Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Note of Thanks

First of all, before we get all caught up in all that other nonsense, there's something that has to be done.

I have been remiss in thanking all of the wonderful people who helped support me as I trained for the Chicago Marathon and raised money for PAWS Chicago. From PAWS website:
PAWS Chicago (Pets Are Worth Saving) is the city's largest No Kill humane organization, focused on alleviating Chicago's tragic pet homelessness problem. Since PAWS Chicago's founding, the number of homeless pets killed in the city has been reduced by more than half ―from 42,561 pets killed in 1997 to 19,701 in 2006. PAWS Chicago envisions a No Kill Chicago and that dream is within reach because of important lifesaving work that is being done every single day.
I encourage you to visit their website.

I have to tell you... I kind of did this whole “raise money” thing on a whim. At the beginning of marathon season, Meg forwarded me information about the opportunity to raise money for PAWS while training. I believe I thought something along the lines of, “I want a dog!!!!!” And there you have it, decision made. I did know that PAWS is a well-regarded organization through which many dog and cat owners havefound companionship. I knew and I still know that PAWS will be where MM and I will go to find our dog once we are ready to be pet parents. And, I figured that the goal amount of $600 was low enough that when I failed miserably at actually raising it, I could foot the bill myself and not go completely broke.

I have heard that many people who come to marathons and half marathons through the charity runner route count on the inspiration from the organization to get them through the race. This was never the case for me. I run because I love this life. The training, the racing, the being a part of this community moves me like nothing else ever has. Perhaps it’s because of this, that when I did finally suck it up and send out my, “please give me money,” email that it was so fulfilling when so many people stepped up to support me and PAWS Chicago.

To my surprise, my fear/prediction of raising next to nothing was way off base. Together we obliterated the goal of $600 raising a total of $828.40. And this is because of all of you:
  • My family -- mom, Sarah, Ron, and Adrienne -- and Tina, MM’s cousin,and soon-to-be family
  • Old friends from out of town and out of state -- my oldest friend in the world Keni and her husband Blake; my college roommate Gena; my sister’s BFF (who I’ve known for like… ever) Jen; and my wonderful friend and Europe traveling companion Laura
  • The CES running crew -- Roisin, former (and best ever!) pace leader Celia; Jaime; and last and certainly not least, Lindy, one of my inspirations and favorite people, who somehow finds time to work full time, run marathons, ensure that I make it to the marathon finish line, raise two adorable girls, and make fantastic cookies
  • Coworkers old and new -- Beth, Kathleen, and Freedom Runner (who ran with me during the marathon, miles 13.5 to 18.5. I am so thankful that FR showed up at my office door one day to question me about my bike. She has been an amazing support, and I hope I can return the support as she continues on her athletic journey)
  • The neighborhood folks -- Alex and Erika, who both completed the 2008 Chicago Marathon; Bill; and @ (really, @ belongs in a league of her own, being that she and I work together, live in the same neighborhood, and run together. She generally is there and supportive of Lou for all things. I hope I do the same for her)
  • Chicago peeps -- Al, Annie, Justin (2008 Chicago Marathon finisher), Jason, Nikkie, Sid, Kristin
  • Blog Friend RBR
  • CARA pace groupie Vanessa
  • And some guy named John
Like I said before, I believe that each of you gave to support an organization that is good and helps our furry friends find good homes. But, I also believe that giving to a charity athlete is also a way to say, “Hey, I support you even though I probably think you’re totally out of your mind.” For both of those reasons, I thank every single person who gave to PAWS Chicago and chose to be a part of my journey to finish my first marathon. But I believe the best way to say thanks is for me to give my time and energy back to the organization that so many of you supported. Once my traveling is over for the fall, I will be attending a PAWS Volunteer orientation to learn how I can help, and hopefully, I'll drag MM along too, so that I can convince him that we NEED A DOG like... right this very second.

So a BIG THANK YOU!!!!!!! Now please enjoy some photos of our furry friends...

Ariel, Freedom Runner and hubby's, pooch from PAWS. Ariel is fantastic. And I know this because she's actually spent a fair amount of time at our house being an adorable and well behaved dog.

Nikkie's cat Beanie.
Max, Alex's pooch.

Keni and Blake are the proud parents of Shelby and Tucker, pictured here in their swimming gear.

Buster, Annie's dog, adopted from a kennel and totally cute. This photo makes me laugh every time. He just looks so darn happy to be a dog doing doggie things.


Freedom Runner said...

You make it sound like I interrogated you about your bike, as if taking two-wheeled transportation to work was criminal or something. :o)

I do believe that I tricked the hubby into going to PAWS because my mom was in the hospital and I needed cheering up, and that's when we met Ariel....and next week, we had a new family member! I. LOVE. THAT. DOG. Even if she now knows what our alarms mean in the morning, and goes into "furry alarm wake-up" mode at 6:30am......she's still awesome. I have to work on making her understand "snooze."

Rock on. And stop by with wedding questions any time. :o)

Kendra said...

I volunteer for a similar organization in Dallas. I have to say, the money you raised is HUGE for organizations like PAWS. It helps pay for surgeries, vaccinations, food, housing and even doggie treats and bones to keep those tails wagging. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you give a lonely doggie a new rawhide to chew and a quick cuddle. Their tails wag and there are lots of licks and general happiness. Your efforts just did that over and over again for PAWS puppies.

Roisin said...

Congratulations to YOU for meeting and surpassing your goal!!!

RBR said...

You rock. Plain and simple!

There is no picture of Lucy I must remedy this immediately! I will email you one right now.

She is rescue dog extraordinaire! Mostly because she rescued two undeserving people (me and hubby)

Lindy said...

I must tell you....when we get our cat (and we do plan on getting one sometime in the next year), I am planning on getting him or her from PAWS. :) You will have to come meet "Taxi" as Jada has already named the cat, once she arrives home. (We thought Zoe's names of "Kitty" and "Catty" were a bit too, um, uncreative.