Sunday, September 30, 2012

Immediate Impact Walk: Day 3

Day 3 route

I'm still basking in the amazingness of this entire event experience. I'm finding it impossible to put into the words how incredible this weekend was. Rather than trying to come up with the perfect words, I'm just going to write, describe each photo, and hope that I'm able to be articulate enough to do it all justice.

As I wrote on Facebook: "Suffice to say: Amazing Day, Amazing Event, Amazing Friends, Amazing Experience. So proud, and so honored to have been a part of it all."

We met at Mission Creek Bay Park at 7:15am. We had 15 miles today, instead of 20, so we were able to start a little later. This meant that the sun was out before we started, which was nice! The weather was crystal clear and already in the 60s when we started. It was going to be a warm/hot day!

Before we started, I took this quick photo of our youngest walker (Stephanie, who is on the Board of the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, and who walked with us all 3 days!) and Linda E. who is the oldest walker. 36 years separate these two remarkable women, and the rest of us fill in every age in-between!

Our youngest, and oldest walkers: Stephanie and Linda E.

Once again, we started our day by stretching (led by the fabulous, Carol), listening to Linda recite an inspirational poem, followed by 109 seconds of silence (in which we reflected on our own personal reasons of why we walk, and who we walk for).

Linda reading a poem

We started walking around 7:30, walking around Mission Bay, as the sun was rising higher in the sky.

AT&T Park

We walked along the Embarcadero, and reached the Ferry Building just in time to watch the start of the Bridge to Bridge Marathon.

Happy Hotties in the Financial District

We turned on to California street, at the Cable Car turnaround. Well, you know we couldn't pass up that photo op!

Cable Car photo op!

It should be mentioned that somewhere around this time, Stephanie and I realized that we both had insect bites from the day before in the exact same spot on the backside of our right calves! AND, we both have strong allergic reactions to insect bites, so we were both swollen, red and itchy. We also both happen to be Chinese. :) Obviously, this called for a photo - because everything needs to be documented. ;)

bug-bitten Chinese girls

We walked up, Up, UP a very long stretch of California Street. As we were nearing the Chinatown area, we saw a news camera from Channel 5 waiting for us!!

Linda had gotten a call, only about an hour before that KPIX had heard about our walk, and wanted to do a story about it!! WoooooHooooo!! Terribly exciting!!

The camera man recorded us as we walked up the hill, then he interviewed Linda (the founder of the Warming Hut Hotties, and board member of In Our Lifetime) and the representatives of two of our beneficiaries who were walking with us. He taped several minutes worth of interviews, with the backstory of our walk, who it benefits, and how much we have raised.

KPIX Camera Man taping the Hotties as we climb California Street

Filming the interview

Linda's interview

After the interview was done, we had to put a set of deeleeboppers on the camera man and get a picture. He was a good sport. :)

Camera Man Hottie

I texted Dick straight away and asked him to set our DVR to record all news broadcasts on KPIX Channel 5. He recorded it on our Media Center, and was able to capture the news story for me. Here it is! (I hope you can see it!)

We were all so excited at the possibility of our event making the news. This was HUGE for us. The fact that we're such a small group, but raised so much money - we're so excited that more people will be aware of what we're doing!

we love KPIX!

We continued up California, then took a left onto Pierce, on our way to our RRR Station of Alta Plaza Park. (Yes, Lizelle - home of the infamous 2011 Day 1, Pit Stop 5, Cake(!) incident!)

Our beautiful crew butterfly, Sarah, who flew down from Seattle to take part of our event!

Yep, more stairs! Climbing up to Alta Vista Park

another member of our fabulous crew: Joe The Moto Safety Man. This brave man was the only male in our group, and he was there, keeping us safe the entire 3 days. Thank you, Joe!

Our crew was simply amazing. They fed us at rest stops, tended to medical emergencies (which I think were only as bad as blisters this weekend, thankfully) kept us hydrated, and picked up walkers in their cars when they needed a ride. Thank you, to our amazing crew members!

Moving right along, we walked up and down more hills in Pacific Heights, and Russian Hill.

Hotties on Hyde Street

We walked down Lombard Street (aka The Crooked Street), with a clear view of Coit Tower in the distance.

Walking down Lombard Street

We made our way through North Beach, then down to the Waterfront. What a gorgeous day! By this time, it was in the low 80s, but we managed to not get too hot by walking in the shade when we could.

Ghiradelli Square

The Waterfront - truly, we don't get many days as beautiful as this!

Our lunch break (mile 10.2) was at the Ft. Mason Lawn. Again, we were greeting by family, friends, and fellow Hotties! We so appreciate everyone who was able to come out to cheer us on. Your energy and enthusiasm revitalized ours! Thank you!!

Tanzeem, Marcia, Lizelle (who makes the best cheering signs ever!) and Lisa!!

Trina and Alycia (Mama Chu!)

Lunch was delicious - again! My sandwich was amazing - chicken breast, with avocado, sprouts and cream cheese. Delish! It also came with fruit salad, potato salad, a pickle, and one of the best brownies that you can imagine!

After we finished eating, we took a few more fun photos:

Catriona, Trina, Tina and Tina!

Linda I, Linda G, and Linda E. Three Lindas, spanning three decades.

Group shot of the walkers before we continued on.

The rest of our walk was very familiar territory. We walked onto Marina Blvd, into the Presidio, towards our beloved Warming Hut! By this time, the temps were rising, but we also had some nice breezes from the ocean and Bay to keep us comfortable.

