Tuesday, February 17, 2015


K-Kids "Bead It" Again!

Lanyard Workshop - Henderson Elementary

 Blog by Marcia Miculek - 2/7/15

What a beautiful Saturday morning we had  at Henderson Elementary to work with fantastic students to make lanyards for a great cause.  Not only will the lanyards raise money for research to help find a cure for pediatric cancer, but they will also be used at Erin's Dream Race for awards!  (Link to Register for the 5K and explore information about Erin Channing Buenger: http://erinsdreamrace.strikingly.com

Vickie Buenger explained to the students about certain lanyard making rules and then they listened    to her explain how important their time and help would be in the fight against childhood cancer.

These K-Kids worked miracles with their cup of colorful beads and transformed them into fun and quaint lanyards.  Big smiles showed their pride in doing the beading for a great cause and you could see the enthusiasm about their finished products on their faces!

Both parents and teachers helped the students, and some of them even produced a lanyard while assisting at Erin's Dream Lanyard  workshop.  In the end bunches of beautiful and whimsical lanyards were created and all the funds from this go 100% to RESEARCH to find treatments and cures.  Erin Buenger accomplished so much in her short life while fighting neuroblastoma cancer.  She lobbied Congress, raised money privately, and created this lanyard making business to help other children that had cancer.  The RACE on March 8th will HONOR HER LIFE



Tuesday, December 16, 2014


From K-Kids, to Key Club, to 
Blog by Marcia Miculek

The Austin Community College service organization called Circle K International invited Vickie Buenger to present a Lanyard Workshop on October 14, 2014.  The Club is a college based group built on the fundamentals of service, leadership, and fellowship.  Their mission is developing college students into a global network of responsible citizens and leaders with a lifelong commitment to service.  The "K" is for Kiwanis Club a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.  They sponsor clubs for kids, youth, & college students.

This Austin based club selected as one of their service projects to have a lanyard making meeting to support funding for research and donate all proceeds to the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation.  Mauri Miculek Winters acting in an advisory role put them in touch with Vickie Buenger and Erin's Dream Lanyard, fund raising project created by her daughter to help children with cancer.  These college students created colorful and unique lanyards with awesome artistic flare and really enjoyed this 2 hour dedication to a worthy service cause!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Just Display It

Key Club Service Fair Project
 Blog by Marcia Miculek

While enjoying a productive lanyard workshop at Bryan High School with the campus Key Club on March 24th, their sponsor approached Vickie about a special project that the students would like to present at their convention in April.  They would like to support Erin's Dream Lanyard's effort to raise funds for research to find a cure for pediatric cancer by creating a special display board as their service fair project.  
The Texas-Oklahoma District Key Club convention was is Dallas, TX on April 24-27 and over 30 high school clubs had project displays. This beautiful display of Erin's Dream Lanyard fund raiser project reflected her story, her battle with neuroblastoma cancer, and her innovative approach to help other children.  The Bryan Key Club was honored to be able to make this their special project presentation and answered many questions from the other clubs.
Lanyard making was one of Erin's many projects and her friends have continued her work making artful and whimsical lanyards.  All proceeds go to finding a cure for childhood cancer.
The Key Club is a service-oriented club sponsored by the Kiwanis Club International, so they were glad to represent the idea of community service with the other clubs and hope that they will also join in this important cause by each planning to have their own Erin's Dream lanyard workshop.
Below: Getting experience at lanyard making at the March 24th workshop at Bryan High School.  Thanks to Melinda Mack for pictures and help with Key Club information.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Just String It...Twice!

Lanyard Workshops - Bryan HS & Wesley Foundation  

 Blog by Marcia Miculek -  3/24/14

The first workshop of the afternoon took place at Bryan High School with students in the Key Club and NHS members.  Many of these students were friends with Erin and were very enthusiastic to be a part of this lanyard walk down memory lane.  With lots of planning and bead selection the start strings began to reflect fantastic patterns, colors, and even family cancer tributes represented by certain bead choices.

Erin's Mom Vickie Buenger makes the workshops educational with updates about pediatric cancer statistics and current information about research, drug treatments, and funding data.  All money for the lanyards goes 100% to the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer foundation.  She makes the workshops great fun and treasures the help to keep Erin's special project rolling.  

