Archives for category: Community service

Team Pop 2017
At mile 4, I started undoing one of the safety pins that held my race number to my “Team Pop” shirt. It was hot. I was tired. I felt done. I would simply pull off my number and sneak away from the race. My car was just across the street from that particular spot on the course. Would it matter if I bailed now? My intent had been sincere. My energy and motivation at that moment were sapped.

But I thought about Pop, who I had met only that morning before the event. Kenny’s dad. Grandpa to Jess and Ken’s 6-month old. Mrs. Morris’s husband. I convinced myself that the overheating misery I was experiencing was nothing compared to the fatigue and illness Pop has been going through as he battles lymphoma. Or the anger and frustration Ken has dealt with watching a parent battle an invisible opponent like blood cancer. And the courage I witness in my own mother as she faces lung cancer head-on.

I re-fastened the safety pin and told myself this was not going to be my induction into the quitting hall of fame just because the run felt hard. Fighting cancer is hard. And so is watching it from outside the ring as a grown child, like Ken & Jess, who only recently became parents themselves.

The conversation that took place in my head included a reprimand to myself with the reminder that this event and this day were not about me. Not in the least. The mental reaming involved a laundry list of thrashings that included the recognition that my ego was getting in the way of why I had come out to be part of Team Pop in the first place.

I thought about standing with my hand over my heart while the national anthem was played before the race and how emotional I felt knowing that Kenny had pulled together a large group of folks who wanted to show their support for him and his dad. I thought about how competitive I am with myself and how at this stage in my life I do not need or even really want the accolades or trophy that come with being first or fastest. That being healthy and strong and able-to are reasons enough to toe the start line and cross through the finish chute. Not an option for Pop right now.

Waiting to cross the finish line with Ken and others from the team he organized made me feel grateful and humble. The smile on Pop’s face, and the appreciation he showed for everyone who had gathered to support and honor him was powerful. The story Ken and Jess saw of their lives only a year ago did not include Pop having to suffer with blood cancer and maybe sooner than later miss out on holding, playing with and passing on wisdom to their child.

Kenny’s effort to do something so tangible to honor his dad, including surrounding him with so many people channeling positive energy in his direction, has to have converted into some sort of healing power, at least for now. I am grateful for the personal awakening that occurred by doing something good for someone else. And I still have not checked the times or results from the race.

I do know that that the lofty goal Ken set of raising $10K for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society was met and will support research and science to help find a cure. That, by far, is the best prize I have ever seen on the podium of any 10-K.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. These are the types of cancer that can affect the bone marrow, blood, lymph nodes or other parts of the lymphatic system. Their mission: cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Funds raised support lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provide free information and support services.

Running for Pop. Fueled by hope and love. Camaraderie. A cause. Distraction from what cannot be controlled. Purple passion. Spirit. Thanks, Kenny. Thank you, Pop.

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polio1950s

Photo from the Roosevelt library collection.

“We must fear a resurgence of this dreaded disease.”~ Peggy Bowditch

Read Peggy’s story here.

Join Gloucester Point Virginia Rotary Club as we raise awareness and funds to help eradicate polio as it lurks in just two nations: Afghanistan and Pakistan.   Plants to End Polio is a project where we partnered with Brent & Becky’s Bulbs Bloomin’ Bucks program so that when you select Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation, 25% of your sale is donated to End Polio Now.  Unfortunately, the “shop” is closed for the season but will re-open in January.  In the meantime, please help us spread the word.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match every dollar donated to End Polio Now 2:1.

Check out this post for hints on growing beautiful bulbs during the dreary winter months.

polio amaryllis

Click here to read Susan Camp’s hints for growing indoor bulbs.

