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A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Margaret Barng

Yesterday I got to ring the closing bell of the NASDAQ. I brought Alex along for the experience and am so glad I did. Here’s how it all went down.

I was invited to ring the bell as a representative of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society because of my big Woman of the Year win. I still can’t reveal how much we raised during the 10-week competition but I can tell you it was well over our goal of $100,000 (totals announced on July 1--stay tuned!). My parents and sisters and Nick and Alex joined me and it was such a neat experience. The vice president of NASDAQ spoke for a little bit about how awesome LLS is and about the MWOY campaign and then I spoke about my experience and called Melissa up to join me. As you guys know, I am incredibly passionate about my work with LLS so speaking about the organization and what it means to me is always a pleasure. Manu Nathan, the dashing and charismatic Man of the Year, spoke too (we were each allotted exactly one minute—the whole thing was so precise and scheduled down to the second, which this type-A lady loved). Then everyone joined us on stage and we counted down until the market closed at 4 p.m. and Manu and I pressed the button together and signed the tablet. It was exhilarating. And an honor. And I was so glad I decided to bring Alex with us.

To get to NASDAQ, in Times Square, we rode a train and a subway, which Alex loved, obviously. And which helped keep us cool on the hottest day on the planet (that's how it felt, anyway). He behaved exceptionally well for a kid who has not been exhibiting his best behavior lately. He was the only one with us (Nora is too much of a flight risk to bring to the city) and I think he really dug all the big-boy attention. The only issue we had was that he accidentally spilled juice on his nice khaki dress shorts about 10 minutes before we were due at NASDAQ. We'd stopped into Heartland Brewery for some refueling and he had a little cranberry juice in a mini beer mug and it went all over his lap, naturally. Fortunately, there’s a Gap right in Times Square (I frequented it when I worked for Glamour and had similar fashion emergencies) so Nick ran over and got him new shorts. They were cargo shorts, that I didn’t think were quite NASDAQ-appropriate but it’s all they had so we dealt. He was a sport through it all and got a huge kick out of seeing himself on the giant jumbtron in Times Square. (I did too, I’m not gonna lie).

The live feed of the closing bell was picked up by CNBC and Fox Money Watch and it was streaming live on the NASDAQ website so some friends and family got to watch us. To view the video clip click here! Here are some fun snapshots of the experience, which was definitely once-in-a-lifetime and totally cool. Just wanted to share this with you guys today. Happy Friday and happy weekend!

© 2012, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

With my sisters before the ceremony began--I was nervous but mostly excited! 

© 2012, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

© 2012, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

There was a live feed to the jumbotron outside, which repeated after the ceremony so we got to check it out.

My name in lights (this was pretty damn cool). 

The whole crew. 


Alex was obsessed with seeing himself this big on a giant building in Times Square. Who wouldn't be?!