Sunday, April 13, 2014

Never be a victim

Monday, March 03, 2014

Thank You to Those Who Donate

I have done quite a bit of fund-raising in the past 15 years.  I've done a lot of running events  for Leukemia & Lymphoma and Cancer. I always felt awkward about asking my friends and family for money, but I knew that the causes were good, so I sent the emails and letters.  And, over the years, I've tried to help others who were fund-raising with donations and by helping to spread the word of their causes.

The downside of this is that by now my friends and family have seen so many emails from me asking to donate to causes that many of them are undoubtedly wishing to be off my email list!  And, though, I may have even promised them in the past that I wouldn't do any more fund-raising, here I am again, asking for money.

This time is different, though.  This is the first time I'm fund-raising for ALS, and it's very personal for me. The experience I had with helping my friend, Craig, who had ALS, was life-changing for me.

Even though I'd been worried that asking for money, yet again, would annoy my friends and family, I was once again, moved by the generosity from those who donated.  Many friends donate again and again. I almost felt like keeping those who have donated in the past off of my distribution list because I don't want them to feel like I'm taking advantage of their generosity. But instead of complaining, they give me encouragement and more donations! 

After only 2 weeks, I've already raised over $3000 of my $12000 goal! 

There are those who I barely know who have contributed... There are a couple of people (who I won't name to protect their privacy) who have given amazingly generous donations. These people truly are selfless. They ask for nothing in return, but just give because of the cause.  Maybe they knew Craig or have known someone who suffered from ALS and, like me, want to do something to help find a cure for this awful disease.

And then there are people who donate for me.  My family and good friends fall into this category.  I'm especially proud of my children, who don't have much money, yet still donated generously. They know how I loved Craig and they want to show their support. I feel so moved and grateful for those who realize that raising this money helps me keep Craig's spirit alive...  

Whenever I've done fund-raising, but this time especially, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for the goodness of those who donate.  A thank you  doesn't seem to nearly say enough. I wish I could bestow all the goodness and generosity back ten-fold to those who give, but I guess I will have to leave that job up to God.

So... for all those wonderful people who have donated to this very worthy cause...  Thank you. You make such a difference in this world. I will always be grateful for your generosity.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Live Life to its Fullest

“I intend to leave this life with nothing but love, acceptance, forgiveness and compassion in my heart. I am so ready to live life to its fullest. I only wish I would have thought to do it sooner.” ~Craig Dunham 1960-2010

These were the words from my good friend, Craig Dunhum, in his email when delivering the news that he'd been diagnosed with ALS (more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease).  This video was made a few weeks before he died. I helped him communicate his love to his friends and family. He wasn't able to talk on the phone and I was happy I came up with a solution. Can you imagine not being able to move or talk? 

My goal is to honor Craig's memory by becoming the top fundraiser for the Walk to Defeat ALS. Last year the top fund-raiser raised over $12,000, so that will be a challenge, but I like a good challenge!

Craig always lived life to the fullest, even when he could no longer move or speak. It's only fitting that his initials match that of the saying, Carpe Diem. I know if he were still alive he would be jumping wheelies in his wheelchair, probably creating some new Olympic sport to help me raise money. I wish I could think of some cool, nifty trick that I could do myself that would help me make this message go viral, but all I can think of right now is just to ask for your help.  One thing I might do is send an eBook to everyone with inspirational stories about Craig and how he lived life fully, in spite of this disease.  Do you have an inspirational story? Let me know!

Please help me keep Craig's spirit alive by:

1) Spreading the word! Please pass this link on and spread to your social networks!

2) Join team Carpe Diem and if you live in the Denver area, come walk with me on Sept. 13.

3) Donate! (Anything helps.)

4) Let me know stories of people in your life who you've been inspired by (by comment or email)

5) Make every minute count...  Carpe Diem!

Friday, January 31, 2014

January, 2014 Highlights

It's been an excellent month! One of my resolutions is to post a monthly slideshow of some of my favorite photos and memories from the month, so here's January's!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Digital slideshow personalized with Smilebox

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ski to Defeat ALS, February 23

It's a new year which means a new volunteer project for me! This year I'm serving on a committee supporting a cause that's near and dear to my heart: ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). My good friend, Craig Dunham, died from ALS in 2010 and I wrote several blog posts about how inspiring he was to me. He lived life to the fullest, even when he couldn't move or speak.

So, my first task in this new volunteer role is to help spread the word about an awesome event that's coming up at Eldora on Sunday, February 23.  This is a great way to support a good cause and have fun at the same time!

Ski to Defeat ALS, at Eldora Mountain, includes a lift ticket, breakfast, lunch, and the chance to win some great prizes! Some of the highlights:

  • Early Bird Registration: Register before February 1st Register before February 1st and receive $15 off the $50 registration fee!
  • Season Pass Holders’ Discount: Do you already have a season pass that covers Eldora Mountain? If so, enter Discount Code: SEASON and received $25 off the $50 registration fee!
  • Costume Contest: The most creative Individual Costume and the most creative Team Costume will be honored at the End of Day Celebration!
  • Fundraising Contest: The Individual and the Team that raises the most money by the day of the event will receive an award and prize at the End of Day Celebration!
  • Ski to Defeat ALS Sweatshirt: Each participant that raises $200 will receive an official Ski to Defeat ALS hoodie sweatshirt
Please help me spread the word about Ski to Defeat ALS. Let’s get the word out about this awesome event, by sharing on all your social networks and telling your friends!

