2009 Great Strides Wrap-up Party

Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tonight was the 2009 Great Strides Wrap-up Party and, because we are a busy family with many committments, Alicia and I had to split tasks to make it. We've gotten pretty good at it, if I may say so myself. Unfortunately, it usually means that one of us doesn't get to go to something. So Alicia whisked Timothy off to karate practice while I took Samantha to the Great Strides Wrap-up Party.
During the party, Maria Olson, the Director for the San Diego chapter of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, spoke about how great a job we all did. She's always so nice about how much we volunteers do, taking particular time to mention those who volunteered with the actual event. I was also impressed with how readily she introduced and praised her staff.

Pictured here is Marilee Pacelli, the Great Strides coordinator. She spearheaded both the Great Strides in San Diego and also took care of setting things up for the wrap-up party. She also very kindly announced that I had just returned from a six month deployment. I was very grateful.

I can say that, truthfully, I was humbled beyond explanation when I heard some of the numbers read off for the highest-performing teams. Team Sam did fantastic this year. I don't want to take anything away from our team. We raised an incredible amount, especially considering our circumstances. Yet it paled...PALED...in comparison to what I was hearing. At first, because of who I am, I was frustrated and quickly became embarrassed at even being there in the first place. These other teams were raising a lot of money.

Then I realized why I was there...to support Samantha and the hope for a cure. This isn't to make me look good. Indeed, I can't look good in a place where every team that got an award beat our team by at least $1000 in total raised (that's an estimate, by the way). But the fact is, not only was I humbled by the party, but I was grateful to be reminded of why I was there. Every year, with every dollar raised, we get a little bit closer. And I'm grateful to be part of the process.

here's to next year San Diego!


Katey said...

I totally know how you feel. This year was the same way for me. My team is usually in the top 3 for fundraising...and although we raised over $5,000 this year for my team, there were Many other teams that passed our team. I felt so bad that I couldn't raise more...and even slightly embarrased. At our GS wrap-up party our director announced the top teams...and ours was at the bottom (of the top teams). But like you said..and i love the way you put it...i need to be grateful for what my team did and realize that the money we raised is better than nothing...and will still support CF! Thanks for this post! And congrats on the success of Team SAM!!!!!