A Longaberger Story: Maria Ammar

This past week, I have had the privilege to get to know a Longaberger consultant from Woodbridge, Connecticut; Maria Ammar. Maria has proudly been a Longaberger Home Consultant for more than 11 years, and a very special part of her business involves orchestrating a Horizon of Hope charity event. These events are elaborate, fun, and most importantly, inspirational. This year’s function happens to be Maria’s 10th Horizon of Hope event. In honor of this 10 year anniversary, we at the Big Basket wanted to share Maria’s incredible story of hope:

Ten years ago Maria lost both her grandmother and aunt to cancer and was looking for a way to give back. She wanted a way to reach out and help a large range of people. As she states, “cancer doesn’t discriminate, anyone can get cancer.” This was when her idea for a Horizon of Hope charity event was born. All the money Maria makes at these events goes toward helping women get mammograms who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford them. In addition, she also collects cans of food to donate to the Connecticut Food Bank.

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Maria standing by one of her raffle tables

For Maria, Horizon of Hope is a celebration of life, so that is exactly what she puts on each year- a celebration. One of her favorite parts of the occasion is watching the cancer survivors and other guests enjoying the party. Although the function is only one day, Maria works painstakingly for months planning everything that goes into her event. While she works to get support where she can, Maria creates most of the details, such as the decorations herself. From gathering donations and drumming up involvement, Maria puts her heart and soul into this celebration of hope.

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One of the most special parts of the event is the presentation of the Hope on the Inside Award. In choosing her recipient, Maria looks for an individual involved with cancer survivors. She believes the people involved with survivors are special and require a personality filled with patience, understanding, and empathy. Last year’s winner was Donna Hayes, an oncologist social worker who helps men and women with the often very difficult financial problems associated with being diagnosed with cancer. The presentation of this award truly sends home the message of hope Maria works to inspire in her celebrations.

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Guests enjoying last years’ Horizon of Hope event

After hearing about all the hours of hard work and the struggles to bring everything together, I couldn’t help but ask Maria how she stays so positive. What I was really asking her was why hope? Her answer was simple, but it taught me an important lesson. She hopes for her daughters. She says she only wants to leave one legacy behind: to teach her daughters to give back. It does not get more selfless than that.

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Maria and her two daughters

I want to thank Maria for taking the time to share with Longaberger her Hope story. On a more personal level, I want to truly thank her for reminding me to hope, to celebrate, and to give back.

Maria and all of us here at the Big Basket would love to see your support at such a special occasion. In honor of the 10th anniversary of her event and the 20th anniversary of Longaberger’s Horizon of Hope campaign, Maria is making this a Pink Carpet Event! It promises to be the hit of the season, so if you’re local, don’t miss out!!

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If you’re interested in attending Maria’s event this year, it will be held on Sunday, September 14, 2014 from 1:00-4:00 pm at the Oak Lane Country Club in Woodbridge, Connecticut. For questions and reservations please call (203)-393-3814.