The second workshop for the day was at the Wesley Foundation in College Station with a group of college women determined to make a difference by sharing in the lanyard making process to help fund research and a cure for Neuroblastoma.  Many more whimsical and artistic creations got finished during the evening and these students wanted to buy their beaded lanyards for friends, parents, or themselves.  They inspired each other with their creations and Vickie definitely provided a motivational impetus for the urgency to do a better job in finding drugs to cure pediatric cancers.




 Just Design It!


MacArthur Lanyard Workshop

 Guest Blog by Marcia Miculek - 2/27/14

The student council members of MacArthur High School met in their cafeteria to make beaded lanyards to raise money for the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation.  A lot of special designs were planned and beads carefully selected to create color patterns and unique shape sequences.  The students were instructed about the pediatric cancer research and funding needs related to finding new drugs to treat children and better hopes for cures.  Students and teacher sponsors worked together to complete beautiful lanyards to raise money for Erin's Dream Lanyard Project. 


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Just Bead It!

K-Kids Lanyard Workshop at Henderson Elementary

Guest Blog by Marcia Miculek – 1/30/2014

It was a real treat for me to assist Vickie Buenger in a lanyard workshop benefitting the Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation.  The library was filled with K-Kids, teachers, parents, and a lot of enthusiasm to string beads into quirky and artistic lanyards.  

It was amazing to watch the students work on patterns, colors, and shapes as dedicated beaders for Erin’s Dream Lanyard cause.  Success was the storyline of the workshop and the K-Kid’s pride in their finished products was evident in their smiles and anxious spirits to try them on.  

I always think music…so to play a little with Michael Jackson’s song “Beat It”…I titled this blog “Bead It” and quote his lyrics, “No one wants to be defeated…Showin’ how funky strong is your fight…Just beat it”.  This became our fight today to help with funding to find a cure by working on a lanyard to JUST BEAD IT!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Welcome Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday Shoppers!

I'm not much of a marketer, but if you are making plans to do some shopping next week on Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday, consider Erin's Dream Lanyards--lanyards, eyeglasses chains, dream wands, earrings, necklaces, boot bling, keychains--all artfully made by volunteers with 100% of all proceeds going to the childhood cancer cause.

Currently, we have the following in stock (with suggested donations):

Dream Lanyard--$20 or 2 for $30

Simple Dream Lanyard--$10
Deluxe Dream Lanyard--$25
Earring Set--$5
Dream Wand--$5 or 5 for $20
Boot Bling--$15
Beaded Book Mark--$5
Eyeglasses Chain--$15
Snowflake Christmas Ornaments--$15

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanks Hannah!

I'm so amazed at my young friend Hannah.  Hannah is a high school junior who works part time, keeps  up with her school work, plays in the band, and does the long hours work to be in the flag corp and winter guard.  When she finally gets a free weekend that doesn't involve football game performances or contests, what did she do?  She invited her friends over and lured me up to Dallas for a lanyard workshop.  Thanks Hannah!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wixon Valley 4-H

I'm very proud to announce a new partnership with the Wixon Valley 4-H.  These fabulous young people--ages 8-18--want to support Erin's Dream Lanyards, not just with a two-hour workshop, but with the whole nine yards:  learning about the mission and the cause, doing their own bead drive, making lanyards, and then selling them for us.

I met with them this evening to take the first step, and you can't believe how enthusiastic and absorbed they were by this project.  November is their bead drive month, then on December 1, we will get together for a mega workshop.  They will have lanyards in time for stocking stuffers and teachers' gifts.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Because-Nico-Is-Back-In-Town Lanyard Workshop

The lanyard party when Nico and fam were in town from Australia was not the largest workshop I have ever done (that would be the National Charity League Bead-aThon two or three years ago).  It wasn't the largest workshop I ever had in my own home (that would be the one on July 4, 2009 where somehow over fifty folks crowded into my modest three bedroom casa).  In fact, it wasn't even the largest workshop I did in the last ten days (since I ran over to MacArthur High in Aldine after school last Monday to help 60+ teens make a difference in the lives of children with neuroblastoma).

That said, Nico and all his friends (combined with his mom and my friends) overran the house weekend before last.  It's not so much that they had overwhelming numbers (although there were a lot of them), but they just took up so much more space than they did as younger kids.

I gave them a camera and ask them to do a little photo journalism of the evening:

They were pretty serious about getting the lanyards done.

And used whatever space they could find.

Rowan and Nico finished early, leaving their hands free.  Can you tell Nico has some keyboard-compatible hands?  And can you believe that Rowan, one of Erin's sixth grade classmates, is graduating this year?  He's on the expedited plan!

