Monday, May 29, 2006

relaying, canadian style

aren't these pipers just delish? or is the real question...
how did i get here?

it started in december 2004, when i was mc-ing the american cancer society relay university - for the northwest events. karina chow (the head of the bc/yukon division) and lee angus (the national manager for the entire canadian cancer society) were there. for some weird reason, they liked me. :) which led to...

august 2005. training for the staff of ccs in vancouver, bc. a ton of fun, and evidently, they still like me, because that led to...

january 2006. keynoting at the bc/yukon divisional training for staff and volunteers. that's where i met the canadian fabulous foursome, and as they say, the rest is history. that led to...

may 2006. relay for life of trail, british columbia.
trail, british columbia. home of the world's largest zinc & lead smelter. home of the colander, a world-famous old-school italian restaurant, once mentioned on jeopardy for selling the most spaghetti in north america. in the middle of the kootenays.

besides stadium bowl, the most picturesque place i've ever relayed. it rocked.

i stayed with helen, the west kootenay coordinator for ccs. adorable 18-month-old daughter (who does the best impression of chucky i've ever seen) and great husband. felt like part of the family. and i really consider her to be my canadian twin. or i'm her american twin. either way, we're both blessed by each other in our lives.

what i loved most about this relay was that i really had the chance to experience it. it was the first time i'd stayed start to finish without schedules, endless questions, or things to do. i was on for opening ceremonies (see the event schedule - check me out!), and helped with little things here and there. fun stuff with radio interviews, the paper...loved it.

eleanor, the event chair, was amazing. met me when i crossed into canada on friday night, arranged a massage for me on saturday, took me to Mass on sunday morning, and was a fabulous 'denmother' to me. you can't help but love her.

in the kisses photo, eleanor's in the middle, and helen and i are on her cheeks. just love them both.

some of my favorite moments...

  • when the huge gust of wind lifted the 'relaxation station' tent's walls up, revealing the naked chick who was getting a massage at the time.
  • all the guys who ran immediately ran over, to help with the tent - of course!
  • the rug shave for relay - where men and women raised money to shave their heads. it should be noted that i thought the title meant something very different. :)
  • the site guys - everything at relay became a little more r-rated around them. made me feel at home with a canadians who took the place of joe-joe dancer and collins (who provide the r-rated american fodder). "why do american women love canadian men...?"
  • tie dye-ing at the kid zone. creatively fabulous. i loved it.
  • dinner from colander. oh so yummy. baked pasta goodness. never tasted anything like it.
  • "tell me a story" - the luminaria ceremony that had me in tears. incredibly powerful and well done.
  • being able to walk the track in the midst of hundreds of hand-held candles for luminaria.
  • aerobics before the opening lap. something i've never seen before. and everyone was way into it. i loved that.
  • liz, the kiwi from new zealand, conquering her first year as staff partner (called a coordinator in canada). and even finished the site clean up sunday morning before meeting us for Mass!
  • the trail pipe band. they are something, especially in kilts. :)
  • viper getting mentioned in opening ceremonies. and not by me!
  • a canadian ben. isn't he a cutie?
  • helen bobbitt - she is something else. i loved seeing her in action - her community is blessed to have her involved.
  • a fabulous event raising $125K in their 6th year. they have a lot to be proud of, in an area that's just becoming more exposed to relay.
  • just a few weeks until they join us in tacoma...can't wait! we'll show them how we relay...american style!

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