Our Gloucester Point Virginia Rotary Club wants to raise awareness and funds to help End Polio Now.  Through a partnership with Brent & Becky’s Bulbs Bloomin’ Bucks program, when Gloucester Point Rotary Charitable Foundation is selected, 25% of your sale is donated to Rotary International’s effort to eradicate polio.  The store is closed for the season but will re-open in January.  But until then, you can find out more about Plants to End Polio here.

polio girlwithcrutches

Photo by Amber Case

Click here to read A Child’s Memory by Susan Camp

Our Gloucester Point Virginia Rotary Club is working to raise awareness and funds to help eradicate polio, once and for all.  The virus persists in two nations: Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Plants to End Polio links to an online store that is closed for the season but will re-open in January.  In the meantime, we want to build an on-line community of supporters.

It is crucial for each person to contact his or her Supervisor to let the Board of Supervisors know that a comprehensive bike and pedestrian plan is a priority for citizens in Gloucester County.  For now, we encourage you to send a letter (email) to your District Supervisor and the At-large representatives.  SCROLL DOWN for 2 sample letters that you can copy, cut, paste and edit to send to the Board of Supervisors.

Link to names and a map if you are not certain which district you live in):

http://www.co.gloucester.va.us/BoardofSupervisors.aspx

Email addresses

http://www.co.gloucester.va.us/Portals/0/admin/documents/CountyOfficialsList.pdf

2015 Board of Supervisors

Christopher Hutson (Gloucester Point District)

Ashley Chriscoe – Chair (At-Large)

Robert Orth (Abingdon District)

Andrew James, Jr. (Ware District)

Michael Winebarger (Petsworth District)

John Meyer, Jr. – Vice Chair (At-Large)

Phillip Bazzani (York District)

Clerk to the Board of Supervisors: Brenda Garton

Deputy Clerk to the Board of Supervisors: Patricia (Trish) Cronin

LETTER 1

February –, 2015

Dear (BOS Member)

I am writing as a member of your district to express my feelings that bike and pedestrian issues be a priority in your vision of Gloucester’s future.

I envision a Gloucester in the future with an abundance of pedestrian and bicycle friendly areas.

I travel and see communities with designated bike lanes, walking paths and sidewalks, share the road signs, and bicycle parking.

Young professionals are attracted to communities where outdoor recreation and alternative transportation are obviously valued and accommodated.

I am a member of a bicycling running community here in Gloucester and I want you to know that I am anxious to see you commit ideas and funding to make our county an example of how alternative transportation can make a community truly “the land of the life worth living.”

Sincerely,

Your name

District

LETTER 2

February –, 2015

Dear (BOS Member),

I am a member of the bicycling and running community here in Gloucester County.   I am writing to express my desire to make Gloucester County a model for rural communities as a bike and pedestrian friendly place to live and work.

Specific goals include:

-To enhance the safety and appeal for recreational use and commuter cycling using signage, shoulder maintenance, and designated lanes on many roads that connect to Rt. 17.

-To ensure that future road improvement projects include feasibility studies to increase the number of bicycle lanes or wider shoulders.

-To implement the recommendations in a Pedestrian/Bicycle Path Feasibility Study for the Gloucester County Courthouse and Beaverdam Park Area, dated 2002, prepared by Buchart-Horn, Inc. from the 2014 Update to the Gloucester County Comprehensive Plan, Alternative Transportation.

-To seek out recreational and commuter bike options such as a circuit around the Courthouse area. Another idea is to use land behind the hospital to create a mountain bike trail.

It should be Gloucester’s goal to manifest an alternative transportation vision so that all the families, cyclists, and runners that work in the community, play in the community, spend money in the community and give back to the community have the kinds of accommodations that make this truly the land of the life worth living.

Sincerely,

Eradicate polio.

“Thinking big is an important part not only of successful businesses, but also of successful societies. It reflects a belief in human ingenuity and the ability to overcome even the toughest problems facing the world.”

M. Bloomberg/B. Gates

If you want to be part of an organization doing incredible good in the world, consider joining a Rotary Club. I can almost guarantee there is one near where you work or live. Rotary International is the driving force behind the largest humanitarian project in the world: ending polio. Michael Bloomberg just announced a $100 million contribution to help end polio now.

On a local level, Rotary clubs promote friendship, integrity in business and relationships, service projects, and peace. Rotary Club members are professionals who work to make our communities better and improve the lives of those in need locally and world-wide.