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Light the Night

Friday night we participated in the Lukemia & Lymphoma's Light the Night Walk @ Qualcomm Stadium:

It was our first "walk for a cause", and here's how it came about.

Been trying to exercise. Well, I should say I've been trying to get motivated to exercise. That's really the hardest part, I think for most everyone. Well when my own health and appearance weren't enough, I figured maybe I could start by doing one of these walks.

So I searched for one that was:

1) taking place in the near future

2) not a race or triathalon

3) less than 5k

4) nearby

and I found Light the Night, taking place in two weeks (from the time I was googling), a 2 mile walk around Qualcomm. I figured 2 miles isn't too challenging for the all 5 of us could do it together. I decided to do it in memory of my mom, although she died of a brain tumor, not a blood cancer. My dad's father did die of a blood cancer, so we walked for him as well. My mom's dad died from cancer too....and as I thought about it, there were many many people that we added to our "walking for" list. It was kind of sad, but it did motivate me to get off my butt and walk...which was the main point in the beginning.

We had to set a fundraising goal. Considering we only had two weeks until the event, and considering it's Christmas-shopping season and the way the economy is, I set our goal at $100 and figured we'd probably raise $20 or less. But that didn't really matter to me.

So Jesse sent out emails and posted it on facebook, and in two weeks we raised
not $100.
not $150 or $200.
Not even $250 or $300.
We raised

*** $335.00 ***

I was shocked and amazed when I saw that number. It may not be the biggest number, but considering we did it in only 2 weeks, and that the donations came from people who I know don't have an extra $20 laying around, people who I haven't talked to in over 7 years, and even some people I've never even met (people from Jesse's work)....I thought it was amazing and each time I got an email saying a donation had been made, it brought tears to my eyes!

Not to mention it felt really awesome to exceed our goal. It started at $100, we exceeded that so I raised our goal to $200, and we exceeded that again. Who knew that raising money that I couldn't even spend could feel so good!

So here's our night:

Each walker who raised $100 got to carry a balloon (in memory of their loved one, if they were walking for someone). It was really cute; they had little lights inside and when you turned them on, they blinked.

Our first stop, after picking up our ballons and t-shirts, was the hot chocolate booth where the girls found somebody they wanted to take a photo with:

(The extra kids in that picture are Arissa's Drill Team buddies: Olivia & Vanesa, who came along for the walk as well.)

There was also a booth handing out snacks:

and balloons:

It was such an awesome thing. It was chilly, but once we got walking I don't think any of us noticed. I explained to the girls why we were doing it, and that they might get tired but they should feel happy if they feel tired...because we're doing a good thing and raising money for people who would probably give anything to be able to be out there in the cold, walking a short 2 miles.

And I think they got it for the most part. Mariah did ask "can I complain just one time?". I said sure, one time. So she goes "my feet hurt, my feet hurt, my feet hurt!". :o) And that was that.


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