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Wal-Mart Transportation Party - "Manny goes to Wal-Mart"

posted Mar 24, 2011, 8:05 AM by Manny Wilke   [ updated Mar 27, 2011, 4:52 PM ]
Yesterday we were invited by Jim Jansen to the WDC to attend a party in Manny's Honor as part of their Wal-Mart Heart program.  Manny was awarded with Private Fleet Honorary Driver plaque, banner and personalized driver shirt - a button down - perfect for surgery when all he can wear is button down shirts for weeks and weeks!! We got a tour of the driver coordination area, where they fix the trucks (the kiddos got plastic tool boxes), the drivers locker-room, etc. The entire facility was spotless - from the lockerrooms to the garages. They take pride in their facilities and really concentrate on "safety", which is cool. The boys then got to sit in a semi truck cab (? proper lingo) and honk the horn. Eli did a great job honking, Manny - well, he just laid on the horn and didn't let up for a long, long time- it was hilarious. The drivers, Allen & Jack, then showed the boys how to hook up a trailer and the boys each got their own private ride in a full blown semi truck to the Walmart store. Mom, Dad and Abe got to drive behind them! When we arrived at Wal-Mart, all of the employees lined the entrance area and did an official "Wal-Mart Greeting" loud song/clapping, and had a gift baggy for Manny with a Buzz Lightyear. Note to self - dont open "colored bubbles" in Walmart on their sparkly white floor. Oops. The boys then returned to the WDC via their own private semi and we celebrated with the WDC team with subs, cake, cookies, chips, PEPSI (Manny's favorite part), balloons (Abe's favorite part- Elmo balloon).
Memories that will stay with our family for a long, long time:
-after passing through security, walking into the Walmart Transportation room and seeing red Teach Me How to Manny shirts on 20 friendly faces, waiting for our arrival. 
-presenting Manny (and Eli) with personalized driver shirts and watching Manny look at himself in the mirror with his new shirt on at home, with a big smile
-watching tiny Eli and Manny in their own massive semi's drive by us, smiles larger - larger than life
-the WDC team playing with the kids, giving them pocket change to put in this donation thingy, and holding Abe while I ate lunch!
-Eli's face as he received his bag of goodies, including several Wal-Mart toy semi trucks
-Finding out this was the first time this BD WDC had done something like this
In addition, the Jansen children came for the party. Manny was so excited about Nathan's homemade melty-beady things which he made for him. Madison made a drawing/card for Manny which is hanging on our frig which is so cool that we plan to post it at the benefit.
A huge thank you WDC and to Jim Jansen and Kari Jacobs (we'll see you at the Waupun vs BD baseball games) It was such a fun day.
There are uploaded pics under Photos - Fundraising Pics Misc....check them out!