Monday, August 27, 2007

Saturday - LIVESTRONG Challenge Philadelphia

This weekend was great and just shows how great the Lance Armstrong Foundation is and how they put on a top notch fundraising event!

Saturday was hot – that is an understatement – it was extremely hot. We went to pick up our packets at the LIVESTRONG Village around 4PM. We bought some new shirts for us and the kids and then we went back to the hotel to get ready for the dinner in Philadelphia for the top fundraisers who raised $3,000 or more.

It took us over an hour to get to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. The traffic moved but we should have been there in 30 minutes so the traffic got a bit thick at times. Once we got there it was past 6:30 so the pasta (buffet) dinner had already started. The room the LAF held the dinner in was very nice. They had a stage and LIVESTRONG wristband lights all over near the stage. Looked great! It is a shame I forgot our camera.

As always, Doug Ulman was a great speaker and so was Lance Armstrong. They went through the past, present and future of the LAF. In 10 years, they have raised over $200 million to help survivors and fight cancer.

During one segment of the night they took time to announce the names of the top fundraisers. I was in the $10,000 - $19,999 range. Once all checks are in to the LAF I will be over $16,000. They had us stand up as our name was called. Everyone cheered - it was a great sense of accomplishment. Having my peers recognize the hard work felt great. I stood up not just for me, but for everyone on Team DOWN ONE.

My wife really liked the event. It was her first time attending an LAF run event. There were a few emotional moments when they spoke about recent deaths and how dedicated they were to the cause. Though it is sad to hear we lose another person to cancer it is great to hear how hard they worked to fight cancer and support the LAF. All of them are inspirations to all of us.

During the dinner my wife and I sat with Robert & Jennifer Kiesendahl. Robert was honored at last years LIVESTRONG Challenge with the Challenge award. Awarded to the person that makes great effort and/or takes innovative measures to increase public awareness of the fight against cancer. It was great to meet Robert and his wife.

I was able to finally met Charles Mulea. Charles has been the top fundraiser for the LAF the last 3-4 years. I reached out to Charles in May to get some pointers on how to raise a lot of money. I am new to this so I figured it would be best to see the top guy. He was very helpful with his insight so it was great to finally meet him. I look forward to working with him on future events and finally getting in the golf game we have talked about.

Saturday’s dinner was a great event!

I will post Sunday’s summary soon.