Tuesday, October 27, 2015

#no1leftbehind 5k - October 24, 2015

October 24, 2015 ~ Today was a very exciting day. After a several months of planning the #no1leftbehind 5k Run/Walk  it was finally race day! Jacki Swank and I worked really hard to make sure every single person that registered for the "live race" or the "virtual race" knew exactly what to expect in an effort to get them excited about this day also! It was absolutely a perfect October day with 220 participants ready to do their part to knock out veteran homelessness in our community!

 I did a blog post about this event back in August 2015. It describes a little more about #no1leftbehind and Welcome Home, Inc. and why we decided to do this 5k.

 I have several thank you's to give so please be patient as I cover everything and everyone....


Jacki Swank... I just wanted to publicly thank my rock star co-organizer for her hard work, dedication and leadership on this 5k! Jacki certainly kept us both on our toes to make sure every single detail was taken care of. While she doesn't really "do" Facebook she worked tirelessly behind the scenes and brought the whole cowbell on race day! I couldn't have had a better person to do this event with and I appreciate everything you did to make this event rock! (She is the one that kept many of us looking awesome with custom tu-tu's... because she is that thoughtful!) {insert high five here}

Without some really awesome sponsors this event wouldn't have been near as successful. Because of these sponsorships it allowed 100% of each race registration to go directly to Welcome Home, Inc. and the #no1leftbehind Capital Campaign to truly make a difference in the lives of our veterans who are currently homeless and living at Welcome Home, Inc.

 Midway Electric, Inc. 


Friends of Welcome Home, Inc. 
(Sponsored the #no1leftbehind 5k Run/Walk) 
Gene Koepke and Deb Hermann
Mary Paulsell and Michael Polley
Midwest Mailing

Rock Bridge Hy-Vee


We were extremely lucky to have the support from three wonderful military organizations willing to lend a hand to helping us on race day. We certainly couldn't have pulled this event off without them and we are so appreciative of everything they have done for us. Thank you! 
We knew early on that we wanted some awesome finisher medals for this race. We also wanted to add a "virtual" option on this race as well so that anyone that wanted to participate would be able to. Virtual races are becoming very popular and you can read about them in a blog post I did:

Special thanks to Jost Running for designing and making these sweet finisher medals! Y'all did an awesome job of helping us to come up with something unique for this race!
We wanted something really unique and different for our t-shirts. I think Universi-T's surpassed our expectations! They did an awesome job with the logo design and we loved the feel of the t-shirts! 

(front of the t-shirts)
(back of the t-shirts)

Thank you to Fogle Point Photography for being our official #no1leftbehind 5k Run/Walk photographer! She will have pictures towards the end of the week so please keep a watch on the Facebook Event Page : https://www.facebook.com/events/1024411374238032/ for details! 

A huge thank you to the Columbia College Drum Line for an awesome motivation to the start/finish line as well as the unique start to the race! You all certainly raised the bar in 5k's and were totally awesome! Thank you all!  Columbia College also provided us with our National Anthem singer and he did an amazing job! (I have lost my notes so please forgive me on his name) 

This is pretty much everyone else.... THANK YOU! Each and every single one of you jumped on board to support this wonderful event. Many of you this was your very first 5k... Congratulations! While several of you told us early on that you couldn't run (walking 3.1 miles is the same distance as running 3.1 miles) which was totally fine. You got out of your comfort zones to support our veterans and that speaks volumes! For those of you that ran this event... You all are simply amazing and have too much energy! (Just kidding) Great job! I know you pushed hard and yet every single person that crossed that finish line had a huge smile on their face.... a moment of pride that you did it! We couldn't have done this event without you so thank you for pressuring your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers into doing this race! 

In closing I would also like to take a moment and say thank you to my mom, Marsue Crews and our employee, Nicole Ettleman for jumping in there and helping to stuff the 200 swag bags, stuff bags with t-shirts and race bibs as well as help with registration Friday night and Saturday morning. We couldn't be in 12 places at once and I greatly appreciate you both for helping us out! 

