Monday, May 23, 2011


Sweatin' for Sammy -- 5k was a huge success.  Some of the highlights from the day, for me, include the following:

* Seeing Kelly Dippel there, ready to walk with her coffee mug in hand -- she had been up until 4:30am the night before, and was there ready to do this for Sammy!
* Being at Quicksilver at 6:30am, when it was quiet and peaceful (and cold) and feeling that surge of energy and excitement with simultaneous peace 
After the 5K family picture

* Knowing that volunteers were working at Hellyer Park in order to make this event free for us...incredible...knowing that they weren't with us at the 5K but off-site working for Sammy...feel a lot of appreciation for those guys.

Christine Valasco, our timing guru!
* When Jackie (who vounteered in our committee but has never met any of us or Samantha) met Sammy for the first time.  It was magical for me.
* Seeing Sammy in that oversized Sweatin' for Sammy t-shirt
* The incredible turnout (and the 40 additional people who registered the day of)
* Seeing the awesome banner that FastSigns donated -- awesome
Part of the Davis family.
* Being with my brother and his family who we don't get to see terribly often
* Meeting a woman who wants to hold her own fundraiser for Samantha
At the start line -- all ready to take off.
* Meeting a husband and wife who read about Samantha in the newspaper and decided to come out to donate and give us the blanket she made for Samantha (for the record, I LOVE this blanket and slept with it Saturday night.  I have to keep reminding myself it's for Samantha -- not me!)
* Getting to the top of that blasted mile long hill!
Our gorgous banner.
* Drinking ice cold water up at the top 
* Crossing the finish line with Sammy and seeing the crowd cheer and clap for her.  Quite emotional.
* Being surrounded by family
* Being surrounded by friends
* Being surrounded by strangers who were there for my little girl...humbling feeling
* All the volunteers!

Jen and I before people starting coming in.

* Seeing all the awesome t-shirts that said Sweatin' for Sammy.  It was just a cool feeling knowing that they were all wearing Sammy's shirt.
* Sammy totally happy during the walk/hike and yelling "Go!  Go!"
* Watching people get their medals at the end of the race
Kelsey Black, Sydney Black, Diane Black (event planner/coordinator/goddess), me, Jennifer Williams, Lori Ellington, Marty Judd, Kim Nelson, and Ranger Patrick right in the center.  I loved our ranger.  He was so helpful and made sure we had everything we needed.
* Amazed seeing how many people stayed after the race to just be there
* People taking pictures with Samantha in front of the banner
* Having Marcus by my side
Penni and Chad.  So much hard work from this fine lady!
* Announcing we have enough money for Samantha's 1st session of therapy and hearing those cheers!
* Going to Subway and Pinkberry after the race and seeing how many people were there.
* Talking to a man who participated and he, not knowing I was Samantha's mom, expressed how deeply he felt about the race (I did tell him I was Sammy's mom...and he gave me a hug)
Callie was such a good sport and had a lot of fun.  She took the microphone from Tom Pack and invited everyone over for a party.  The crowd liked that idea.  That's our Callie -- always up for some fun!
* The hugs from so many people
* The fabulous nap afterward!!!
* Callie taking the microphone and inviting everyone over to "my house" afterwards.

Trail of runners at the trail head
And that's just a few of the highlights.  It was an incredible incredible day.  I talked to my mom on the phone later that afternoon and tried to express some of the feelings I had there.  One thing that was overwhelming, was this sense of family.  There were definitely people there who I know and would call family -- aside from my actual family members being present.  And, of course, there were complete strangers there as well.  Yet, noone felt like a stranger to me.  They were all there for Samantha.  We had a total of 179 participants on the trail, in addition to our abundance of volunteers.  We were a large group, but we were small.  It felt very intimate.  We were on a hard trail, immersed in nature, walking/running/hiking/sweatin' for Sammy. 

As people have already discussed plans to do this again  next year, I think about all those who were there on Saturday and the intimacy of that event -- the closeness and the love -- and I feel so blessed to have been there with these people who were there in the beginning of, what I feel, is the beginning of a journey.

This 5K has changed my life.  Yes, it is helping us to cover therapy expenses, but it's more than that.  It has changed me.  To see not only the willingness, but the excitement, and, almost a passion, in these people -- all for Sammy -- it has changed me.  And I'm so excited for our next chapter. 

Thank you to all who helped, volunteered, attended, etc. 
The after-the-5K-party where Subway donated 15% to Sammy.  Pinkberry donated 20% -- didn't get a picture there, but we had a lot of people hitting up that frozen yogurt!


  1. Congratulations on a successful event! I wish we were not on opposite sides of the country...I would have loved to walk beside you and your family too!

  2. I'm glad it was such a success! Congrats!

  3. I know you humbly mention that all of these people were there for Sammy, but I know they were there for you, too! And Marcus! And Callie! You are all well-loved, admired, and supported. I'm actually not surprised. There are so many good and giving people in our community - they just need to know and be offered the chance to make a difference - and they rose to the occasion. I'm so happy for your family!

  4. Sounds like it was an amazing event! So glad it went so well! Can't wait to keep hearing about how she is doing and how "Now I can" goes!



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