Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The 5K Makes Great Strides

With the hard work of our 5K co-chairs the Heroes for Children 5K Run/Walk was our best 5K yet. We had over 1,200 participants registered and over $50,000 raised. The threat of Hurricane Ike did keep some people away but not everyone. We made it through most the morning without any rain but not long after the 5K started we started to feel the drops slowly coming down. Of course the rain did pick up a bit from there but it didn’t down pour until all the 5K finishers were through the finish line and awards were just about done being handed out. With the help of the dedicated 5K committee and wonderful volunteers the 5K was packed up pretty quickly as the rain came down harder. The very unfortunate issue with the rain was that the Eddie Coker concert was canceled and the sounds system was packed up rather quickly. Eddie Coker has promised to back next year and we can’t wait.

The moments of the day for me were watching a young boy, Kevin, who is battling cancer come across the finish line in his wheel chair with his mom and dad on either side of him. His team was also there to cheer him on. Watching over 500 yellow balloons along with 2 red heart balloons go up into the skies overhead on Allie Day. There is one more moment for me (on a little more selfish note) my little guy ran the whole fun run in 8 minutes and 35 seconds. Pretty good for a 5 year old!

I’m pretty sure I can tell you the moment of the day for our Grand Marshall, Carson, a little boy that has been battling Stage 4 Hepatablastoma, a rare and aggressive liver cancer, for the past two years, and his older brother, Collin. I am 99% sure it was when they got to meet Jason “The Jet” Terry from the Dallas Mavericks. The boys got to ride in the pace car with Jason for both the fun run and the 5K. They had a blast.

We loved seeing all the teams that were formed this year. Many of those teams were formed by families that Heroes for Children has helped. Team Joseph was in memory of a 13 year old boy who passed away in Jan 2007. Their team was the highest fundraising team with over $6,800 raised. Carson’s Crusaders, a team in honor of our Grand Marshall Carson, was awarded best team spirit and outstanding team captain. The largest team award went to Express Cheer of Frisco.

Overall, the 5K was a huge success and we thank everyone that was involved in the 2008 Heroes for Children 5K Run/Walk.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Have you registered yet?

If your answer is no that you haven’t registered yet for the Heroes for Children 5K Run/Walk happening Saturday morning at the Shops at Legacy and if you would rather be sleeping in under nice cozy covers and miss the chance of rain that is possibly headed our way then go ahead. Here is your excuse to miss the race and still give to a good cause. Visit here to give your $25 registration fee and go back to sleep and dream happy thoughts for those who have been affected by childhood cancer.

And if your answer is no and you (like me) are willing to take a chance on Hurricane Ike, there is still time. Registration starts at 6:30am tomorrow morning!

And if your answer is yes, you have registered already we will see you tomorrow morning rain or shine!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

September Volunteers of the Month

HFC supporters, I must apologize. Our Volunteer of the Month segment has fallen by the wayside since May. Not because we don't have incredible volunteers who have worked through the summertime to help our organization. Of course, we do. It is through no fault of a volunteer, not at all. I take the blame. Between cancer camp, summer vacation with family, and preparations for the fall, I fell short on my Volunteer of the Month responsibility.

Not to worry, we're back and ready to recognize our fabulous volunteers! This month is highlight two women working as committee members for the 5K Run/Walk happening this weekend. Holly Holcomb and Melissa Garfield are more than just co-workers. They are more than just best friends who share work lives together. They are also sisters-in-law! That's right, you read it--best friend sisters-in-law who both work and volunteer together. What a team!
When my daughter Allie had cancer, both ladies followed her story on the internet because my husband worked at their company. Once Heroes for Children began, they started as participants of the 5K and last year were the team captains of the largest team of participants, the Super Sadie team in honor of baby Sadie's battle with cancer (a co-worker's granddaughter). This year, we were so fortunate that they said yes to our reques to serve as members of the Registration Committee for the 5K Run/Walk (did I mention it's happening THIS Saturday? At the Shops at Legacy?? Oh, well, it is, and you should be there!)
Below are Holly and Melissa's answers to our fun Volunteer of the Month questionnaire. I've had the honor and pleasure in getting to know them better this year through our work on this event. Every time I'm with them, I leave smiling. Their kindness exudes into everything they do. They have big hearts and warm smiles, and I'm so glad to share them with you all!
Thank you, ladies for you time and commitment to Heroes for Children. You're terrific!
Name, Age, Occupation:

Holly Holcomb, 38
Escrow Accountant

Melissa Garfield, 38
Escrow Accountant

How did you get involved with HFC?