No matter if you were a virtual runner/walker or you participated in the actual race on Saturday October 24, 2015 you can know that we couldn't have done it without you! I know I keep repeating myself but seriously.... you guys/gals are what made this event so successful and we thank you! 
Scott and Shannon Schaefer, thank you so much for working last minute to capture the image that we wanted to use for this race. It's absolutly perfect! Y'all rock too!
While we don't have the exact total of money that will be donated to Welcome Home, Inc. and the #no1leftbehind Capital Campaign (we are waiting for a couple more checks to come in from the online registration) we do know that we have exceed our original goal of $5,000 but we are still shy of our extended goal of $10,000 (after costs are taken out). No matter the number between $5,000 and $10,000 the point is that we made an impact in the lives of those that are currently living at Welcome Home, Inc. and who have served our country with honor. We are all doing our part to help end veteran homelessness in our community by contributing to this campaign through fundraisers just like this 5k.... Thank you! 

*I have tried to thank every person and while I am human I may have forgotten someone. Please forgive me and know that you are appreciated- Thank you! *




Support Our Girls Virtual 5k!

October 22, 2015 ~ Tonight we completed another virtual 5k!  This virtual 5k (or 10k) was put on by MOONJOGGERS and this was their very first Breast Cancer Awareness themed virtual race! We had between October 1-31, 2015 to complete this race. It was another perfect night to walk with some rock star ladies that helped us get this one done! (Sadly, this event is sold out)

This year MOONJOGGERS wants to honor vets that have breast cancer. Did you know that military women are 20% to 40% more likely to get breast cancer than other women?  A portion of our proceeds will be going to Vets Fighting Breast Cancer, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping vets with breast cancer.

 We loved the finisher medal and loved what it stood for.... Now we have it hanging in our collections and hopefully one day they will find a cure to all cancers.... a word that is far to common now days. 

Never ever give up!

Fancy Dress 5k

October 18, 2015 ~ About a week and a half ago the Midway Walkie Talkies (our team name for the MU Step Up Challenge) got done with our evening walk we were standing at the back of my car while showing the ladies some fancy dresses I got from Savy Seconds in Boonville, MO earlier that day! We were laughing and admiring the sparkly dresses when they were wondering why in the heck would I buy fancy dresses (I'm a blue jeans and cowboy boot kind of girl) and you never know when you need to go somewhere and you'll have a fancy dress on hand. Then like a bolt of lighting the idea hit us! We needed to do a walk in fancy dresses! Then and there at the back of my car we created The Fancy Dress 5k!

So in true Spry fashion I thought we needed to add a few more details to this great idea.....

 I mean you can't be in a fancy dress and not have punch! I have a favorite punch recipe that I would be pulling out for this event! Yum!

Mini Cupcakes....
Well duh... who doesn't love mini cupcakes to go with your punch and a fancy dress?!?! Thank goodness Cherie Rutter with Cherie's Cake Boutique and Tea Room was able to whip up 8 dozen awesome bite size cupcakes for our event! Woo Hoo!

Canned Food Items!
Wait... What? Canned Food Items? Yep, you heard me correctly! If we were going to do something fun such as a Fancy Dress 5k then we needed to give it some purpose by adding a give back. The entry to participate in the Fancy Dress 5k would be a minimum of 4 canned food items that would all be donated to The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri (aka: The Food Bank) here in Columbia, MO. This was our way of recognizing a need within our community and making it a fun way to give back!

Finisher Medals!
In the world of races most people will jump on board for a good cause but when you have "finisher medals" then you get several more people to jump on board! Prior to the race I didn't tell anyone what the finisher medals would be. Let's just say I like things to be a "SPRY-ize"! 

Oh and a Photographer! 
I mean you can't have a fun event and not capture every moment without a rock star photographer! Thank goodness Rhiannon Trask with Lollipop Photography was able to squeeze us in her very busy schedule because she totally rocked this photography shoot!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The day was absolutely perfect! The dresses were fun, the weather was awesome and the laughter was contagious! With 40 women/girls ready to rock this 5k in our fancy dresses and comfy tennis shoes we had a couple things to take care of first.... 

