Nobody has to explain why they donate money or time to a non-profit, right? It just makes sense, the person is trying to help. What you find when you dig in though is that the reason and the story of why someone does these things is where you find the very special, human moments that make their actions so important. Whatever this story is has spurred action and led to real help being offered. That is powerful, but it isn’t all of it. Their story can also inspire.
A few months after my cancer treatment in 2003 Margot and I began participating in cancer fundraisers. We wanted to help. We felt lucky that my story had gone as well as it had so far, and with a great prognosis for the future it seemed like a way to take my returning energy and passion and pay it forward. And boy did we get a chance to do that!
Over the next few years we got involved in the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the Relay For Life. We organized a team of fundraisers, hosted rallys, and made a lot of noise on event days. We stoked the community around these events to crank up their work and also pay the challenge forward. It was great fun. We got involved in planning and day-of-event logistics for some of these events as well. Lots of early mornings emptying trucks of their equipment and supplies. A little less fun (sometimes), but also rewarding. We’ve always been thankful for the opportunity to give back. It seems weird to think that way, but if you are feeding your soul in these moments, that is a benefit worth being thankful for.
Last year during the pandemic we hosted a mini Relay For Life outdoors at the meadery. This was a great way to Relay safely, but also keep “feet on the track”, one of key symbols from the history of this incredible event. Along the way we’ve met a lot of other people just like us. Their first hand experience prompted them to step up and make a difference for people they’d likely never meet, and their stories continue to inspire us and others. Unfortunately we’ve also lost some of these people along the way to cancer, including my Father who used to take lots of late night laps around the track with me at many of our past Relays. Because we also remember when we celebrate and fight back, we have always found ways to make sure we never forget how these people were fighting for something bigger than themselves. We make them legendary when we continue the fight.
Some of the people we’ve met also challenged us to tell our story and inspire others with our efforts. As the years progressed we’ve been recognized as passionate fundraisers and volunteers, energetically fighting back against something that impacts all of us. To date we have directly raised over $150,000 for these cancer focussed organizations.
We’ve since added other organizations like the New Hampshire Food Bank, Manchester YMCA, the Green & White Mountain Girl Scouts, FIRST, Rockingham Meals on Wheels, the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation and the New England Red Cross, raising an additional $20,000 to benefit their missions as well.
So here we are telling you about our journey in hopes of inspiring you to help us once again. Just like us, you have a story. We’d love for you to add yours to the collection and help us change these kinds of stories forever.
For the 19th year Margot and I are participating in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. If you would like to make a donation to our team click the link below. All funds go directly to the American Cancer Society.