Holly: I was captivated by Allie’s story, and read her website daily…I attended the candlelight vigil, and was really shocked that I felt like I knew Jenny and Allie. I followed Jenny to her new blog, and found out about HFC. I’ve been a supporter of the charity, and try to fundraise and attend everything I can! I was more than happy when Jenny asked if I wanted to be on the registration committee for the 1mile/5K walk this year!
Melissa: I got involved with HFC after following Allie’s story. I stopped sitting around wondering what I could do to help and finally decided to do something.

Do you have any kids and/or pets?

Holly: Not yet.

Melissa: I got involved with HFC after following Allie’s story. I stopped sitting around wondering what I could do to help and finally decided to do something.
From looking at you, no one would guess that…..

Holly: I’m very shy and insecure
Melissa: I am terrified of frogs. This is not a good thing considering that I have a little boy that thinks that it is hilarious to chase me with those nasty little creatures!

Favorite place to eat:

Holly: ANYTHING Tex-Mex!

Melissa: Unfortunately for my waistline, I’m not a picky eater. I don’t really have a favorite restaurant, but my favorite meals usually involve chips and salsa.

What’s on your book shelf?

Holly: I have the full library of Janet Evanovich books, all 3 of Jen Lancaster’s books, a lot of James Patterson, David Baldacci, Dean Koontz…and I actually bought a Judi Picoult book but haven’t started it.

Melissa: Unfortunately, every book in our house belongs to my husband or my kids. My only contribution to the shelf would be the dust that is on it. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. I haven’t had the energy to read a book in a very long time.

What’s in your iPod/CD changer?

Holly: Everything under the sun…minus country music. I have Dave Matthews, Sting, One Republic, ABC, Chris Cornell, America, BeeGees, Justin Timberlake, INXS…
Melissa: Along with not keeping up with my reading, I am way behind in the music world. I don’t remember the last CD that I bought and I don’t even own an iPod! When I’m in the car, I just flip through the radio stations, but spend most of the time listening to the bickering in the backseat.

Who’s your hero?

Holly: I can’t name any ONE person! I can just say that anyone who makes me want to be a better person is my hero. That would include my parents, my best friends, my friends through HFC…I believe everyone at one time or another is a true hero.

Melissa: This is a really hard question, but I think that one of the people I look up to most would be Holly. Not only is she my co-worker and sister-in-law, she is also my very best friend. Her kindness goes way beyond that of anyone I’ve ever known. She gives so much of her time and energy to her family and friends, without EVER asking for or expecting anything in return. If someone needs help, she doesn’t hesitate to jump in, most of the time without even being asked. Whether that means watching a niece or nephew at the last minute, picking up food for a sick friend or making a donation of time or money to an organization that she finds worthy, she is there for everyone. I’ve known her for over twenty years and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished that I could be more like Holly…kind, generous, forgiving, supportive, thoughtful, and selfless. I’m sure she doesn’t know it, but she is and always will be a hero in my eyes.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Name, New Look

Thank you to everyone that has contributed a name idea for our Name This Blog Contest. We're excited to unveil both the new name and new look of the Heroes for Children blog, HEROES HEARTBEAT.

Thank you to Jillian in AUSTRALIA (how crazy is that? Our winner is from Australia. Our Texas charity sure is doing BIG things!) for your name submission. You have won a blog makeover from Ruby & Roja.

What do you think of the new digs? We sincerely hope you like it. The summer was a slower time for our staff, allowing us time to rejuvenate and energize for our fall season. Be on the lookout for more updates on this blog in the upcoming months regarding volunteers (Volunteer of the Month section will be back this month!), and inspirational stories of those cancer patients that inspire us each day.

And so we ask you--what do you want us to write about? What would you like to see on this blog?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Register for the 4th Annual 5K Run/Walk

It's Semptember and that means one thing around here--we're gearing up for the Heroes for Children 5K Run/Walk!! September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Honoring the battle and courage of cancer patients and their families across Texas, the 5K Run/Walk is a community event for all ages.

Mark your calendar and join us there!

When: Saturday, September 13th

Where: Shops at Legacy, Plano

Time: Registration opens at 6:30am. 1 Mile Fun Run at 7:45 and 5K at 8:15am

Features: bounce houses, face painting, roaming performers such as clowns, magicians, Sweet & Sassy hot pink limo with fun glitter spray for hair, ambulance and fire truck for the kids to explore, Arby's, and MUCH MORE

Live Concert from Eddie Coker at 9:30am

Mayor Pat Evans will declare the day Childhood Cancer Awareness Day in Plano, and our Grand Marshal, cancer patient Carson Richardson, will lead both races in the pace car.

Hope to see you and your family there. For details on the event and registration, please visit www.heroesforchildren.org/5k.html.