Friday, January 29, 2010

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

The last couple of days have been filled with two very important 3Day activities!

On Wednesday night the Tough Warrior Princesses got together at the Ale House to discuss some ideas.

First on the agenda was to order drinks--they had to be pink. After our drinks arrived, we immediately began talking about fundraising. When we first talked about starting a team, Patty was the one who suggested raising $20,000. She's the one you can blame for all of the emails asking for money! (JK Patty) Most people feel that fundraising is the most difficult part of the 3Day. It is something that you don't have complete control over. You can decide how far and how often you want to walk, but you can't decide how much your friends are going to donate. As I stated in my last blog, I really dislike asking people for money. It is especially challenging this year as Patty, Cheryl, and I run in the same circles. For this reason, we have tried to plan some events--one of which is a dance at The Polish Club in Amesbury on May 8th. Be sure to save the date! Last night Patty and I were chatting about it on the phone. We hope to have some raffle items and a silent auction. If anyone has anything they would like to donate, just let us know. I am super excited about this team and this event. We have a vibrant, spirited, and fun group of women (just look at Cheryl with her pink hair!) who will make this walk, and this dance, a really fun night. What better way to raise money than hanging out with your friends and having a couple of drinks? We also have some ideas of family friendly events for when the weather gets a little warmer. We'll be sure to keep you posted.

Other great news for the Tough Warrior Princesses is that we are now up to 5 members! Last week, Vicky's friend Tina decided to join us. Tina is a survivor as well! It is amazing to have such a small team, and to have 3 survivors on it. When you think about it, that is really cool. So now we are 5, but I am looking at us as 51/2. We have someone else who is also thinking of joining, but is not quite sure yet. I don't want to say her name, because I don't want to put any added pressure on her, but I hope that she decides to embark on our journey. It is such a huge commitment, mentally, physically, and financially (in terms of fundraising), especially if you have a young family at home. I've said it before, but if I did not have the amazing husband that I do, I would not be doing this walk again.

On Thursday night I attended my first Get Started meeting for the 3Day. I had never been to one of these before, and this time I was going as a volunteer. I met 3 great women, Sharyn, who is on the Cup Crusaders and works for the 3Day, and Angela and Pat, who are both on the Pink Angels--the largest team in the Boston 3Day (they have about 50 walkers so far!). It was great to hear other people's stories and find out their connections to breast cancer. We each spoke a little about why we walk, answered some questions, and watched a video. We also discussed fundraising and how it is so important to carry 3Day business cards. Sharyn got a $1000 donation from a doctor she did not even know because she happened to hand her a business card! I can't imagine her surprise when she opened her email to find the donation, and not know who this extremely generous person was, showing once again, breast cancer affects everyone.

By the end of the evening we had two more people registered to walk! Personally, I think that getting to that first meeting is the hardest part. If you are willing to journey out in the freezing cold temperatures battling black ice on a Thursday night, then you already have your mind made up that you are going to complete this walk. It was an enjoyable evening, and I am looking forward to Tuesday night in Methuen when Patty and Cheryl will be attending the meeting!

Royally yours,

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eight is Great!

Well, it's a good thing that I haven't started training outside. This wind and rain is awful! It reminds me too much of the Nor'easter we had during the 3Day last year. I came home from work today, brought the girls to gymnastics, and put on my pj's. It was only 4:45, but I know that the majority of you have done the same on more than one occasion. There was no way I was stepping on the treadmill. I just wanted to snuggle under a blanket and read a good book. BTW-I just finished reading a great book-- The Help. You should check it out.

So the other night I was on the 3Day website and was looking around. I like to look at the other teams, what they do for fundraisers, how much they have raised, etc. I happened to click on a link to the team that was the 10th highest fundraiser to see what their page said. When I opened it I was surprised by the amount of money they had earned--it was just over $3,000. I immediately thought that we had raised more than that, so I went back to the original page--then I saw it--Tough Warrior Princesses! We are currently the eighth highest fundraiser for the Boston 3Day! We have raised over $3,800 and we haven't even sat down as a team! Thank you to everyone who has donated already! We truly appreciate you! I was thrilled. Now it is up to us to stay in the top ten.

