Written to Johnna VanDeurzen, Director, Charitable Event Management, GGP
Dear Ms. VanDeurzen,
On behalf of a very proud mother, a then hopeful little 15 year old girl with a big dream and one big goal, Tori Pimentel and I, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you have provided for Operation Sweet 16. Stonebriar Centre Mall was always our favorite shopping experience but we never dreamed that Stonebriar Centre would partner on such an enormous level. From the Shop Til You Rock promotion that Operation Sweet 16 was able to participate in, to Cupcakes and Milk with Santa, Welcome Santa and "Stars of the Season" program featuring the holiday windows, art from Tori's classmates, the fashion show and art auction. We are humbled, tearful, joyful, elated, moved and eternally grateful to you. There truly aren’t words of thanks for the number of U.S. Service men and women that you have allowed Operation Sweet 16 the opportunity to assist, due to approving the partnership that you have shown Operation Sweet 16. The tenacity in your Marketing Manager, Stacy Schuch, is incredible. She is the epitome of professionalism, creativity, bounds of energy and genuine kindness. Philanthropy is obviously a huge part of her character and heart and what better way to represent your company than with someone who is willing to work so hard for Stonebriar Centre and for U.S. Soldiers in need that she will most likely never meet. She also helped a little girl’s dream come true! That alone, will never be forgotten.
Tori gave herself a goal of raising $16,000.00 instead of having any sort of Sweet 16 celebration. When she came to me telling me of what she had charged herself with, to be honest, I was a bit concerned. Here stood a little girl who didn’t yet have a driver’s license, has tons of homework, who runs miles every day being part of her school’s cross country team and is involved in many various clubs at school. But instantly, I also knew she’d pull it off. Because of all that you, Johnna, and Stacy, allowed my daughter to be a part of at Stonebriar Centre, Tori’s charge to help others, went from a Texas not-for-profit to (most recently) a licensed 501c3. Tori found so much joy and felt that she can continue to make a difference in so many lives by managing her own non-profit for the rest of her life.
Tori has been named Southlake’s Youth of the Year and was also awarded the Star of the 24th by Congressman Kenny Marchant (http://marchant.house.gov/star24/). These are once-in-a-lifetime honors that we know will take her charity and the achievements of a driven 16 year old to new heights. You and Stacy, were integral parts of the success of Operation Sweet 16 and we cannot thank you enough for all that you have done to assist Operation Sweet 16, Tori, our family and the community. You’ve touched thousands of people in tremendous ways and we are eternally grateful to you.
Sincere thanks, Mona Q. Burk