Andy always seems happy where ever he is.  He and Erin agreed about almost everything, except politics.

Precious Toni makes the most beautiful, delicate lanyards.  She and Erin have been friends since Day 2 (birthdays two days apart!)

Nico was sure we had shrunk everything in Erin's room since he moved.  It all seemed much smaller now that he is so tall.

Samantha and Erin had so much in common:  soccer, brains, and most notably, confidence.

Jackson was always much bigger than Erin, and the trend shows no sign of slacking off.

Most of the adults were slackers, preferring to eat and chat rather than work.  This includes me. 

It was my birthday, so I took the evening off.  That means I'm still working on finishing some of the lanyards the kids made, plus the tray full I have from the MacArthur workshop and the one at the new College Station High School last Saturday morning.

Teddy wasn't really all that impressed with having a house full of teens.

Not only did Erin and Nico's friends overflow their allotted space (plus the kitchen, plus the lake, plus my bedroom where I keep the Wii), they overflowed the love in my heart.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

School is Just Around the Corner

Message to my teacher friends within driving distance: 

Let me know if you would like me to set up a display at your school during in-service days before school starts so you can introduce your colleagues to Erin's Dream Lanyards. People who have to wear ID badges seem to really appreciate having something beautiful to replace those plain nylon shoestring type lanyards! 

And as always, 100% of all donations go to support childhood cancer research!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Walsh University Partnership

Not too many weeks ago (I think it was the same week of Walter's surgery), I received an email out of the blue, from a woman in North Canton, OH.  She wanted to offer Erin's Dream Lanyards as a part social, part service activity for the incoming freshman at Walsh University, during their summer orientation weekends.  

I've got to tell you, this is exactly the kind of email I love to find in my inbox.   It takes a great deal of bravery to read about something on the internet and then decide you want to make a go of it (with 400+ people depending on you to get it right).  That's exactly what my new friend McKenzie did.  We worked together to figure out what she needed to know and how to get the supplies and materials she would need.  They had their first do at it weekend before last, and from the smiles, I think these young folks found the spirit of Erin as they worked.

Two months ago, I wouldn't have been able to place Walsh University in the right state if you had quizzed me.  Today, I'm proud to have a new partner in our fight to raise money for a cure for childhood cancer.  You all know the mantra.  This is not something any of us can do by ourselves!  Thank you Cavaliers!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mo Ranch Summer Camp!!!!

Thanks go out to Amber Thomas and her fantastic counselors and campers at Mo Ranch this summer.  Erin (and all the Buengers) love Mo Ranch, but Erin was the only one of us to go to the Summer Camp  option.  She celebrated her 11th and final birthday there in 2008.  This year for the third consecutive year, campers there are making Erin's Dream Lanyards with verve and style.  This is an awesome testimony to the "Happiest Place in the World!"  I wish I were there.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ready for Summer Beading!

This is not a store display.  This is a small section of Erin's room.

Thanks to my uber organized sister Kat (who would be OCD about organizing, but refuses on the grounds that OCD isn't in alphabetical order), the bulk of the seed beads donated by Jennifer Fountain at the end of last year and sitting in a jumble in a cardboard box since then, are now ready to go for the summer lanyarding season!

Do you feel your creative juices flowing?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Erin's Dream Wands

I have been looking for a way to extend our reach and help any pediatric cancer research effort.  Erin's Dream Wands are one possibility.  

We have been playing around with this idea since last fall when we gave the wands a successful try at Max's Ring of Fire Lemon Run in San Diego.  You also may have seen them at the lighting of the childhood cancer Christmas tree sponsored by the American Childhood Cancer Organization in DC in December.  We have also been building towards FOW's Cure Me!  I'm Irish next month in Boston.  My new BFFs at Cure Me (Becky and Jen!!!) collaborated to make this flyer.  I think this captures so much about what we are all trying to do.  Let me know if you want a wand and I'll ship you one (or more) and send your donation to Cure Me! If your group is planning a pediatric cancer research fundraising event and you want to add Dream Wands to the line up to support your efforts, let me get on your schedule!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Doorbell Rang

The doorbell rang and then, of course, the dog bell rang, which at our house means a little bit of barking, a storm of tail wagging, and quite a bit of excited jostling towards the front door.  We weren't expecting company and for a moment thought that our new next door neighbors needed to borrow an egg or an allen wrench or something else that they hadn't unpacked yet.