We all had to take a photo in front of our donation to The Food Bank....
Hear from the Director of The Food Bank, Lindsay Young Lopez and how our donations will help....
Get a few quick directions on our path for the 5k....
A quick splash of sparkle from the Sparkle Queen....
A hot minute to get your lips on....
Then it was go time! 

Hopefully you can view this album because it's hilarious! I still get to laughing when I view the pictures! So. Much. Fun. It's hard to believe we threw this event together in 1 1/2 weeks and it was perfect and we can't wait to do it again!
 The awesome finisher medals were a huge hit! I wanted to come up with something creative and after spray-bombing 50 old metal spoons with orange spray paint because they reminded me of the big orange spoon they added to the front of The Food Bank in September 2015! 

The next day I took all the food over to The Food Bank to have weighed and see how much we actually donated.....

We got it all placed on the big scale and now it's time for the grand total....
Truly amazing! The Midway Walkie Talkies just wanted to say thank you so much for coming out to support this great event! A lot of fun was had by all and I promise we will still be laughing for years to come! I mean, these girls (all 40 of them) are hot messes!

Until next year sugars....... 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

An Eye Consult For My Pops

October 8, 2015 ~ In 2005 I had Lasik eye surgery to correct my vision. It's something that I am so glad that I did and something I would totally do again today if I could. (My vision is still 20/20 in one eye and 20/15 in my other so I can't have it done again) My pops wears glasses and has wore them full time for about 15 years give or take. We have talked about my Lasik surgery and the best part is that you can wear any kind of sunglasses because you don't have a need for prescription glasses/sunglasses anymore.

Two things you need to know about my pops....
1. He loves riding his Harley
2. He's pretty good at drinkin' beer

Ok so there isn't just two things has he is a hard worker, prostate cancer survivor, loves his family, can do anything, loves country music and enjoys visiting with his buddies but the two listed above are the main things! Ha! 

So I take pops and momma to his consultation. First, because of his age they have to do a cataract evaluation. If he passes this then he should be good for Lasik. We get over to the eye place and I help fill out his paperwork - frankly it's faster and I know everything except his social security number and a couple minor questions. As the lady walks us back for a series of tests she says "Jim, I like your hobbies!" Pops looks at me and I just shrug my shoulders.... just being honest! "I think riding a Harley and drinking beer are some of the best hobbies a person could have!" We all laugh and start the tests. Pops does good. 

We move into the next room.... Pops is sitting in the chair and momma and I are sitting across the room next to each other. She puts a clip on patch on his eyeglasses and asks him to read the letters on the chart. No problem and he reads them. Then she leave the patch on the one glass and places another patch on his other glass and asks him to read the letters. At this point momma is trying to be quite says "Now that's ignorant how the heck is he supposed to see anything with two patches on his eyes?" I started laughing.... just then the lady says "Jim, there is a little pin hole to see out of can you read the letters" Truly it was priceless! 

Then she places drops in his eyes to dilate them for the next part of the testing. Pops didn't care for those.  After a few minutes she pulls her chair up to him and says "Look straight at me Jim and follow the light with your eyes" my pops quickly follows up with "I've done this before! You aren't going to arrest me are you?" Oh my gosh.... we all were laughing! (Y'all wonder where I get my craziness from.... I've got two wild and crazy parents!) 

We go to the next room....... Pops says "I hope they don't charge per room" and the lady just laughs. (Pops is kind of a tightwad) The doctor comes in and talks to all of us. Sadly he has the very early start of cataracts which makes him not a candidate for Lasik surgery. He still has great vision and just wanted to fix his eyes so that he didn't have to wear glasses anymore. He is a candidate for refractive lens replacement where they remove the cataract and replace his lens that would give him great vision but when he saw the price of this surgery he said he could have the start of a nice new Harley! Oh pops! So for now he will just stick to what he has until it's bad enough and Medicare will take care of it. I'm glad that he went and feel like they explained everything in detail. It's never a dull moment with those two parents of ours!