Friday, October 21, 2011

Stroll N Roll, the results!

Oct 15th started out as a windy, cold day. Actually, "windy" is a huge understatement. It was strong, pounding, mean, wind. And it wasn't just gusty, it was constant fan on level 3 crazy wind. Leigh and I showed up at the park to begin setting up with our volunteers (let me just say, we had the best volunteers ever! You'd think that by how great they were we we're paying them tons of money, but nope, they we're just awesome for free!) anyway, it was so windy that we pretty much had to do "plan b" for everything! None of our signs stayed up without excessive amounts of ugly duck tape which was very discouraging to have to use. And our raffle items didn't even last a second on the table before blowing half way across the park. It's the sort of situation where you just want to either cry or laugh hysterically at the craziness of everything!
Somehow, with lots of help, we figured it out. This group was pretty hardcore and wasn't going to let a little (okay, a lot) of wind stop them. Despite the weather, we were able to do the walk, the raffle, and serve lunch at the end! We had over 20 teams signed up for the event and even though Leigh and I were so busy and only had time to say 2 words to a few people, it was awesome to see so many kids with spina bifida and their families and friends there to support them and our organization!
The families at the event just made me so proud! These families conquer so much on just a daily basis already. They worked so hard to raise money for the organization and then showed up in a wind storm to support individuals with spina bifida. I wish that I had more time to meet everyone there. These families are my new heroes!
I'm excited to announce that the Stroll N Roll event raised over $20,000! Isn't that incredible?! I'd also like to share that Carson's Crew raised just over $5,500! I am just blown away by the generosity of everyone. I can't tell you how blessed I felt every time I opened my mailbox to see another check waiting for us! Not because of the amount of money but because as the donations poured in I was reminded how many of you care about us and the things that are important to us. Many of you graciously tell me how you are inspired by Carson's life, but let me say also that it's because of your support, prayers, and encouragement that allow us and inspire us to hopefully make a difference.

At the risk of sounding like I'm giving an awards speech or something, I really do have to say:

Rollers and Strollers, you amaze me. Let me just say, that if you think kids with SB are determined and strong, you should meet their whole family.

Carson's Crew and Carson's Club, I have no idea what I would do without you. You guys have stuck with me through everything! No one has encouraged me more than you.

Carson's Crew supporters, your contributions are like fuel. Not only will they go along way within our organization, but they encourage and motivate me as an advocate for Carson. Your donations are such a blessing to my family and my community.

Leigh, did you know that you have turned me into the type of person who plans events? If it weren't for you, I would be too chicken to do this sort of thing. Your friendship has made me a better person!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Stroll N Roll!

By now, you have probably heard of our upcoming event, the Stroll N Roll! Because of this event, my house has been in a complete state of chaos, the clutter and laundry are pilling up, and the little free time I have has been completely devoted to this event. My friend, Leigh, and I are planning the event and it has been tons of work but also tons of fun! And although my life has been extra busy because of this, more importantly, our local spina bifida association will be able to continue to serve west Michigan families.
Several years ago, I have had the privilege of meeting and connecting with other families affected by Spina Bifida. These families are strong, inspiring, and amazing. I am a better person for knowing these families and their incredible children.
The first family I connected with was during my pregnancy. Many of you know the story of how I came to know, Leigh (who was actually my neighbor!). Together, and scared to death, we somehow navigated through our complicated pregnancies and experienced the joy our miraculous little boys! Sometimes I just can't even believe how fortunate I am to be blessed with such a friend.
These past few years I have really begun to understand why "it takes a village to raise a child." The families I have befriended have become the most valuable resource when it comes to needing advice on Carson's care. It is because of these friendships that I am so proud to support the valuable work of the West Michigan Spina Bifida Association.
The event, the Stroll N Roll, is kind of like a walkathon where participants form teams to compete in raising the most money. My team is called, "Carson's Crew." And there's still time to donate!
Throughout the past few weeks I have been blown away by the generosity of my friends and family. For many of you, several years ago, you probably would have never imagined someday donating to a Spina Bifida organization, actually many of you probably would be saying "spina what?" Myself included. Then Carson was born and here we are. It has been amazing to see how God has opened my eyes to a new community that has blessed me so much and that I can hopefully contribute to. Thank you for joining me in supporting this work!