It has been nearly 24 hours, but I am still exhausted from this weekend. It was so full of events and fundraisers and running and laughter and crying and meeting up with old friends. I am spent. And while I don’t have the time, or the energy, for that matter, to get into everything that happened this weekend, I did want to tell you all a little about the Take Steps for Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis event on Saturday. (And, no, I definitely did not take any pictures… I didn’t even have time to sit down! But thankfully, there are lots of pictures floating around.)
As you may know, I’ve been a part of the planning committee for this walk for about 6 months now. It has been a great experience, but it has also been a lot more work than I had originally anticipated. We have been meeting once a week for more than a month and prior to that it was still every other week. And there was a long list of things that needed to be done on the days in between.
But the event really came together this weekend. My wonderful husband and brother-in-law came out to help set up in the morning. I arrived a little bit later to join in. There was a lot going on, but I feel that we all coordinated really well to make sure that things ran smoothly. My parents also came out to help with the walk.
It turned out to be a beautiful day. I kept checking the weather in the days leading up to it and it wasn’t looking too good at one point, but it ended up being warm and sunny and the clouds rolled in just in time to provide some shade for the walk.
My main job for the day was coordinating the “talent.” This meant working with the emcees, speakers and band. I had worked previously to set up things for the emcee. We had the lovely Renee Chou of WRAL join us to kick off the festivities, and radio personality David Wilson to announce the top fundraisers following the walk. Both were wonderful to work with and did a great job. There were a few hiccups along the way, but thankfully, we were able to take care of everything in enough time that I don’t even think anyone else noticed. And let’s be honest, that’s really the goal of any event, no matter how well planned!
I didn’t stop the entire day. Not including everything I did prior in the day, which began at 6 a.m., I was at the walk from 12:30 until about 9:30 that evening. The event itself was wrapped up around 6:30 or so, but then the clean up and tear down begins! It was a lot of work. Events are always easier to put together than they are to tear apart. One-by-one, everyone soon dropped off. It ended up being just me and the local CCFA rep putting the last boxes away and making a final sweep of the area.
Looking back, I know there are things that we could have planned better to make the event go even smoother, but all in all, I think we pulled it off. We had nearly 700 participants who all seemed to have a great time and we raised close to $110,000 that will help fund research to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and promote events for patients of these diseases.
I worked with such a great team on this project. Many of us were new to the event, so there was a bit of a learning curve, but I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. I met some wonderful people who I look forward to working with again in the future. But mostly, it feels good to have accomplished something so big that is going to make such an impact.