Sunday, September 16, 2007

The HFC Family 5k: The Robinsons Hit Plano

As I left Austin on Friday evening to head to Plano for Saturday morning's Heroes for Children Family 5k walk, I received a call on my cell phone from Jenny, checking to see if I was actually on the road yet. When I replied that we were just getting on to I-35, she cheered "You're coming!" No less than 20 minutes later, my friend Amy called with the same intent. Confused, I asked her "Did you guys actually think I wouldn't come? I told you I was coming!"

She confessed that my group of friends, while hopeful, weren't sure that my family of five would actually make it up for the 8am walk, given my crazy schedule as a full time graduate student in the University of Texas School of Social Work, a schedule that includes 16 hours a week of clinical internship at the cancer clinic at Scott and White hospital.

Truth be told, there was some grumbling on my part as I rushed around like a madwoman on Friday evening, trying to pack up the kids and drop the dog off at the kennel and head out the door for a 3 hour trek north, trying not to think about the research paper and chapters of reading I have due this week. But my friends had nothing to worry about - I would not have missed the Heroes for Children 5k walk for all the graduate class syllabi in the world. Miss the chance to support my favorite nonprofit organization, my inspiration for going into pediatric oncology social work? Not a chance.

We could not have asked for more beautiful weather - when we left the hotel at 7:15am for the walk festivities, it was sunny and cool. After meeting up with my friends, the Weintraub, Franklin, Reininger, Miller and Crowe families, we spent some time bringing the kids around to all the great activities HFC had on hand to be sure little ones were kept entertained and engaged. The bouncy house was the biggest hit with my three kids, but the Franklin trio greatly enjoyed the corporate mascots on hand (including the Chik-Fil-A cow and a giant tooth), Samantha Weintraub was thrilled to meet some Plano cheerleaders, and Deb's daughter sported a gorgeous pink flower on her cheek from the face painting area.

The official ceremony kicked off around 8:45am, with a balloon release and the introduction of the Grand Marshalls, 2 very brave young men fighting cancer.

Larissa and Jenny, getting ready for the balloon release

The balloon release - yellow balloons with 2 red heart balloons for Allie and Taylor

Jenny and daughter Maggie watch Grand Marshall Matthew Marioni on stage

Right on time, we were ready to line up and do the "cancer walk" as my 3 year old Lucy called it. We agreed as a group that we would do the 1k option available (for those of us laden with young children and strollers) and leave the longer 5k walk for a future walk.

Unfortunately, Chuck Weintraub and my husband missed the memo. With the large crowd on hand to support HFC, our group got separated, and the husbands (along with little Ben and my 2 boys) missed the left turn to do the 1k route. So Jen and myself and our two girls waited. And waited. And waited some more.

And that is how Chuck and Ben and Rich and my 2 boys earned the dubious distinction of last place at the HFC 5k walk.

Bringing up the rear (notice how there are no other walkers in sight?)

Last place finishing time

Finally crossing the finish line (Lucy jumped in to finish again with her brothers)

It just goes to show how great of an event this walk is that, even with coming in dead last, my 5 and 7 year olds exclaimed, "We love the cancer walk!"

A few other images from the day:

Jenny Scott, woman at work

As busy as she was, Jenny made time for a photo with me

The Franklin twins enjoy the Eddie Coker concert

We hope to see you next year - last place honors is up for grabs!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Even though 1/2 the family was reward ed with last place honors it looks like you and your family had a wonderful time at the "Cancer Walk". Go Robinson Family and all the other texans that took time to walk!