Gorgeous day for a walk

This doesn't look like a San Francisco beach, does it?

Trina and Carol - almost done with Day 3!

Heading Home to the Warming Hut

I'm not sure if I blogged about this before, but Linda and Marcia had a pole which they strung green and silver ribbons to that we brought with us during the entire walk. The green ribbons had all of the walkers and crew member names, as well as our beneficiaries. The white ribbons were meant for us to write the names of friends and loved ones who have had their own battles with cancer, so that we could carry them with us. I walked with the pole during part of day 2 and day 3.

here i am carrying the pole of ribbons with names

We took a final group photo of our beloved Warming Hut before continuing our last couple of miles to Closing Ceremonies. Thank you to Clifton Roming for taking the photos!

photo by Clifton Roming

The last leg of our walk was a very familiar one. We left the Warming Hut, went up the stairs towards the Golden Gate Bridge, and went onto the Battery East Trail, under the Bridge. We went onto the Coastal Trail, then onto Lincoln Blvd.

On the Coastal Trail

While we were walking down Lincoln, we started hearing cheers from afar. We looked up, and saw dozens of people cheering us on from the top of Immigrant Point Overlook - our finish line for the event!! Personally, this came as a total, and wonderful surprise! We only had one last (and long) flight of stairs to climb to reach the top of Immigrant Point Lookout, the end of the walk, and our friends and family!

Our friends and family cheering us on from way up above! It was so amazing to hear them cheering us on during our last few steps!

The last flight of stairs

Climbing UP!

almost there...

There they are!

Walking up those final steps was truly exhilarating! We had so much joy and energy from reaching the end, you would never know that we had just finished walking 55 miles!! We had so many supporters up at the end waiting for us - family, friends, and Warming Hut Hottie teammates. So amazing!

I love this photo that my Mom and Dad took of Linda and Marcia, leading our team to the top! You go, Girls!!

My parents came, and brought my Grandma with them. My husband and Gay Boyfriend came too, of course!

With the family!

Spencer, Trina & Dick

Our dear, beautiful Hottie, Lizelle, was there...

...and she brought CAKE for us!!!
"I was told there would be cake... and there WAS!

Closing Ceremonies was spectacular, and unlike any other I've ever attended. With our small, grass roots event, came a small budget, but an enormous amount of heart. And that showed. Linda and Marcia did a wonderful job of reminding us what this event was all about - a small group of people can do incredible things together, and make a difference in the lives of many.

Marcia and Linda speaking during Closing Ceremonies

By Closing Ceremonies, we had raised over $93,000 with our event. Linda and Marcia were able to present our beneficiaries, The Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, Charlotte Maxwell Complimentary Clinic, and Friends to Friends with checks to each in the amount of: $24,906.67! AMAZING!!! We are still accepting donations through the end of October, and we are getting closer and closer each day to meeting (and exceeding!) our $100,000 goal, so these checks should be even larger in the end!

Presenting the check to a representative from the Charlotte Maxwell Complimentary Clinic

Presenting the check to representatives from the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund

Presenting the check to a representative from Friend to Friend

The gentleman from the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund had a special surprise for us, too! He presented Linda with a Certificate of Recognition from the State of California Senate!!!

Presenting the Certificate of Recognition to Linda

Certificate of Recognition from the State of California Senate, presented to In Our Lifetime

As we continued with Closing Ceremonies, Linda and Marcia asked all of the Breast Cancer Survivors in our group to come forward and make a circle, holding hands. The rest of the participants circled around them, and we all shared 109 seconds of silence of remembrance of those who we have lost, and those who we continue to walk for.

Circle of Survivors

The ceremony ended with the most amazing surprise. Marcia and Linda passed out small, triangular boxes to each of us. We were told told to open them up together all at once.

When we did, Beautiful Monarch Butterflies took to the air! Truly magical!

My butterfly box

Butterflies taking to the air!

My Mom captured this photo of one of our monarch butterflies before it flew away!

We took a final group shot with our walkers and crew. What an extraordinary group! So proud and honored to be a part of it!

The 2012 Immediate Impact Breast Cancer Walk Walkers and Crew

And here we all are will the representatives of our 3 beneficiaries

Oh - I almost forgot! Linda and Marcia surprised me during the Closing Ceremonies with an award for being the top fundraiser of our group!

Presenting my Golden Shoe Award!
photo by Clifton Romig

This last photo was Dick's idea, and I'm so glad we did.

We Made an Impact!

Yes, we did.

Thank you for helping us make an impact!

Thank you, Linda Imlay and Marcia Peterson for putting your entire heart and soul into your dream, sharing it with us, and for making the impossible happen. You amaze and inspire me. Thank you to our crew who came from far and wide, and kept us safe, hydrated, and smiling. Thank you to all of our walkers, for the laughter, the smiles, the tears and the dedication. I was honored to walk with you every step of the way. Thank you to all of our friends, family and fellow Hotties who came out to cheer us on and renew our energy each and every day. Thank you to the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund (BCEF), the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic and Friend to Friend Shop for all of the hard and important work that you do for people who need it most. Thank you to our donors and sponsors for giving us the drive to keep going. Thank you to my Mom, Dad, Sis, Grandma, Spencer, Miguel and Blane, who came out to cheer us on, and for their endless support of all I do. Thank you, Carol Abohatab, for introducing me to this world 3 years ago. Thank you to my husband, Dick Craddock, for supporting me through it all. Love and endless admiration to you all. xoxo