When I launched KOWE a little over 2 years ago it was something I did because I finally found a career that would fulfill me.  This would be a career that I could get up every morning, go out the door with a smile, and not feel like I was “going to work.”  I had been in the professional world for over 13 years when I considered launching my own business.  A number of varied jobs led me to the launch of my successful wedding and event planning business. During the years preceding my launch I was a student, and I had the best “teachers.”

Two of the “teachers” I respect and admire the most taught me that giving back is just as important as loving what you do.  I first met Donna and Yono Purnomo when I was crowned Albany’s 50th Annual Tulip Queen in 1998.  Shortly after, I became “Katie the Brick Lady” running the Hudson River Way Brick Campaign for the City of Albany.  I joined the Albany Rotary (one of the youngest members ever I think!) and meetings were held at Armory Center when Bumpers was still open!  Yono was a member and participated in meetings, Donna was always there “running the show” as she continues to do today at Yono’s/dp in downtown Albany.   The Purnomos are the type of people who remember your name, rarely say “no” when you need that donation for your silent auction and always did everything with a smile and grace.  Donna and Yono taught me that as a small business owner, there are things more important than just making money and being successful… it is about giving back to the community that was with you as you became the success you are.  It is about integrity and giving the customer more than they deserve and making them feel special.  I was lucky enough to work with this beautiful family as they celebrated their son Dominick’s wedding to his amazing wife Carolyn.  Dominick and Carolyn were the first official “Katie O’ Couple.”  Donna and Yono have always been constant supporters, cheerleaders, and friends to me and I am so grateful for all the lessons I have learned from them and hope to continue to make them proud as I continue to grow this little business of mine!

Dominick (“dp”), Katie O' & Carolyn at KOWE Launch Party, Nov. 2009

So many momentous occasions in my life were celebrated with the Purnomo’s, being with them feels like home. I toasted the launch of my company with them, hosted my 30th Birthday, my 1-year anniversary celebration and countless other accomplishments both personally and professionally.

Team KOWE celebrates a very sparkly 1 year anniversary at dp!, Nov. 2010

I am beyond excited to be able to put into practice this important lesson of giving back that Donna and Yono have taught me. Please join the Purnomos and me on Thursday, April 26, 2012 when I will be an Ambassador for the Aids Council “Dining Out for Life” event.    Dine at Yono’s or dp for lunch or dinner and a portion of your meal will be donated to the Aids Council of Northeastern New York to fund LOCAL services.  I will be there for lunch and then again starting at 5pm (until close!) celebrating this amazing cause and the very special “Sparkle-tini” created in my honor (100% of proceeds from this signature cocktail will go to the AIDS council.)  Please call today and reserve your spot for lunch or dinner 518-436-3737.

If you can’t join me this evening but would like to “toast” from afar please consider making a tax-deductible contribution on my donation page: https://aidscouncilneny.ejoinme.org/?tabid=355037