NOVEMBER 2016 | LUXURYLV.COM
came that night, it felt like I was stood up on a date.
"As I drifted off to sleep at 11:30 p.m., I remembered I didn't lock the
car. When I opened the door, I saw a magnificent white swan. Fluffy
towels in a wicker basket formed its body, neck, head and beak.
Hundreds of sheets of toilet paper were painstakingly stuffed into
every crevice, and the swan was filled with bath products. That night I
thought about what investing time in others truly meant."
Lea and the boys appreciated the "eight maids a-milking" that gave
them chocolate milk, soy milk, eggnog, kefir, ice cream and a set of
ice cream bowls.
The next day at church, Lea didn't cry.
Each day brought another surprise, including tickets to Nevada Ballet
Theatre's The Nutcracker to see "nine ladies dancing" and tickets to a
Runnin' Rebels basketball game to see "10 lords a-leaping."
"Eleven pipers piping" translated into two musical pipes and a
Scottish bagpipes CD.
"That was special because Bryan had a set of bagpipes," said Lea. "He
was good on piano and guitar, but horrible on the pipes. Every few
years I'd drag them out, and we'd amuse each other with the worst
impressions of Michael Flatley from Lord of the Dance. Those are
some of my favorite memories."
On the last day, "12 drummers drumming" led a parade with all the
people involved who came to Lea's door singing and bearing gifts.
"The empty spaces in our hearts were filled with love," she said.
"There was no pity, just a joy I'd never felt before."
Wanting to pay that experience forward, Lea started In12Days.
Two employees, 50 year-round volunteers, 1,200 Christmas volunteers,
business leaders like Cirque du Soleil, Levi Strauss & Co., Barrick
Gold Corp., Entertainment Benefits Group, Blue Man Group, Baskin-
Robbins, Mars Inc., Henderson Chamber of Commerce, Maverick and
Papillon helicopters, Bath & Body Works, Prudential Financial Inc., and
Three Square make it possible for In12Days to put a smile on the faces
of kids like Justianna, who was in elementary school when she lost her
parents and grandmother.
In12Days doesn't have the funds to serve all the families nominated
"We hope to increase our 2017 budget to $300,000 so we can
continue the work we do and hire a creative director in the field and a
liaison to families."
Lea wrote a children's version of "The 12 Days of Christmas" she wants
to adapt into a film, theater production and multimedia game. She
believes the people who can make it happen will appear like they
did in 2008. She also wants to create a simplified online version of
In12Days so people around the world can volunteer or nominate a
friend in need."
Bryan's death stretches far beyond his life. His legacy touches
others with the true spirit of Christmas, something we can give to
others all yearlong.
For information, go to in12days.com. o
"six geese a-laying" gift
"nine ladies dancing" gift