A Travellerspoint blog

An Evening with friends

Charity event with Merrill and Justin

from Aug 31-Sept 1

When I was at the Osmonds Brothers Up close and Personal concert tour in London, I heard about the
plan of Tracey organising an event for the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund with Justin.
As I support that cause by heart,I decided at that very moment I would go!
Finally the news was out and tickets were available .
The first idea was of me going on my own, but fortunately two very nice friends wanted to go as well, so
we, Lorraine Connors , Yvonne Rietdijk and me, started planning and booking the trip.
Of course, first the tickets ( would be handy to have some :) ), then a family room at the Queens and of course our flight.
So, with that all being booked we only have to wait and count down till we are set to go.

Wow!!!! The fans are so very enthousiastic about this event and charity raising, that it is already a big success before it all starts.
Fans are organising brunches, lunches, raffles, baking cakes , making cards, etc etc, All for the meaning of raising money.
I think till now ( and we still have 10 days to go before it starts) they already raised loads for charity!!
But with everything going on and being organised, we really need to make us a list of when and what is happening where....
Fortunately most of it will be held in the Queens itself, so we are at present all the time:)

Day of departure;

Getting up early to get ready for my departure to Schiphol. Lorraine left very very early, even earlier than expected as her cab arrived half hour early. So when I arrived at Schiphol she was already waiting .
After a short wait Yvonne arrived as well and we were ready, and set to go.
With only a short flight ahead of us, we didn't have much time to get to know each other well, but hey we had the whole weekend so...
Ariving in Leeds we noticed the weather was great. We had a lot of sunshine, and so the weather forecast through internet was very very wrong. Fortnately we didn't need the umbrellas:)
The ride to the hotel was lovely as we saw a beautiful sight of Leeds. It took us about 15 to 20 minutes till we arrived at our new home for the upcoming two days.


Entering the hotel we already met several very nice Osmond fans,who made us feel welcome right away.
We had to wait till our room was ready so hanging out in the lobby wasn't very bad:)
When Tracey came down she asked us to come up for a minute as I knew she had my pictures ready; I gave her a bunch of pix a while ago, so the family could sign them, as they are the sept free gift for the allonosmonds store.
Coming up, we already got eye on eye with the first Osmond; Shane. Such a sweet man. I could leave Yvonne and Lorraine with him in peace, so I went with Tracey to get my stuff. Going there, I had my well needed Osmond hugs by Merrill, Justin and Mary. So kicking off the day with those nothing else could go wrong now, lol.

We went down, to check on our room.
When we were checked in, got dressed for the event, we went down and party time started.
First we went to the stalls, where they sold lots and lots of Osmond items and raffle tickets. This was so funny; each time when I finished buying, the girls Susan and Debbie put new stuff on the stall which was so very tempted and I had to restart buying again. Well, it was a mission for Allonosmonds, so I HAD to(yeah...right, lol)
Lorraine had another excuse; her Osmond room wasn't filled enough and she found some lovely stuff there as well.
OK, finfished buying...we went up to the bar and had a drink and a nice lunch.
BUT, as soon as we thought our money was safe, Debbie found us in the bar and showed us some very sweet collectables....here we go again; well, the Hearing Fund UK is a great cause so....!!!

Yvonne's experience of the friday night.

I was asked by Diana to write a piece for the blog aswell so I will give it a try. I have to warn you all : Sorry....I am not good at this , but I'll give it a try.
Because for me the whole weekend was just so heartwarming and I felt a little overwhelmed by all that took place in the beautiful Queens Hotel in Leeds.

I wil continue the blog with the Friday-night event :The Evening With Friends and oh Boy : Am I a Friend !! Ha

The friday night started by registration at 18.00 for the Evening with Friends and the Buffet.
After standing about 1 hour on our high heels, Diana and me were getting a little restless and were just dyin' to take place at a table.
Lorraine already got in, as she needed to sit down because of her bad health.
And there they were : Merrill/ Mary, Shane and Justin.!!! wauwww....i could not believe they were in the same room with me and I was getting more nervous by the minute !!! ha.... felt a little sillie with my Stroopwafels for Merrill ( I know he likes them) and couldn t wait to give them to him.

There was a Raffle with prices donated by The Hearing Fund and another Raffle which Amy organised the afternoon at the stalls

Justin is just such a sweet man and he presented the evening along with Merrill and Shane and they were just fooling around ! the atmosphere was quite relaxed. We laughed and during the Raffle Diana won some prices and Yes....I won a Canvas photo signed by Merrill.
Lorraine also got lucky, winning a Marie doll, but she returned it as she already had this one at home.
So instead, Justin kindly offered her a Hearing Fund Bear, but that one was also bought by Lorraine...
Well, there was one price she didn't have yet; Merrill's mini pizza! lol.

Merril asked us to just get something to eat at the Buffet while he sang some songs....
I just don t know anymore what it was heSang but okay.... forgive me for this as it is not so important, because just hear Merrill sing is a gift !!!

It was awesome and finally while everybody was eating I dared to sit next to Merrill and Mary and gave them the: Cookies from Holland ?as Mary with a big smile asked ). She explained to Brittney that these are so very delicious, so why didn't we think of bringing more than one can.

Justin called up a little boy on stage, named Matthew. He was explaining his story and how he wants to become like Justin when he grows up.
Matthew was such a sweet boy and we were touched by his story and when he said he raised 700 pound on his own! Wow!

