12 registered racers. The other racers received a free hat, donated by Sequoia Beverage.
 A few of our wonderful volunteers!
 All of the kids made new friends and played well together all day! Two of these girls even raced in the kids class!
Chemo can damage hearing, so Camden got to wear his CUTE hearing protection during the loud nitro races. Thankfully he didn't have to wear them all day, because the electric cars are much quieter.

 Camden's story was posted on the driver's stand for all to see how he got diagnosed.
 The family sold shirts, and it was so touching that a lot of racers bought them and went and put them on right away! There were gray shirts all over the place!
 We literally had a mountain of prizes donated! Lots of prizes helped us get a larger crowd, so thank you to all who donated!
 Brandon giving the drivers their instructions.
 More of our fabulous volunteers!

 This girl. She and I have been "family" since I was a year old. She's the reason I met my husband. We were roommates before we both got married. She was my maid of honor. And now her son is fighting cancer. It kind of leaves you not knowing what to do or how you could possibly help. I'm thankful we had this opportunity to do something that will really help them. Their focus needs to be on him, not his pharmacy bills.
 Camden taking a morning nap on his Nana's lap.
 Sequoia Beverage was generous enough to donate a lot of LARGE items to hold a silent auction. This ended up bringing in a lot of money that we wouldn't have, had they not done this for us! The owner even put in a big bid, and then re-donated the item to the next highest bidder, so not only did they get his bid, but the second highest bid as well! We just couldn't believe it!

 I announced that we raised $9,700, but at the end of the day, after adding in the shirt sales and the rest of the food sales, it totaled $10,000! I was also able to share the warning sign of retinoblastoma with the entire crowd. Know the glow. See red, or see a doctor. It's fairly simple. It is not standard medical practice to check the eyes until 6 months of age. You should ASK your doctor before you leave the hospital, and at every well-baby check up to do a "red eye check". It takes about 30 seconds for the doctor to turn off the room lights, and shine their light into the baby's eyes. In flash photos, if the pupils do not glow red, they need to see a doctor. Glowing white pupils doesn't always mean cancer, but is a sign of a few different eye diseases that need immediate attention. The only reason Camden was diagnosed is because his parents wouldn't take no for an answer. They pushed the issue for an eye exam, and that's why he was diagnosed. Know the glow! Only ONE person in the whole crowd had ever heard of retinoblastoma. After I explained it all, I told them that now they can go and tell everyone they know. That's how education works!
Brandon presenting the family with Camden's car.
On behalf of this beautiful family, Brandon, and I, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Race for Hope-Prizes!

We wanted to thank our generous prize contributors for the Race for Hope! See my previous blog post if you don't yet know about this event. It will be March 29th, at Chicken Ranch Raceway in Visalia. All proceeds will go to support the Depew family, as their infant, Camden, fights retinoblastoma. 

You will see a full list of race sponsors on the day of the race, but these generous companies/individuals have given so gracefully to our prizes.
Madera Hobbies
Exeter Hobbies
Bravo Farms Smokehouse
The Planing Mill
Monkey Paintz
Praxxair of Tulare
Smokehouse Restaurant (Kingsburg)
Luci and Doug Long
Andrea and Michael Castro
Angela Myers
There are too many prizes to list, but they are fabulous! We are SO amazed by the outpouring of support this family is receiving, and it shows that generosity is alive and well in the Central Valley! I'd say the odds of taking home a prize is lookin' pretty great! See you on March 29th!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Race for Hope FAQ

The Race for Hope is coming up, and we wanted to answer a lot of your questions all in one place. Let me start off by saying, we are SO grateful to all of the local businesses who have donated. Once our sponsor list is finalized, we will be announcing all of our great sponsors.

What is the event?
Race for Hope is a RC race day to benefit the Depew Family. Camden Depew is battling retinoblastoma, and we would like the community to come together and help contribute to the enormous cost of his cancer treatments.