The end of the week is filled with a couple of 3Day events for me. On Wednesday night I will be sitting down with Patty, Cheryl, and Vicky to discuss some ideas for fundraising. I think we have some good ones, if we can pull them off. The following evening I will be in Beverly volunteering for my first Get Started Meeting--a meeting designed for people who are interested in participating in the 3Day. I am really looking forward to meeting some new women and getting them excited about walking. Again, if anyone is thinking about it, we would love to have you join our team.

I'll post later this week, and let you know how everything went. I have to go finish my grades now. The term ended on Friday. The good news is that we are halfway through the year.

Royally yours,

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Here comes the money!

Well, I decided that I would finally start my fund raising. I have never started it this early, but whenever I would go to the 3Day website, all of my teammates would have money, and I didn't have any. Both Cheryl and Vicky have over a thousand dollars! That is amazing! I am so proud of them. It's not a contest to see who can earn the most money, but as team captain I thought I should have something on the board! What type of leader was I if I couldn't raise money?

So today I sat down and composed my e-letter. When I began, I thought, how do I ask people to donate to me for a third time? After trying to be witty and creative, I just scrapped that idea and simply told my story and asked people to support me. When I showed it to a friend for editing, she reminded me that people are donating to a cause, and would most likely donate to some other nameless person anyway. She continued by telling me that people would prefer to support someone they know. I agreed with her, and felt better about my letter.

So like almost anything I do, I share it with my mom and dad first. I sent an email to them asking if there was anything in the letter that I should change . I kept waiting for a response, but didn't get one. Finally when I checked my email later in the day, there was a notification from the 3Day stating that I had a donation--my first one of the year--from mom and dad of course. I know that I can always count on them to support me in anything that I do. I am so lucky to have them in my life.

Shortly after that, the second one came in. Let's hope that they continue to pile up!

Royally yours,

Saturday, January 2, 2010

200 Days and Counting!!!

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone!

As I sit here listening to the wind and watching the white stuff pile up outside my window, it is hard to believe I am writing my first blog about yet another 3Day adventure. Yes, exactly 200 days from today I will again be walking 60 miles for breast cancer. The crazy thing is that I am not really surprised that I am doing it--the walk that is. I am still shocked that I am actually writing a post. It has been a long time, and I have missed it.

Since the walk ended, life has pretty much continued without incident. The kids went back to school, I went back to work, PTA started up again, and I became the ever-efficient taxi-driver, shuttling my cherubs to their various activities. The positive thing about the walk being moved back to July this past year was that I had some down time before school started. We were able to go to a friend's lake house in Maine, we hosted our niece Ali, from Amherst, for her annual summer visit, and we took several day trips to York Zoo, Halibut Point in Rockport, the beach, and one of my favorites, the American Girl Store.

Starting in early fall, Patty, my neighbor and fellow survivor, and I began walking together. Patty was my friend who met me at the finish line last year.
Well, after seeing the 3Day in person, Patty decided that she was going to do it this year--finally a friend in the survivor circle with me! Patty's sister-in-law, Cheryl, who also coached baseball with Andy, is also walking with us. Just recently Patty's friend, Vicky, has also joined the ranks. So far we are four, but we could be many more. I am still hoping that Tracy will join me again. We'll have to wait and see.

With the majority of the team not being teachers, we had to change our name. As sad as I was to leave Teachers for Ta-Ta's behind (Tracy made quite an impression with all of those signs), we were happy to go back to the name of Tough Warrior Princesses which was the name of my team the first year I did the walk. When I was first diagnosed, a friend gave me a t-shirt that simply said, "tough warrior princess." The definition of a warrior princess is: "a strong female personality, determined in pursuit of her goals and often eager to take on typical 'man's work' like fighting wars or performing manual labor to accomplish those goals--when of a royal background, a woman warrior may be called a warrior princess." I think that sums it up pretty well.

So here we are, Tough Warrior Princesses, ready to do battle with a dreadful disease. The four of us will be meeting soon to take a team photo, share ideas, and discuss fund raising. I'll be sure to update you on our progress. In the mean time, if you care to donate, just click on the link on the side of this post. It will bring you directly to my 3Day page.

Thank you all for sharing in another 3Day journey!

Royally yours,