Saturday, September 1, 2007

The family that volunteers together....

It's September--which means its time for our Volunteer of the Month for September 2007! This month's volunteer choice is a couple that takes their volunteering very seriously. Jennifer and Allan Rayson have been involved since the inception of Heroes for Children and make volunteering a family priority. While he leads the Board of Directors as the Chairman, she works with a group of volunteers to put on the most successful 5K Run/Walk we've ever had! Jennifer has served as the race chair for the past year, and all her hard work will pay off in two weeks!
We're lucky to have Jennifer and Allan as committed volunteer of Heroes for Children. And my husband and I couldn't ask for better neighbors!! Jennifer and Allan--you're the best!!!
Name, Age, Occupation:

Allan: I am 31 years old, and I am in Commercial Banking at Bank of Texas. I have been in the banking industry for my entire career after graduating from Business School at Texas Tech University in 2000. I am also lucky enough to be the Chairman of Heroes for Children.

Jennifer: I am 30 years old. I am CEO of the Rayson Household. It’s a very busy job – I put in a lot of overtime.

How did you get involved with HFC?

Despite the fact that Heroes had not yet been formed, we became indirectly involved on May 7, 2004. This was the day that we received a sobering voicemail message from Jenny Scott indicating that her daughter, Allie, who was then only 4 months, had been diagnosed with Leukemia. As anyone would if they had received this voicemail, we and several other neighbors set out to raise money to assist the Scott family with their day-to-day expenses by raising money in our neighborhood in Allen. Due to the generosity of the residents of Lost Creek Ranch, we were able to raise several thousand dollars in only a couple of days to assist the Scott family.

We became directly involved with Heroes as it was being formed in late 2004. Allan was initially involved as the Treasurer for the organization in 2004 and 2005 and became the Chairman in 2007. Jennifer is also very involved with Heroes in her capacity as the Chairwoman for the 2007 Heroes for Children 5K Run/Walk.

Do you have any kids and/or pets?

We don’t have any pets, but we have three, energetic boys named Will (age 4), Alex (age 3) and Sam (age 5 mo.). They’re all so different, each with their own distinct little personality. We are enjoying every loud and rowdy minute of life with the Rayson boys! Will has also shown generosity to Heroes by volunteering to have his friends (actually the parents of his friends) donate financially instead of giving him a gift for his fourth birthday in March of this year.

From looking at you, no one would guess that…..

Allan: I enjoy running marathons for enjoyment (and the challenge, of course!). I have run the Dallas White Rock Marathon for the last three years and hope to complete my fourth consecutive race in December of this year. I started running marathons in honor of my little friend, Allie Scott, in 2004, and I have looked to her for inspiration in each of my races since. Not too many people know that I kept a copy of Allie’s memorial card from her funeral in my pocket for my first marathon in 2004 and still have that card today.

Jennifer: Well, running marathons happens to be a hobby we enjoy together, but I’ll try to come up with something else – wouldn’t want to bore you folks. So, one might not guess that I also enjoy photography. Although I use the term “photography” loosely. I love my kids, I love to take pictures of them, and I love my camera that my dear husband bought me that takes great pictures of our little darlings. I’m an amateur no doubt, but I do love it!

Favorite place to eat:

Allan: my favorite place to eat is Luna De Noche when Jennifer and I go out to eat together.

Jennifer: Yep, without a doubt, love the Luna!

What’s on your book shelf?

Allan: the books that I am currently reading are The Smartest Guys in the Room (a book about the Enron meltdown) and Built to Last (a book by Jim Collins about business). However, I usually find myself reading books about Curious George and other children’s topics to the boys more often than I read my own books!

Jennifer: A few of my most recent reads are Boundaries for Kids and The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. Next up is Pathway to Purpose for Women. As you can tell, I don’t do fiction. Most of my books are on the topics of marriage, relationships, & parenting - I need all the help I can get!

What’s in your iPod/CD changer?

Allan: I can’t live without my iPod! I use it almost daily when running or mowing my lawn. It is the greatest invention ever! I hate to say it, but my iPod is loaded with everything from Jay-Z to Johnny Cash to Kid Rock to Alan Jackson…I am across the board when it comes to music!

Jennifer: My what??? I don’t have an iPod and I can’t stand Allan’s. He won’t talk to me when we run together because he’s too busy trying to keep up-- I mean too busy listening to that darn iPod! And I can’t even remember the last time I bought a CD. I’m not really a big music person, I just listen to the radio and I like a little of everything with the exception of rap and heavy metal.

Who’s your hero?

Allan: I have several sports and music heroes, but I have to say that my one true hero is my wife, Jennifer. She is truly the cornerstone of our family (in addition to being the CEO of the Rayson Household) and I admire the work that she does as a Wife, Mother, and Volunteer. Jennifer is Superwoman and we wouldn’t be the same without her! Don’t tell anyone, but she also runs marathons faster than I do, which is quite difficult to handle!

Jennifer: Well, I think you would agree there’s really only one way I can follow that answer…that is if I want to keep the peace around here! So, let me tell you about my hero – my husband, Allan. He works so incredibly hard for our family so that I can stay home with our kids, which I appreciate more than he’ll ever know. I’m sure I don’t tell him thank you often enough. He is kind, loving, and generous – and his sense of humor is what keeps me going after a long day with the kids! We are truly blessed to have him as husband and father – simply could not ask for more. I love him dearly.


Mauro C. said...

Hi there,

You Have an AWARD in 1 Million Love Messages :-)

Best regards from Portugal

Anonymous said...

What a great couple to profile for your September volunteers of the month! You guys sound awesome! Hope to meet/see you at the 5k in a couple weeks.

Thanks for all you do for HFC. :)