The Oklahoma City Great Strides walk was this past Saturday, and boy did it rain! There were three rain bursts that came through over the course of the morning and drenched anyone that didn't have an umbrella or rain slicker. But that did not dampen our spirits and everyone had a great time. There were about 700 people there, and 60 of them were our friends and family members that came out in support of Katy! All of the kids absolutely loved splashing through the puddles and I'll bet their shoes are still wet. :)
Here is Katy with her Hero of Hope award. I know this is a crazily cropped picture but, Katy is draping her arms around her school friends that came to support her, and I didn't get permission to post their pics on the web. Suffice it to say she is so so happy here and surrounded by love!
We were at the Myriad Gardens, which houses a lovely conservatory located downtown. Our event took place on the grounds, where there are hills, trees, and a lake. It is a two-level venue, with an upper plaza and then down the stairs a stage over the water. Our team was stationed on the plaza. We had secured a sponsor for refreshments - two cotton candy machines and a popcorn machine. Cystic fibrosis families and their supporters are absolutely worn out from the day-to-day grind of the disease and the fundraising efforts leading up to Great Strides, so it was fabulous to be able to offer these refreshments for free. Thank you Doyle Chiropractic Clinic in Yukon, Oklahoma!
Of course its not enough to pick up the machines from the party place, drive them to the event, and set them up. Somebody(ies) have to operate them! That is where our amazing family came in to play! If you have never run a cotton candy machine, you should put it on your list of things to do. Once might be enough. Imagine standing over a 3-foot wide metal bowl, in the middle of which is a spinning head spitting out pink and blue threads of sugar. Throw in a little Oklahoma breeze. Now try to catch ALL the sugar threads on a tiny white cone. My sister and sister-in-law were completely covered with cotton candy from head to toe.
But they ran those machines for 3 hours straight and handed out hundreds of bags of cotton candy. Meanwhile, my brothers-in-law and another SIL ran the popcorn machine. They were total pros. They made over 36 batches of popcorn, and I'm telling you it was the best ever! Thanks to my many nieces and nephews as well for all of their hard work, and the newly-adopted member of our family, Desiree!
The OKC Thunder, our pro basketball team, lent us their mascot Rumble and two beautiful cheerleaders to hand out the Hero of Hope awards. These awards are given to those at the walk who have CF, and anyone walking in honor or in memory of someone with CF. There is a quick video here - http://www.nba.com/thunder/video/2009/05/11/cystic_fibrosis_090509.thunder/index.html
At one point you see the back of a girl's head with pigtails - that's our Katy receiving her award. My husband keeps watching this over and over - those cheerleaders sure are cuties!
I can't say thank you enough to everyone who read our CF blog post here, watched Katy's video, and/or purchased quilt chances. Our fundraising results were down this year, and we understand that; these are tough times. But even just taking the time to know about CF is enough. As a CF parent, raising awareness is part of my job so thank you for your attention and kindness.
And I'll wrap this up by thanking Judy again for the beautiful quilt, congratulating Vicky for winning, and assuring you that Peri will be back with all things quilty very soon!
Dana, mom to Katy and daughter of the lovely Peri. :)