Monday, August 25, 2008
A Fabulous Philly Challenge
What a weekend! The weather was good and the fund-raising even better. Almost $3 million was raised for the LAF's fight against cancer.
I had the unique opportunity to attend the Fundraising Appreciation Dinner on Saturday night. It was held in Constitution Hall in downtown Philadelphia. What a nice venue for the event to honor those who worked so hard to support the LAF and to make cancer a national priority. We heard Dr Harold Freeman speak as well as Lance and Doug. There was an award given to a woman( I don't recall her name.) from team LoveStrong who had over 600 separate donors and an award to the team from Calgary Canada who had 30 members spend the last two weeks cycling to Philadelphia to ride in the Challenge. The winning fundraiser was David Wilson ( $54,000+) and his team MBA ( over $65,000). I got a chance to see Brian and his wife, Rob and his mother , David and his wife and Alexis. (Thank you Eric R. and Brian for giving me the opportunity to be part of this wonderful event.)
I walked this Challenge in my Nike LIVESTRONG sneakers. All those mornings spent in Donaldson park and the long walk home from New Brunswick last week paid off. I walked the 5K ( 3.1 miles) in 45 minutes and 6 seconds. I know the Challenge is not a race but I wanted to walk faster than last year and I did and that made me very happy. Walking faster and getting handed that yellow rose as I walked through the survivor's chute brought tears to my eyes. I got teary eyed again as Kevin rode through after his 10 mile bike ride. 2 Survivors- 2 Challenges priceless.
Team 1 REASON raised $5800. It included 3 bikers( Kevin- 10 miles, Dennis- 40 miles and Chuck- 100 miles) , 1 runner ( Rob) and 7 walkers ( Alycia, Linda,Mike, Jeremy, Kelly, Caitlin and myself). Kevin has special shirts printed up for our team. They said "Team 1 Reason" on the front and "Supporting the Lance Armstrong Foundation " and "In memory of Erin Gorman" on the back. We thought of Erin as we started off our walk and the announcer said, " There goes team 1 Reason. Walking in memory of Erin". Actually as I picked up the pace I knew I was walking with Erin by my side.
I had the opportunity to see two of my former students on Sunday. Tim G. celebrating his 5th year as a leukemia survivor and his dad walked the 5K. Paul L. rode 70 miles in honor of family members and friends. I was happy to be able to cheer Paul on as he approached the finish line. I am so proud of Tim and Paul.
Thanks to everyone who supported me, Team 1 REASON and the LAF. Unity is strength and together we can make cancer a national priority.
Remembering that every day is a blessing!