November 14, 2011

“Together Strong” Donates Book Profits

Posted in Adoption, Events, Sponsor Spotlight at 2:49 pm by Lund

“Together Strong” authors Kyle Paxman and Patty Carbee are donating a portion of their book’s profits to Lund Family Center. ‘Together Strong’ is the true story of this mother and daughter who turn a cancelled wedding in Vermont into a fundraiser that honored strong women and raised $20,000 for two charities.

Their book takes the reader far beyond the charity event and into a year of unforeseeable loss, followed by growth and hope. “Together Strong” author Patty Carbee will be speaking and signing books during the Main Street Landing Movie Night on December 20th at 7:00 PM before the screening “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Story by Cat Cutillo/Lund Family Center

Kyle Paxman shot into the national spotlight in 2006 for being arguably one of the best examples of how to turn lemons into lemonade.

Just 6 weeks before Paxman was to tie the knot at the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, VT, she found out her fiancé was cheating on her

“And the first call I made was to my mom. And I told her that we had a wedding to cancel,” says Paxman.

But with the wedding just weeks away, they learned they were financially responsible for most of the major expenses. So Kyle and her mother, Patty Carbee, came up with a plan that many would have deemed unthinkable: they cancelled the wedding, and threw a charity event in its place to honor strong women.

“We were still suffering the heartache that this should have been her wedding. There are lots of emotions in this. It’s sadness. It’s embarrassment,” says Carbee.

But their painful story helped raise more than $20,000 for both CARE and Vermont Children’s Aid Society, the two organizations they chose to sponsor at the event.

“People opened up their wallets and their hearts. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” says Carbee.

Now, five years later, Kyle and Patty might have slipped out of the media spotlight, but their inspirational story has taken several more incredible turns which they’ve memorialized in their book, ‘Together Strong.”

“The title came ‘Together Strong’ because no matter what’s been going on when we come together if one of us is down the other one brings them up and we just draw strength from each other,” says Carbee.

The book details not only the cancelled wedding, but everything that followed including a call just days after the charity event that Patty’s position had been eliminated.

“So now I have a little added pressure because we have a cancelled wedding and that expense, but I was the primary breadwinner in my family-my husband had retired and now I no longer had my senior VP position at this company,” says Carbee.

Keeping with their ‘When life gives you lemons tradition’ Kyle invited her mom, now job-free, on her honeymoon.

“There aren’t a lot of mothers and daughters that can say they went on a honeymoon together, but we did,” says Carbee.

However, no one could prepare them for what came next when they learned Patty’s husband and Kyle’s father, Sherwood Carbee, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but Sherwood’s parting words left Patty with hope.

“He knew that I was always concerned about Kyle and wanting her to find somebody and find that love of her life, like I had, and on that last day he told me not to worry about Kyle because she would meet her best friend and that she would be okay and that everything would work out,” remembers Carbee.

A couple of months after her father passed, Kyle reconnected with an old friend.

“And we fell in love, like fully this was the real deal in love. So my old time best friend turned into my fiancé,” says Paxman.

With a wedding scheduled for this New Year’s Eve, the two want to spread the wealth of their happy ending by donating a portion of book profits to CARE and Lund Family Center. And Patty says the giving back has come full circle.

“I was a senior in high school, thought I was in love, got pregnant, and I knew that the best thing I could ever do was give this baby a good home,” says Carbee.

She made her adoption plan through Lund Family Center in 1970.

“I knew it was the right thing to do and I knew that’s what I wanted,” says Carbee who went into labor on her 18th birthday.

“So we really have this connection to Lund. We’re just happy and hopeful that this book will help us give back to them,” says Carbee.

Carbee will be speaking and signing books December 20th at Main Street Landing in Burlington, VT. Main Street Landing is hosting a 4-part movie series to benefit Lund Family Center. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ will be playing on the 20th during the book signing.

1 Comment »

  1. Nikki Rachelson said,

    The story about Kyle’s cancelled wedding was truly amazing and what a wonderful way to make something great out of a terribly tragic situation.

    Congratulations to Lund for a successful year!

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