When is the race?
March 29th at Chicken Ranch Raceway in Visalia, gates open at 8 am, racing begins at 10 am. If you are racing and would like to set up a pit table in a good spot, the earlier you get here, the better. 

What do racers need to know?
Bring your own pit table, extension cord, and power splitter. There will be two rounds of qualifying, and each race lasts 5 minutes, with the exception of the kids class, which is 3 minutes. Before the main events, we will be drawing raffle prizes, and presenting the family with the total money raised, as well as a special surprise we are working on. 

What if I would like to participate, but we don't own an RC car?
Brandon recommends a Traxxas Slash Robbie Gordon edition because they are ready to go out of the box. (after you charge the battery) It comes with a brushed motor, and a battery, and can be raced in the stock. spec slash class (or if you're under 12-the kids class). It is the cheapest, easiest way to begin racing RC.

Are spectators allowed?
ABSOLUTELY! There is no fee to come and watch. There will be food available for purchase, and you may also buy raffle tickets. Can't stay all day? You don't need to be present to win raffles! You will write your name and phone number on each raffle ticket, and if you can't be here when we draw names, we will call you to pick up your prize.If you have never been to an RC race before, just know that it is an all-day event. We are estimating it will be over at 4 or 5 pm, but it depends on how many racers show up. If you would just like to come for the presentation to the family, and main events, we cannot estimate a time, but we do know it will be sometime after lunch. We do not have bleachers, so we recommend bringing camp chairs if you'd like to sit.

Where is Chicken Ranch Raceway?
We are located in Visalia, off of Highway 63 and Ave 320. 
32099 Road 122 Lot #C

Where will I park for the event?
We will have parking attendants to guide you. We will fit as many cars as we can on our property, and the overflow will park in the empty lot directly across the street. Racers can drive through the back gate and set up their pit tables and drop off their gear.

What are the raffles?
We will be raffling off a DeWalt drill, two Bravo Farms gift certificates, five Planing Mill gift certificates, Amigos gift cards, various RC products, gift baskets, and more! No need to be present to win!

Will there be food?
Yes! We will have hot dogs, chips, tri-tip sandwiches, drinks,and slushies available for purchase. All of this money will also go to the family. Every single dime will go to the Depew family.

Can I bring the whole family?
Yes! You are welcome to bring kids, but please know, that YOU are responsible for watching them at all times. This is a large property, with a lot of commercial machinery and we don't want kids wandering off. Racers especially, if you bring your children, bring someone to watch them. There will be a lot more people than our usual races, and we know you'll be busy racing. Safety is number one!

How can I help?
You can sign up here to volunteer! We still need lots of helping hands. The shifts are short, and you can choose your job. They are all easy! We will be emailing our volunteers the week of the race to give you more info or answer any questions. Thank you SO much to the people who have already signed up!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Race for Hope

Chicken Ranch Raceway is excited to announce The Race for Hope, a RC race to benefit little Camden Depew. Camden was diagnosed in December with retinoblastoma, or cancer of the eyes. Camden is currently in his second round of chemotherapy to shrink the tumors in his eyes. The hope is to shrink the tumors down to a size that can be removed, and preserve his vision. Every day we are praying that he can keep BOTH of his eyes, and his vision, but we don't know what the future holds. 

