I have been super emotional lately. All emotions--excited, fearful, reflective, angry. I sat down to write a blog several times, but I felt I just needed some time to get my thoughts together. I am sure that by now all of you have heard about the Komen/Planned Parenthood debacle. When it first went down, I didn't know what to think. I was just dumfounded. Many of us were. For days my Facebook news feed blew up with comments, both positive and negative. I had people saying sorry, but they were no longer going to donate to Komen. I had women that I had walked with for years questioning their commitment to this organization. Personally, I was hurt. How was I going to raise money if my donors were no longer going to support me? I didn't understand how something like breast cancer could become so political. In addition to that, I had to have a very adult conversation with my 12 year old son. He overheard me speaking to AZ about the possibility of people not wanting to donate to SGK. Z point-blank asked me why someone wouldn't want to donate to an organization that was hopefully going to find the cure for breast cancer. I then had to explain to him about abortion and political views--not a conversation I was expecting to have at this age. Fortunately, he is a bright kid, and he got it. His response, "What does breast cancer have to do with politics?" EXACTLY!!! Cancer doesn't care whether you are a member of the GOP, the Green Party or if you are a Democrat. When you take the politics out of it, SGK is the leading private raiser of funds for breast cancer research, second only to the United States Government. I have friends that are alive because of Komen grants, specifically Bridget and Maurine. So for me, this isn't political, it's personal.
Last weekend many TWPs and Pink Angels were at a GSM for Komen that was attended by a reporter from NPR. She was looking for insight into walkers' feelings about the situation for her article. Many of us were interviewed about our opinion, but Dana hit the nail on the head when she said, "This isn't about politics for me. It's about finding a cure for
something that's affecting 1 in 8 women, including myself. And I have three daughters to worry about." I think I can say with confidence that many of us echo Dana's sentiment and will continue to support SGK until there is a cure.
That being said...the TWPs are off and running. For the last few years, we have always taken a hiatus during the fall, but it appears that there will be no more of that. Now that we are a non-profit, there are so many people to help and so many things to do.
First of all, we are up to 26 members that will be walking the 3-Day! I am very excited about my friend Keri and her friend Allison joining us. Keri is married to Wayne, AZ's college roommate. In recent years, Keri has thought about participating in the 3-Day, especially after Allison was diagnosed. Well, this is the year. The two are making the trek up to Boston from New York to walk with us. In addition to them, we have another New Yorker, Teri Cox, Dana's BFF. The TWPs are now making our mark nation-wide. We also have Rita and Nicole K. joining us. Rita wanted to be part of a local team when she signed up. (I don't think she had any idea what she would be in for!) And Maurine recruited Nicole at a GSM. Nicole is one of our younger walkers. She decided to walk after watching a women in treatment while riding the T. She was so affected by her, she signed up just a few days later. Maurine has also convinced her sister Deb to join the TWPs, although I don't know how much convincing was involved after she made the journey up from Florida for Mo's 50th. Once you spend an evening partying with the TWPs there is no turning back. Then we have Barbara's daughter Amelia who is only in college. Every time she has been home from school she has gotten up early to walk with us. There aren't too many college kids willing to wake up before 10 o'clock these days. And of course our last not-so-new newbie--Alexa, Patty's daughter! Alexa is no stranger to the 3-Day. She has participated in the Youth Corps for the last two years. She is now officially old enough to walk, and she couldn't be more excited!
After our video last year, we knew the TWPs would grow. We hoped that our enthusiasm would be contagious, and it was. Personally, I thought it would be a one year thing. Well, that is obviously not the case. We have so many walkers returning! To do this event once is a decision in itself, but to be a repeat walker knowing what to expect is completely different, especially when we walked in 105 degree temperatures. I am thrilled to have these women with us. While we are 26, there is still plenty of room for new walkers. The 3-Day season is barely upon us. If you are even entertaining the idea, shoot me an email and we can talk. I promise I won't bully you into joining!
If you don't feel that walking is right for you, we do have another option for you to be involved in our organization. For $10, you can now become a TWP! I know what you are thinking. Isn't donating enough? Now they want me to do something else? No, we only want you to do what you feel comfortable with! Plus, you get discounted admission to one of our events! If you would like to do more, we would love your help. You can offer assistance with fundraising, decorating, making meals for women in treatment, transportation for people in need, or any other service that you feel you could contribute. Or like I said before, do nothing at all and just support us. Be sure to visit the TWP webpage to fill out your membership form today!
As you may have heard, we will again be holding our 3rd Annual Dance Like a Princess Silent Auction on Saturday, May 19th at Holy Family Parish Hall in Amesbury. We are hoping to surpass the $20,000 that we raised last year. We are looking for donations, so if you, or someone you know has a connection to a business or has a product or service that they would like to donate just let us know. We like to have a variety of merchandise ranging in price. You can email me, or just go to our website and fill out your contact information. Tickets will be on sale soon, so save the date!
Another new feature that we have added to our team this year is that our friends now have the ability to make a TEAM donation. In the past, Komen only allowed us to receive individual donations. This year our donors have the ability to donate directly to the TEAM! We are hoping this will help our friends who know numerous people on the TWPs. Plus a portion of the money donated directly to the team will stay with our organization to help local women which I'm sure many of you will be happy about.
Lastly, I would love to say the sincerest of "thank yous" to my friends and family who have already donated to my walk. I am on my way with $1145! That being said...I still need your help. Remember, you can sign up for a payment plan through the 3-Day where you can choose to have money taken from your account for up to four months. Talk about enhancing your donation! Also, if you do decide to donate, check to see if your company offers matching gifts--another way to make your cash go further!
I am truly looking forward to sharing another 3-Day season with each and every one of you!