Today, I will share with you all a guest blogger who attended The Baby Gagoo Launch party in Malibu, California. Samara is a friend of mine, a true blue S&Ber and a wonderful person! I am honored she would write about her experience for me. So, this post is in Samara’s words and I have pictures accompanying the story taken by Samara, a couple of the other girls attending and by Vanessa herself. Please do not take the images. Thank you! 🙂
Ever since Vanessa tweeted about Gagoo Jammies for the orphan’s at Nkosi’s Haven, I knew it was something that I wanted to be involved in. I purchased some items to donate to the center and purchased a few pairs of pajamas for my family, but who knew that I would be able to get involved in a different way. A few weeks ago, Vanessa tweeted that she needed six more models. I tweeted Caitlin’s picture and Vanessa said “she’s hired.” I had been trying to find somewhere to go in order to use a companion fare that I had, so this was perfect. I booked the flight on the same day and Caitlin and I were excited to be headed to the Baby Gagoo Launch Party.
April 25th rolls around and it’s time to head to LA. We spent a few days at Disneyland and we were headed to our hotel for the event on Friday, when Ro tweeted that Vanessa would be appearing at The Grove at 2:30 and asked for our support. Nothing more needed to be said. We left Anaheim and headed straight for The Grove. We got there early so Caitlin and I had lunch, rode the train and did a little shopping. We were eating some candy on a bench when Lisa and Sylvia, two SnBer’s walked up and Julie joined us later. We were at the Extra set when we saw Vanessa arrive with her Gagoo models. She looked gorgeous and the little models were just so darn cute. Luck was on our side, because were able to stand right behind the stage, a little to the right of Vanessa. It was so exciting to listen to her tell the back story of Nkosi’s Haven and also what Gagoo represents. The crowd was mesmerized by her every word and there was so much positive energy. I was excited because I was able to explain to Caitlin that she would be modeling with these kids, so she got a glimpse of what she would need to do. I don’t want to give away the interview, but lets just say that Maria Menounos is an SnBer!! Make sure to tune into Extra see Vanessa’s interview. We were told that the show would air some time next week.
It’s now April 28, Baby Gagoo Launch day!! We were staying about 20 minutes away from the event, so earlier that day we made sure we were able to locate the address and spent a couple of hours at the beach. We went to the party a little early since Caitlin was a model and we saw the gorgeous Baby Gagoo signs that Carmine had created. After we valet parked, we met a few of the other families who had children that would be modeling the Baby Gagoo clothing also. Caitlin instantly bonded with the children and they were having lots of fun. We got to the house and the first person we saw was Carmine. He showed us where Caitlin would be getting dressed later, but invited us into the house and told just to hang out for a while. We looked at the auction items that were set up and decided to go the beach. There was a steep incline so we took our shoes off and made the journey. Waiting for us was melon mojitos, beer, wine and fabulous appetizers. There was also juice and water for the kids. The kids were playing on the beach and everyone was having a wonderful time. We were soon joined by the other SnBer’s who came to the event. We all sat down, chatted and took a few pictures. We did see Lisa LoCicero and Kelly Sullivan enjoying the event, along with Vanessa’s other guests.
A little before sunset, Caitlin and I made the trek back to the house in order to get dressed in Baby Gagoo gear and when we entered the dressing area Vanessa was sitting on the bed doing an interview. She immediately stopped and gave me a hug and said “You guys made it all of the way out here. I’ve got lotion for you!” Caitlin ran and gave her a hug and said “My name is Caitlin.” Vanessa said “I know” and gave her a big hug back. We then started talking to Vanessa’s assistant so that we could find Caitlin something to wear and Vanessa went back to her interview. As we were waiting, I was just soaking up the environment. I’ve seen many interviews that Vanessa has done on television, but to listen and watch her in person was very energizing. I was just soaking it all in. As we were waiting for Caitlin to get dressed, Hill Harper walked into the room. He turned around, shook my hand and said hello. He then proceeded to put on one of the hats and act silly. He is a very funny guy.
I enjoyed watching the children and parents decide which items they were going to wear. There was a full rack of Baby Gagoo clothes along with others laying on the couch and table. Vanessa has been putting in a lot of work because there were so many clothes in that room. While we were there, photographers were taking pictures of Vanessa and the Baby Gagoo clothes. Caitlin was given white Baby Gagoo sweatpants, a white Baby Gagoo shirt and a gorgeous Baby Gagoo cashmere jacket to wear. Caitlin loved her outfit and said that it felt so soft. We then went back to the house and Caitlin began to take pictures and show her outfit to the SnBer’s who were at the event. She was in her element, opening and closing the jacket and smiling big for her pictures. After pictures, we got into the food line and saw some of the wonderful items up for auction, such as, the GH Tour with Maurice Benard, Red Sox tickets, golfing with Carmine and American Idol Finale tickets. These were just a few of the items that were up for auction. The menu had items such as chicken fingers, steak fries, fish sticks, salad, macaroni and cheese.
After dinner, Vanessa spoke to the attendees about her charities Nkosi’s Haven and Sojourn, while a Nkosi’s Haven video was playing in the background. She spoke about how Gail Johnson works to keep these children with their mothers and once their mothers have passed away Gail adopts the children and pays for their education out of her own pocket. She let everyone know that all of the proceeds are going to these charities and encouraged everyone to donate. Suzanne Whang was the auctioneer of the event and did an excellent job. Our very own SnBer’s (Sylvia, Anna, Maria and Lisa) won the GH set tour. Josh Duhamel and Fergie were at the event and I must say Josh is so handsome!
Caitlin fell asleep, so we decided to head back to the dressing area to change into her clothes so that we could call it a night. Once we got back to the house, the desserts had become available. They had delicious strawberry, chocolate and vanilla sorbet along with cannolis and other candies. The night ended for us a little after 10 pm as we headed back to our hotel room. It was a great event and we are very thankful to Vanessa for allowing her fans to be a part of it.
~Samara @slr3173 on Twitter
I was home in NJ having a Twitter party with those who could not make it out to Malibu for the party. We had a grand old time with a “It’s okay to be….” parade and in doing so, we actually TRENDED #Gagoo!!
It was inspiring to be a part of making Vanessa’s Launch successful, loving and trending around the country. I was thrilled for my friends who were able to attend and part of Vanessa’s night. Everyone who is on the waiting list for jammies (to get yourself on the list, please use the NEW email address: firstname.lastname@example.org) helped Vanessa reach her goal and in their own way made Vanessa’s dream come true… Not to mention has clothed many children who needed warm, soft jammies when they maybe didn’t have any to begin with. Everyone should be proud of their efforts! Go to babygagoo.com for more information and updated website this week (I hope!!) with all the cute clothing!
And, remember…. It’s okay to be… anything YOU want to be. Just be yourself as you do it. In doing so, you make the world a better place and you become a better you. It’s okay to be… a part of something that is bigger than yourself…… It’s okay to be… inspired by others successes.
It’s okay to be a true blue S&Ber who loves both Vanessa and Maurice, ALWAYS. 🙂
Have a smart, fun, thoughtful and amazing day.. Maybe you can make a difference, even if it starts at home!
A HUGE thank you again to Samara, for sharing her and Caitlin’s experience at the Baby Gagoo Launch party! Caitlin is a cutie!! 🙂
Vanessa also made an appearance on “Extra” view some pictures here: https://snbgallery.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/vanessas-extra-appearance/
It’s okay to be…….. Nicholas at home drawing his version of Gagoo for Vanessa 🙂