I looked out the window and saw a woman I recognized (but couldn't recall the context), a very tall and sturdy man, who was definitely not my new next door neighbor, and a pair of handsome children, who I knew NOT AT ALL.  I opened the door, and the woman turned out to be Lynn Davis who I knew through my Board position at Hospice Brazos Valley.  She asked nicely if they could come in--Nathan had something for me.

Nathan delivered a large and overflowing bag of beads that his birthday guests at his 7th birthday party had collected to donate to Erin's Dream lanyards.  I hear he is looking forward to the next lanyard workshop so he can add his labor and his creative touch to the already huge and selfless gift he has given.  

Nathan, thank you for your vision, thank your guests for their generosity, and thank your parents for setting you down a path that will truly make a difference.

Nathan's face captures the joy I feel every time I think of Erin's Dream Lanyards and all of the wonderful people who make what we do possible.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Invited Back to Seguin

The Matadors of Seguin High HOSA club welcomed us back again this year.  

So, the day after my first Bush Library workshop, I drove three hours to a school in Seguin where some young high school kids stayed after school on a Friday afternoon to make wands.  It got to be 5:30 and I was facing a long, dark ride home, and they just wouldn't let me leave.  "Oh, I have an idea for another one!", "Just eight more and we'll have a hundred!", "Can't you just tell your husband you'll come home tomorrow?", ""Tell me more about Erin and Will!"

These compassionate young people have a heart for helping and an eye for art!  I am glad that they are all on track (with a few more years of education under their belts) to be health care professionals.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friends of President Bush Are Friends of Ours!

On Thursday, January 26 and again on Friday, February 3, the volunteers at the Bush Library have Make-and-Take Lanyard workshops.  This allows those fantastic volunteers to really spiffy up their look as they conduct tours and do other volunteer services at the Presidential Library.  Thanks you Bev Spencer for suggesting the idea and especially to Sharon Merrill, Library staff, and the many volunteers who participated.

Lanyard Friends can you guess what a stir I caused having to take every thing through security?  After the first couple of trips through, they got used to me (I think they are even going to lower the bollards for me next week, so I can drive right up to the entrance to unload).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Merry Christmas from Washington DC

Thanks to the teens and their teachers at Hammond-Oliver High School for making 200 of these last week. They have huge heart as well as great talent. These Erin's Dream Wand will adorn the tables in centerpieces this Saturday in Washington DC at the dinner after the lighting of the Childhood Cancer Christmas Tree sponsored by ACCO.  It has been a blessing to work with Ruth Hoffman and Amber Masso at ACCO to make this happen.  Partnerships like this are worth their weight in gold.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beads, Beads, and More Beads

Long-time friend and supporter of Erin's Dream Lanyards, Jennifer Fountain, is taking advantage of some new opportunities, but it means she has to close her store to pursue them.

All my local bead friends should take advantage of this opportunity to add to their bead stash and also to stop in and thank Jennifer for the many ways she has helped us out over the last couple of years by donating beads, holding bead drives, helping us make connections with her vendors (like the Texas Hot Flashes), and giving us technical tips every time we hit a snag!


Bead Fountain Closing - Saturday is the Last Day

All of the seed beads are out on the floor now, and they're 60% off!

And everything is at least 40% off (except Trollbeads - ask me about those when you're here!).

Remember, in addition to beads we have tools, findings, supplies, gift boxes, sterling and gold-filled wire, and more!

This Week's Schedule

Thursday, November 17th
Friday, November 18th
Saturday, November 19th
  2:00p - 6:00p
 noon - 3:00p
 9:00a - 4:00p
Be sure to stop in Saturday for Customer Appreciation Day.  Mai Mai is bringing her famous "Strong Arm" Cookies, and there will be specials throughout the day.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beach Time--Art and Soul!

You may not realize it, but one of the best times of year to head to the beaches in Galveston is November.  The crowds are gone.  The traffic is placid.  The surf is endless and beautiful, and you don't have to share it with everyone and her sister.

This year, I'm breaking away from November grading for a few days to take in the Texas Art Education Association's annual conference.  Erin's Dream Lanyards was chosen as this year's Art and Soul philanthropic project ,and I'm totally excited to take all of our lanyards and other beaded items to share with some of the most wonderful, talented, and energetic people in the state.  That it happens to be at Moody Gardens in Galveston is just icing on the cake.  That we are helping them celebrate their 50 Year Anniversary is like adding a double scoop of ice cream along side.