Although the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk Series continues throughout the country, that’s a wrap for the Midwest! Most of you know that this was my first year at ZERO, as I started as the Midwest Chapter Director back in May. As I was reflecting on my first race season, I was filled with all kinds of emotions. So I put pen to paper to capture them all to share with you.
In my first few weeks, the Chicago and Wichita races took place. Combined these two events raised nearly $142,000. Being so new, I didn’t get the chance to attend these events, but they were a huge success. What a way to kick off the Midwest on a high note! Then, in late August, I got to experience the Cleveland race (check out my Cleveland blog, so much love). After all the amazing stories I heard from Chicago and Wichita and being a part of the Cleveland race, I couldn’t wait to get started on my remaining four Midwest events.
The weekend of September 15th was a jam packed ZERO weekend, starting with the Twin Cities and St. Louis races on Saturday, and the Kansas City race on Sunday. Combined, these three races raised more than $212,000. Wow, what an impact! I could go on and on with stories from these races, but instead I thought I would share some of my favorite pictures. When we were done cleaning up on Sunday, I took a moment to reflect on everything that happened that weekend; the people I met, the personal stories that were shared with me and all the warm hugs I received. I was a part of something greater, a community and a family. How blessed am I that I get to call ZERO my job? How blessed am I that I get to call the staff, volunteers, sponsors, participants I work with my friends? It was an emotional weekend for me and one I will never forget.
The Midwest race series wrapped up the last weekend of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month with the Des Moines event. We ended the season with a BANG! Not only did I get to work with the amazing Mark Good all weekend, I got to be a part of the Advocacy Dinner that Mark and his wife Theresa put together every year to honor survivors, patients, caregivers, and sponsors. It was a night where the community came together to network with each other and for us to share our passion and gratitude. Jimmy Charles gave a private performance (not a dry eye in the house when he played “Superman”) and a local restaurant donated a fabulous Chinese buffet dinner. Everyone was excited to continue the fun the next day. And the race on Saturday morning delivered. It was yet another powerful and emotional race. Des Moines obliterated it’s $85,000 goal and raised $105,000 (with money still coming in). Here are just a few of my favorite pictures from that weekend.
Thanks to all of our practice partners, sponsors, patients, survivors, caregivers, families, friends, coworkers and volunteers, the Midwest had a strong race season. The impact we make together in these communities is tangible. And real and it comes bring out in every conversation I had with participants. Together, you raised nearly $440,000 and brought out over 2,300 participants. What an inspiration. You have made me and all of us #ZEROproud!