After a Q&A, the raffle, the music, the sales, etc etc... the night was coming to an end.
We were saying our goodbyes to Merrill and the family and then with a bottle of white Wine , which wasfriendly given by the bartender for just 75 cents, we went to our room ( 705 instead of 805 !!! hihi) and while talking and giggling for hours in the room, it has got very late !
We were also Up very, Very early because our other roommate ( Lorraine) decided to get a bath in the middle of the night ! but okay, It was Fun!!!! After 3 coffee we were ready for the Brunch .

We went down for our walking bus, but when we came outside everbody, but 2, were already gone. So, we just "followed the girls"
The Brunch was held in the beautiful Browns and we were with about 30 fans.

We ordered our drinks and food and then it was fun time all the way. Getting on pictures , mostly.
Merrill had donated a jacket from the store, so we had a silent auction , and the jacket was won by Gerry and another 125 pound was raised for charity. Also we had the possiility to buy beautiful photos of Merrill, signed by them, which of course were sold like warm bread.
When we finished our brunch Amy told us, that Justin was planning to join us but he had a meeting which lasted longer than expected.
SO, Justin decided to meet us all at the Queens. The group from brunch was kept aside and there he was.
Justin took his time, and went on pictures with all of us; the sweetheart must have been exhausted.

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We ( Lorraine, Diana and me ) went upstairs at 16.00 for resting a little bit and took our time for hair and make-up.
Going up to our room, we noticed it took quite a while till we arrived at our floor; floor 1, floor 3, downstairs again , floor 5, in the meanwhile Shane and Philip joined us
and we then noticed we didn't pressed any button for 7th floor. They must have thought "what the heck is going on in this elivator" , we were laughing out loud when they entered.

Lorraine said she had a great idea with my hair cause i didnt know what to do with it.
So there she comes with hairspray and a kind of hairglue, it became a totall mess !! I looked like someone from the movie: Invation of the Bodysnatshers or something like that !
So I went to ask Diana about it and , after 30 minutes of hilarious screams and jokes , we both agreed to tak ea shower and wash and blowdry it all over again !
Okay the washing I can do, but Lorraine's Blowdryer exploded so the evening was getting a disaster before it was begun ! I felt I wasn't getting ready in time….
So frustrating because Diana and Lorraine were all ready , and looking great! To relaxe our nerves we took a glas of wine , and yes : It helped…

We went downstairs to join de GalaEvent and we had to wait in a room with all the rest of the guests I think , so Diana and I feeling a little lost and went outside to pose like real moviestars on the red carpet at the entrance of the Queens !Well .we had our moment of Fame !!
And that was pretty cool . As we entered the Ballroom and the Gala started.

The evening was opened with this beautiful video of Justin doing his wonderful work with the themesong Sweet sang by Nathan Osmond.
We were sitting at a table with Chantal, a french friend, and 5 young people who didn't had the clue who the Osmonds were. One of the boys looked like Hugh Grand, so we asked if he was his son,lol.
We decided that he should be our team captain for the night.

Between the dinner served, we had lots of entertainment, under which the auction.
So much money was raised ; but hey, there were some great prices. Can't remember all of them but there were 2 tickets for Donny and Marie with train tansportation to get there, Merrills show jacket from Branson ,
Lunch with the Osmond family , 2 tickets for I believe it was Strictly come dancing, etc.
After that it was music time:
We had the fabulous Jane singing , wow, that lady sure knows how to hit the notes!
Then Merrill began with Having a Party etc… and that was the moment the party Really got started !
Merrill put Justin to the spot by handing over his violin and so Justin performed with "the touch of the masters hand".
Can he play the violin …wauwww..never heard something so beautiful as that and found myself in tears, As I looked to Diana she had the same tears in her eyes !!!


Lorraine was totally Out of our sight and by the end of the evening we caught her running through the room selling Justin's Book. What a Lady ! The most fun we had was during the Afterparty which I haveon video, only the problem is: It s Upside down !!! While dancing a DutchPolonaise with Justin Upfront and Merrill dancing and talking with me (and about 30 others) we sadly had to call it a night.

I am sure I left some moments out but okay…… some I forget, some I won t !!!

IT WAS UNFORGETTABLE !!!! and we were humbled for being a part of this whole event.
Exhausted but satisfied we went upstairs after our goodbyes to the family and our sweet friends. Off to go to bed, for a long night sleep.
That's what we thought.
Again in the middle of the night Lorraine woke us up, telling us we were having a flooted bathroom.
Checking out the bathroom, we noticed that water from the room above us, was pouring down into our bathroom.Lorraine already phoned housekeeping so there they were,
coming in very relaxing walking to the bathroom but almost ran out when they saw the damage.
Not much later we heard a strange story about the woman above us in room 805 who had a shower but couldn't get rid of all the water. Must have been some shower!
Anyway, as it was "just" our bathroom, we decided to stay i our room, as it was only a couple of hours away till we needed to get up again.
Hopefully we still would manage to sleep a little.
Which fortunately we did. After waking up, getting dressed , having a very nice breakfast, it was time to say goodbye to all of our friends.
A very big thank you to Tracey and Philip for the Hearing Fund UK event. Amy for organising the brunch and all the other fans for making this weekend the most wonderful one to experience.

Posted by HennyJoseDiana 11:16

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