Friday, July 15, 2011

What a difference a year makes!

It's is 5AM, and I can't sleep.  One week from now, I will be getting off of a coach bus in Framingham, ready to embark on my fourth 3-Day journey.  Maybe that is why I can't sleep.  I am too excited.  I have already begun to run through my packing list making sure that I have all of the necessities.  This year I purchased a new lightweight bag and am excited to use it.  It has lots of space to hold everything including all of our tent decorations.  If we don't win tent decorating this year, I am done--no more decorations for me.

As I sit here I can't help but think what a difference a year makes.  Last July, Patty and I started on the journey of a lifetime with the filming of our New Balance video--Walk Like a Princess.  It was during this weekend last year when we had the pool party and found out what we were really in for--the cameras, the microphones, the interviews, and the friends that we made.  I recently viewed  it for the first time in a long time the other day.  It was just as amazing.  We have received over 63,000 hits.  It really was pretty incredible to be a part of something like that.  But the thing that has been even more incredible, is the impact that it has made on those around us.  Our little team of 10 is now an army of 31.  30 women and one prince, who have each raised at least $2300 and trained for hundreds of miles.  Yes, I said hundreds.  There are very few people around Amesbury who do not know the Tough Warrior Princesses. We can usually be seen in the early morning hours of the weekend, dressed in pink, walking around Amesbury or Newburyport.  Just this year we have raised $96,500--just $3,500 shy of our $100,000 goal.  However, we have high hopes that in the next week we will surpass that $100,000 mark.  While I am eternally grateful to those of you who have already donated, if you have forgotten, no need to worry.  Believe it or not, you can still donate. Just click on the link to the side of this page. Think of the lives that will be impacted by this money.  Maurine and my friend Bridget, (you have hopefully all read her blog--My Big Girl Pants) are both recipients of Komen grants.  Our money is helping them to live their lives the way that they should be lived.

While the money this year is terribly exciting, I can't help but look at the bigger picture.  As most of you may know, the TWPs have filed to become an official non-profit.  It took lots of work to create Articles of Association and Bylaws, but we did it and are just waiting to hear back from the IRS.  What I am most proud of is our mission statement.  We talked a lot about what we want the TWPs to become and what purpose they should serve, but to put it all on paper was very challenging.  We wanted everything to be perfect--not too specific, but not too broad.  Drum roll....I would like to share with you the TWP mission statement!

The Tough Warrior Princesses are committed to raising funds for breast cancer research, educating and enlightening the public on the need to find a cure, and providing support to local women and their families impacted by cancer.

Pretty good, huh?  In the process of doing this, I just so happened to be reading Promise Me which is Nancy Brinker's story of how she started Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  It is simply amazing to me, that something that started so small, just like the TWPs, has blossomed into an organization that is the global leader in funding breast cancer research.  It definitely makes me think about what we can accomplish.  By no means do we have plans to reach far and wide, but we would like to broaden our scope to include women with all types of cancer.   From experience, we know that being involved in something bigger than you can make a great impact on your life.  Our hope is to expand the TWPs to encompass those who want to make a difference in the lives of a woman diagnosed with cancer.  We want to include people who may not be able to walk 60 miles, but feel that there is a need to do something, whether it is babysitting, making a meal, or driving someone to treatment.  Simply put, we want to help make the lives of women battling cancer just a bit easier.

So while we wait for the IRS, life on the 3-Day continues.  This Saturday is Street Team Day, a day when we canvas businesses along the route and let them know that 1,600 people will be traipsing through their neighborhood in just a few days.  It is a fun day where I get to see my 3-Day family who I have really missed since the Get Started Meetings have ended.  Plus, it gets a walk in.  I know I am ready, but one more walk can't hurt.

On Monday I get to spend some time with my TWP family.  Lisa S. has graciously offered her home for a little TWP party.   Every time our entire group gets together, it is always for a reason, whether it be a meeting where we have to discuss business or a walk.  While walks are entertaining, and can be downright hysterical, we have really had little time to just hang out and talk--no business.  I am looking forward to bonding with my "sole sisters" as we begin this journey.

You, too, can be part of our 3-Day journey.  Be sure to visit Spectator information to find out about all the ways that you can support us.  Consider coming to closing ceremonies Sunday afternoon at UMASS Boston.  It is so amazing,  I can't describe it.  It needs to be experienced.   Or if you would rather join us on Saturday, in addition to the cheering stations listed on the 3-Day site, the TWPs will have their own cheering station at the McCue the Florist parking lot on Saturday July 23 from 10am–2:15pm. It is located at 200 Cambridge Street, Woburn on the corner of Rte. 3 and Lexington St. next to the 99 Restaurant.  Our families will be there, and hopefully you will be too! 

Thank you all again for your continued support.  Many of you have been with me on this journey for 4 years.  For that, I am forever grateful.  I wouldn't be where I am today without all of you! XO

Royally yours,

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