Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Countdown to the 2010 Relay For Life: Crashing the Issaquah Relay

Two weeks ago, the Skis crashed the Relay For Life of Issaquah.  I've wanted to see this event for years -- but it's never worked out until now. 

I originally met Karen in the fall of 2003 -- at my very first Relay For Life Leadership Summit for our division.  We were in Anaheim, California...Brian was chairing the National Advisory Team and I was a 'first time Summiter'.  I was just glad to find a seat with nice people at the table.  Little did I know that Karen and I would become great friends over the years.  And that we would both rock in fundraising...she more than I.  :)

[Relay For Life Leadership Summit, Anaheim, CA  |  September 2003]

She and her husband, Dave, came down to the 20th Anniversary event that I was chairing...and we had to get this photo...after all, it was the last year that the Tacoma Relay would take place in Stadium Bowl. 

I loved seeing them Relay together -- as a couple who both "got it" and loved supporting one another in the process.  Gave me hope as well...since I had gotten dumped from a 2 year relationship the night before this event by someone who thought I spent "too much time at that thing".  Dumped by email.  With my family in Spain and nowhere nearby.  Pretty sure I never put that on the blog before. :)

Never realized that I would be proposed to three years the same Relay.  :)  Little did I know how awesome Karen's husband was, or that he and my (future) husband would be so alike. And that they would ask to get together when she and I would be at the same trainings.

They're awesome people.

[Relay For Life of Tacoma's 20th Anniversary, Tacoma, WA  |  May 2004]
After the first year that our team hit $50,000, she heard me speaking about it in a breakout at Summit, and said, "our team can do that too."  And yes...they definitely could

Team Aloha, her family & friends team, propelled past $50,000 that next year and has stayed up above there ever since.  They are an incredibly unconventional team -- without formal meetings or anything that normal teams do -- but it works for them.  She Relays for her dad, who she lost to cancer years ago.  Her cousin is on the team -- Brent Johnson -- and he's an incredible fundraiser.  $40,000+ each year.  He simply asks everyone he knows to donate.  More than 700 asks a year.  So. incredibly. awesome.

So this event (in Issaquah) is their home event that they chair.  When we arrived, Dave was putting on the finishing touches to the Team Aloha tent site.  Surprised that they were setting up after the Relay started, he explained that a funnel cloud had touched down and pulled a number of tentsites up  -- just before the Relay started.  Can you imagine that?!?

Jonathan, Thomas and I had the chance to walk the Relay, meet her team, and hang out.  So much fun to see them in their element, and to be able to be part of such a fun event.  Warm sun, frozen tee contest, and lots of familiar faces. 

And I brought my camera.  To shoot for fun.  A few of my favorite shots...


Birthday cupcakes, sold site to site!

LOVED seeing Amy McGann, formerly of ACS, not at Overlake Hospital.  Her son wanted to stay all night at the event.   He was SO EXCITED.

The same "Team Asia" guys from this post.  They were hysterical. 

Karen and Dave, with the event behind them...

Thomas had a blast with their Team D chair.  He loved running around and playing everywhere.  And throwing his socks and shoes off, while doing laps.  Note to self: remember that for our Relay next week. 

Karen with her mom and cousin, Brent.  My fundraising idols.  :)

Karen...thanks not only for your friendship over the years, but for all you do to create a world with more birthdays.  You are loved!

1 comment:

Nancy E said...

Very nice tribute - and AMAZING Relay photos as per usual! Cheers to you my friend for being so caring and attracting such caring people all around you.


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