Sunday, September 13, 2009

Why I Care.

There is so much bad news in the world today that many have become indifferent to it. Though I did not walk this year, I did raise money and awareness -- and I did support those who walked. You could say that I'm a busy executive, and wonder why I would do that. It's actually pretty simple. I was raised with a set of values that says when you can influence the outcome, you put your shoulder to the wheel.

Cancer wreaks havoc upon persons and their families. Breast cancer strikes both women and men, but mostly women. I have long believed that raising money for research into any form of cancer enhances the research for other forms. And we've come a long way. Just not far enough.

So rather than feeling blue, please celebrate the joy of walking with me in the photo essay below. Over 2100 walkers this year, even in such a terrible economy, as well as 300 support crew. And it's hot this year -- over 400 walkers seen yesterday in the medical tent for heat exhaustion.

We have known that walking is good for your health, and leads to more of those little endorphins running around in your bloodstream. Walking can also raise a lot of money, though we won't know exactly how much until closing ceremonies this afternoon. If you feel like getting outside yourself, and seeing 2400 focused people in action, please make it a point to attend the closing ceremonies today at 4pm at Seattle Center's Memorial Stadium.

This morning the walkers were dropped at North Seattle Community College to walk south for their last 16 miles. They came through Green Lake, my favorite place to walk, quite early. Here are some of the photos, and names when I can remember them now. Mostly, I hope the photos give you a flavor of the event.

Michelle and Juanita, two feisty Kindred Spirits.

A total of five Seattle firefighters who are based at the Port of Seattle walked this year, and here's one of them.

Here's the firefighter who carried the "My Mother" flag in opening ceremonies. All the firefighters wore their 40 pounds of gear through the walk.

The tall flags carried in opening and closing ceremonies are taken apart so that they can be carried during the walk, passed through the walkers so everyone has a chance.

A Kindred Spirits artwork, placed in Pit Stop #1.

The medical area, where blisters are self-treated and/or handled by the medical tent.

Tracy Kudrna is in this photo, though we can't see her. I was yelling to her and shooting at the same time.

Pit Stop Heaven.

And they just keep coming....

A little boy wants to keep hanging on to his mother...

More firefighters....

More Kindred Spirits teammates!

Kindred Spirits team captain Penny Kellam, and Jennine Linn. Penny will walk both in Seattle and in California this year. Jennine, who had brain surgery on May 25, walked 5 miles the first day, 7.5 miles yesterday, and plans on 6.5 miles today. She is feeling good!

The crew works so hard during this event! Here's one of the bike riders. They stay with walkers all along the route, guide walkers across intersections, and call for assistance for walkers if it is needed.

Here comes Kate Butt!!!

And still more Kindred Spirits!

Ramona Peck, a Kindred Spirit and a survivor, crewed this year. She is many things, but we know her as the mother of Jennine Linn.

Last photo, below, is of the Pit Stop #1 crew chief, who has just checked to make sure no walker has been left behind.

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