For More Information ~ Call (303) 832-2322 Email

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I'm Grateful for People Who Send Christmas Cards

One of my ongoing resolutions has been to practice gratitude, so I thought it might be fun to have a weekly blog post about something I'm grateful for. (And hope it lasts for more than a week!)

So... today I am grateful for people who still send traditional Christmas cards through the good old fashioned mail. 

I've become very lazy, myself, about using the mail and use the convenience of Facebook, email, Smileboxes, JibJabs etc. to send my news and photos.  There's so many cool options to animate and include photos and music, all for free! (BTW, my 2013 recap can be found here!)

But I give a lot of credit to those friends and relatives who still take the time, trouble, and expense to buy, print, label, stamp, write, and mail, the traditional way. 

I've started a new tradition where I now send New Years cards back to those people I get the Christmas Cards from.  It's handy, because I can get their addresses from the return addresses of their cards and I can comment on their recent photos or news. 

So, for all you people who still send traditional cards: Yay! I am grateful for you!! Thank you!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Slideshow

It's been a good year! I kept my resolution to run at least one race in costume each month (I actually did 4 extra!).  So... as I review my 2013 photos,it turns out I have an abundance of running pictures!  I also traveled quite a bit, both for work and for pleasure.  Matt got married over the summer, so we welcomed beautiful Stella Min to our family. I'm lucky to have Meg and Chris and my two grandchildren, Diego and Reneya, living close by, which gives me a lot of babysitting opportunities! Matt started a PhD Psychology program at Florida State in August and Scotty is in his second year at Purdue and also interning at GE. I'm still single, but have lots of fun with friends and dates, so I'm never lonely. I feel very blessed!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Create a free slideshow design

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Help me Help GiveForward Help Christian Hannah for #GivingTuesday

One of my resolutions for 2013 was that I was going to help spread the word of those who were doing good in the world helping others.  A "Help Me Help X Help Y" kind of thing.  The power of social media is so strong and I love to see it used for good by spreading the word of kind and generous things happening in the world.

#GivingTuesday is a movement which is all about giving back. GiveForward is a fundraising site dedicated to helping raise money for medical expenses for those in need.

Today, #GivingTuesday, is the perfect time to celebrate the tradition of giving back! And how great that it follows Thanksgiving, when we celebrate all we have been given.

For #GivingTuesday, GiveForward is working towards helping Christian Hannah get a wheelchair van.

This is Christian Hannah, the boy we’re helping:

  • He’s 14 now, born with cerebral palsy, lives in a wheelchair
  • Raising money for a wheelchair van to help him do more things

I know that all year we are asked to donate to various causes and it's impossible to help everyone. But you can help, both by donating and by spreading the word by using social media and the #GivingTuesday hashtag.  If you're a blogger, then write your own blog post or simply share the links on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you hang out in cyberspace. 

I am SO grateful for my health and the health of my kids and now little grandbabies.  I can't imagine the financial and emotional hardships a family must go through when a child has cerebral palsy. And it's such an easy thing for the rest of us to send a little bit of money and support to someone else who needs help.  

I hope you'll join me in making a donation, spreading the word, and doing a small part in making this world a better place for all of us.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Discounted Avs Ticket to Benefit Mom With Cancer

Most of us have been in situations where we feel helpless. We see people we love in trouble and we want to help, but we don't know what to do.  This month my "Help Me Help Someone" story is about a group of friends who are banding together to help their friend, Michelle Kendall, a mother of three, who is dealing with a recurrance of breast cancer.

"Discount Avs Ticket to Benefit Young Local Mom with Cancer" was the subject line of Sharon Morrill's email that she posted to the McKesson bulletin board distribution list. Sharon's email described a situation in which her friend, Michelle, had gone through much financial hardship during her first battle with breast cancer in 2012 and now is facing new challenges and indefinite chemotherapy.

It's hard to ask for money, but here's a fund-raiser in which everyone wins. Avs tickets at half-price and money still going towards helping Michelle and her family!  The details of the Avs tickers are below. Please help spread the word by posting on FaceBook, Twitter, or other social media sights. Or, if you're not a hockey fan, and would like to help directly, I've posted a PayPal link the group has set up. 

Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers
Tuesday, March 12th,  2013
7:00pm Pepsi Center  Discounted Ticket Pricing
:Upper level center/corner: $30 each (usually $40-$58)
Lower level corner/end: $50 each (usually $89-$112)
There are NO taxes or fees 

Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars
Wednesday, March 20th,  2013
7:30pm Pepsi Center 
Discounted Ticket Pricing:
Upper level center/corner: $30 each (usually $40-$58)
Lower level corner/end: $50 each (usually $89-$112)
There are NO taxes or fees 

To order tickets online:  Tickets can be emailed, sent via Flash Seats, or left at will-call (if you select will-call, you will need a photo ID to pick up your tickets from the Pepsi Center Box Office on the day of the game).

Please call Sarah Feldman Johnston at 303-405-1376 or email with questions or for help ordering tickets.  Thank you for your support of the Colorado Avalanche and the Kendall Family!

To donate directly to help the Kendall Family:

Sharon and her friends met last night to come up with additional fund-raising strategies to help their friend, Michelle. I will update this post with additional information as I get it, but in the mean time, I did want to get the information about the hockey tickets out to as many people as possible.

For questions regarding the Kendall family please contact Sharon Morrill at 720.352.0226

It's heart-warming to see people wanting to help others and finding these creative ways of helping a friend in need. Sharon has told me she's been moved by the outpouring of support from people who want to help.  Let's join in on that... It's as simple as spreading the word about a good deal!

Best of luck to Michelle for a full recovery.