Bittersweet – PTES

Yesterday we WALKed.  If you’ve been around the blog, or lived near me, you know all about the WALK.  Coldest Night of the Year.  What a day!!  The day we hit the streets to support those who are homeless, hurting and hungry and raise money for The LifeShelter.

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But let me back up to Friday night, the day before the WALK when we hit 100% of our goal.  What a moment!!!  As an organizer, it is so sweet to know you’ve meet the goal and that everything else is gravy, so to speak.  That totally took the stress off me.  That and I knew I had an incredible team of people to work with on it.

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When we started planning for this year, we set our sights on $30,000 with 25 Teams hitting the streets with 125 walkers.  What actually happened was that we raised (unofficially) over $43,000 with 35 Teams with close 300 walkers.  Whoa.  Completely blew it out of the water!  We had such support from the people around the county!  Volunteers, walkers, people who donated, companies who sponsored the event…..the list is long!!

I’ve enjoyed the role of Event Director so much!  I got to meet so many amazing people along the way. People who give so much.  People who expect nothing in return.  People who go the extra mile to see what more they can do for the shelter and the people who use it.  I love being a part of something so amazing, of being behind the scenes and planning.

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I worked with Keith Hazzard, the Executive Director of The LifeShelter, on Coldest Night.  Our weekly meetings were usually filled with getting off topic, laughter and obviously some planning.  But always coffee.  Seeing how passionate he is about helping others and filling the needs without our county has been a huge blessing to me.

The Team Captains in place for the event were fantastic.  When people say the quote about ‘many hands’, they aren’t kidding.  Knowing we had experienced people in place to head up things like Registration, Food and the Route…..what a relief.   And then the volunteers who helped out these Captains were amazing as well!  I feel like we ran like a well-oiled machine….but that might just be me!  A special shout out to Christine of Wonkyeye Photography (and Dave!) for capturing all the moments!  I know that I’ll look back over these for years to come and remember the awesomeness of CNOY2015!

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It was awesome to have my girls there.  They have seen how hard I worked for this and were there to walk beside me.  They have big hearts and did a great job with their fundraising efforts.  I think one of them could easily take over next year and rock it!! Plus, they’re cute.  That always helps!

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There were so many little things that meant so much to me.  The bracelet that one of the Team Captains presented me, his team figured they’d raise about $300, they raised over $1300 selling grilled cheese sandwiches and bracelets at their high school.  The hugs from so many people, the comments from volunteers who already offered to help next year, the yummy seafood chowder, and the conversations that took place during the night.  The photo booth was a riot, too – so glad to see so many other people thought so, too!  I was surrounded by so many of my friends, new and old and my family.  How could it not be wonderful?

All in all, it was awesome!  Today is strange, though.  I’m a little lost and a lot tired.  I’m so thrilled with how it went, but I’m sad its over.  Bittersweet.  I’m suffering from PTES – Post Traumatic Event Syndrome…..

When do we start planning for 2016?

To be continued,

Lori

All the photos in this post are from Christine, you can view more HERE