You can read more of his story here.Camden's parents have been friends with Chicken Ranch Raceway owner, Brandon Baeza, for many years. Camden's mother, and Brandon's wife (me) have been like family since childhood. Naturally, we want to do anything we can to help the family with Camden's medical expenses. Since chemotherapy makes you very susceptible to infection, he can no longer go to daycare, so his mother is now on a leave of absence from work to care for him full time. 
This brings us to the Race for Hope. The race will be held on Saturday, March 29th. We hope to have a fantastic turnout. We want to see cars lining the street! ALL proceeds will go directly to pay for Camden's cancer treatment, which is very expensive. What can you do? 
1. Share this post with your racing friends.
2. Dust off that RC car if you haven't driven it in awhile.
3. SHOW UP and have fun for a great cause!
4. If you are a business owner, please contact us to sponsor the race. Your business will be featured on the sponsor banners for all to see.
5. If you are a hobby shop, please consider what you can donate for one of our raffle prizes!
email: brandonbaeza(at) 
 More details:
$25 will get you up to two classes of racing, a lunch ticket good for one meal (additional food can be purchased for cash- I know how hungry these guys are!), and one raffle ticket for giveaways throughout the day!
Additional raffle tickets will be available for purchase in case you want extra chances to win. (Of course you will!)
Remember, this is all for Camden, the track will make ZERO dollars on this race, and we are SO HAPPY to do it! Let's make a difference for this family!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Valentine's Day Decor

Hello, friends! I haven't posted in awhile. I feel like we are still recovering from the holidays! We just started back to school on Monday, and this week has been rough! I feel like I might finally be getting back in the groove, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super excited that Monday is a holiday! I thought I'd show you what I've been up to for Valentine's Day. 
I pulled this together from things I already had, or made myself. The only thing I bought were the puffy crocheted hearts on sticks. I ordered my own color choices from this shop on Etsy. I made the garland myself. I was cleaning my Christmas mess off of my craft table and found unused stretched burlap. I sketched out a heart on it with pencil, then filled in with glue and super fine Martha Stewart glitter. I love that it shimmers so bright every time I walk past it. The frames, blocks, and big metal heart were in different spots in the house.
I made a crocheted heart wreath on an old grapevine wreath. I sell the hearts in my Etsy shop (in any colors you want) and you just buy a wreath and hot glue the hearts where you want. SO EASY!
I recently learned how to do the granny triangle! I made a mini bunting of pinks, red, and a cute white scalloped border.
 Below are just a few other color combinations in the shop that I love...

I love any holiday that allows me to put hearts EVERYWHERE!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Woodland Scene

I knew that this year I wanted to create a woodland theme on my shelf. I rounded up some animals from World Market, and JoAnns. I then use wood slices to tie it all together and add height variation. A lot of these creatures are tiny, and if I didn't do something to make them stand out, it could be rather boring. 
 I used mixed sizes of bottle brush trees, and "snow" to add to the scene.

 While at JoAnns, I stumbled upon giant white birch logs. I think they were about 4 ft. long! I used a coupon and bought one, and cut it at random lengths to add to the scenery.
The bunny needed that cute little red sled! How cute is she?

Vintage Christmas

I thought I'd finally give you a little peek at my Christmas decorations. I stopped dragging out my old hodge podge that I didn't like, and came up with some inexpensive new ideas. 
I used some of my vintage bottle collection, and added some white glittered pine cone ornaments from Hobby Lobby. I put these in my crate shelf that hangs in the dining room.
I had to throw away my old tree skirt last year because it got ruined. Instead of buying a new one, I originally wanted my husband to make me a metal tree collar. Instead, I happened to see that the bark was coming off of the giant logs in our backyard. I pulled one off and sprayed it outside with bug spray just in case. Then I just wrapped it around our tree stand! Easy!

A little chalkboard update for winter!

My little wooden fox got in the Christmas spirit with a mini wreath. 

Originally I was going to make a pom pom garland for the tree, but I got tired of making pom poms. I made a garland for my mirror by the front door, and a smaller one for our deer antlers. 

I screwed one of my husband's deer antlers on to a wood slice. They still have the velvet on them! The pom pom flowers are from Steph Loves Ben, on Etsy. You can order whatever colors you like, and they come on sticks! My pom poms are no where near how perfect hers are. 

Those three little trees I picked up at Salvation Army. They were fall colors, so I painted the tops with green paint I had on hand, and added some green Martha Stewart glitter to make them shine. The chalkboard printable was free from The Shabby Creek Cottage

Lastly, we have our Christmas countdown, which I blogged about here