Friday, June 6, 2008

The Countdown to Relay: Pat Flynn

Relay For Life of Tacoma, May 2008
The Flynn Family Team

Affectionately known as the "Mother of Relay", Pat Flynn has been there since the beginning. With Dr. Gordy Klatt, she was one of the key people who helped to transition Gordy's 24 hour run in 1985 to a team event - the first one taking place at Stadium Bowl in 1986. Over the upcoming years, she helped train and inspire countless thousands across the US - teaching them how to fight back through Relay.

A little over ten years after the first team event was held, the number of Relay participants across the nation numbered 1,000,000. The following year, 1998, Pat was inducted into the Relay For Life Hall of Fame.

The following year, Relay exceeds $127,000,000 in cumulative funds raised with 2,500 community events.

Four short years later, Relay exceeds $1,000,000,000 in total contributions to the American Cancer Society since Gordy's first laps around the track at the University of Puget Sound.

This weekend, Pat celebrates her 70th birthday. While I couldn't make it to her celebration on Friday, I want to share why she is such a joy to me.

Over the years, she's been an inspiration, a friend, confidante, Relay muse, editor to the Relay newsletters that I've created, and even took time to help edit goodies for my wedding to Jonathan last December. She's one of those people who "sees the big picture", challenges people to grow and learn, and is a genuine joy to be around.

You are a blessing to me, Pat, and I treasure your friendship! ♥

The two of us, Relay For Life of Tacoma, May 2005

Pat and Debbie, Relay For Life of Tacoma, May 2008

Pat and Phylecia Wilson, May 2004
Like Pat, Phylecia was inducted into the Relay For Life Hall of Fame (2001). Friends from opposite coasts (Phylecia is from Georgia, home of the largest Relay in the world), they have seen Relay grow from Tacoma's beginnings to an international movement.

As Pat's Relay For Life letters always say...

Survivors make it personal
Researchers make it happen
Supporters make it possible.
What a gift she is! ♥


Nancy E said...

OK - now that is just spiritual - I just posted a Pat photo and had her in my mind... this is so sweet. I love that woman - truly a mentor, friend, amazing editor (had to say that - but hopefully she isn't reading this and wanting to edit it!). Thanks for blogging on this incredibly special person that the world needs to know about!

Will I see you in Indianapolis? I HOPE SO!

Anonymous said...

What great pics of Pat! She is truly one of my favorite people...I have LOVED getting to work with her on the Awards and Recognition Task Force, and am blown away by her knowledge, insight, and dedication to Relay. Truly an amazing person. Thanks for highlighting her! :-)

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