Wednesday, July 3, 2013

13th Event of 2013: Freedom Run 10K

Dralla Foundation Week AND Freedom Run 10K: Greensboro, NC

Tuesday, June 25th:

I returned home from Seattle at noon on Sunday and spent the last 2 days doing laundry and extensively cleaning our home in preparation for the arrival of the Dralla Foundation Review Board Committee. The Committee will be in town until Saturday, hopefully giving us all enough time to select our 2013 Grant Recipients and to reevaluate the review process in order to accommodate the recent growth in the foundation.

I've written about Dralla in past posts so I'll resort to the lazy-girl's shortcut--the Dralla website link--for now. After all, this is an extremely busy week for me so I won't have much time for blogging. That being said, this foundation is extremely important to me and I continue my role this year as Review Board Advisor. Please click the link to learn more about the mission and efforts of Dralla Foundation:

With most of my chores done I have to zoom off to Eden (that would be Eden, NC) where I have my last follow-up with Dr. Mark Roy pertaining to my most recent spinal fusion surgery in January. I am hopeful that I will get a thumbs-up from him to resume all normal activity finally. Dr. Roy and his team were previously based at Cone Hospital here in Greensboro, just blocks from my home, but they parted ways and moved to the Morehead Hospital System almost 2 years ago. The hour drive is a small price to pay for such a caring and talented team! I whole-heartedly recommend Dr. Roy/Morehead Spine to anyone in this area needing a neurosurgeon.

Wednesday, June 26th:

All went very well with Dr. Roy yesterday afternoon--I'm cleared (with cautions) to resume all activity I was doing at this time last year. Such a relief!!! Jim and I had planned to catch a Greensboro Grasshopper game last evening to celebrate the good news & to spend some fun time together before the arrival of the Committee today. However the game got rained out so we opted for porch-time with our neighbors, Manny and Laura, who look after our house and lawn while we're running all over the country. As soon as the storm passed we walked back across the street and caught an episode of Deadliest Catch before falling asleep.

This morning I was up at 5:00am to prepare for an interview I had at a local station, WFMY2. I was scheduled to go live on the Good Morning Show with Tracey McCain as a follow-up to the success of TeamUP and as a lead-in to the upcoming Freedom Run 10K in downtown Greensboro on Saturday. The entire news team at WFMY TV2 has been so welcoming and generous towards our efforts of sharing the GetBackUP message locally this year. Thanks to you all and especially to Tracey! 

And thanks to Ashley Watkins of BKI, Inc. for meeting me at the station so early this morning. All the photos are courtesy of Ashley!

Tracey has more than earned her Get Back UP medal for continuing her coverage of our mission. We so appreciate you, Tracey!!
Here's the link to the story and, as usual, if it is no longer an active link you can check out the press room on the website pages:

After the interview it was back home to make a strawberry rhubarb pie from scratch. Last year I made this pie for the review board and it was such a hit, especially for those who had never had rhubarb, that  Grant Administrator, Jen Buehler put in her request for another round this year. I have to admit that I'm a sucker for any excuse to eat homemade pie so I readily agreed to Jen's request!

A few hours later and it's cooling in the window! Wish you could smell the sweet aroma... now I just need some pure vanilla ice cream and I'm all set.
Thursday, June 27th-Friday, June 28th:

The review board members began arriving yesterday afternoon and things have been a whirlwind ever since. 2 of our committee experienced major airline delays due to storms in the midwest and southeast so we began our meetings a bit behind. From there on it was a marathon effort to collaborate on the 50+ grant applications that made it through initial screening this period. Each board member has been thoroughly reviewing all 50 applications/organizations over the past 8 weeks or so and now it's time to come to a consensus on who will be awarded the funds.

After the organizations are chosen, the next step is to determine how to allocate funds. Jamie Button, our newest board member, brought much experience and fantastic ideas to the table this year regarding financial considerations and review-process suggestions. We all are so grateful to have him aboard and with everyone's input we were able to implement some new procedures to accommodate the growth (and inevitable increasing workload!) of Dralla Foundation going forward.

The photos will in no way accurately depict how busy we've been these past 2 days..but perhaps the lack of photos will tell you something! I am going to post a few highlights of the week below:

Except for the fact that I am not seated at the table, this is pretty much what we looked like for 2 straight days. 

That's Josh Ahlstrom on the left, Marc Martinez to the right of Josh...

...and Jamie Button next to Marc.

Jen Buehler, Siena Buehler and Andrew Buehler (foreground) join us after our long 1st day of committee meetings . This is Thursday night's dinner at Lucky 32 here in town. We had hoped for a quick meal in order to have a little fun at the Grasshoppers Game tonight.

If you read my Portland blogpost you will understand why Jen gifted this Webkins Pug to Jim. Jen, Jim thanks you for his new friend and Jim, we thank you for hosting us all at the ballgame tonight!!

A beer at the ballpark is just what the doctor ordered for a weary Committee. The 'Hoppers actually won Thursday night's game in extra innings with a walk-off homer... woo woo!

Believe it or not (and I can prove it!) this photo is completely unretouched. The skies were incredibly gorgeous as the sun set over the storm clouds in downtown Greensboro.

Sorry, this night was so beautiful I had to show another shot of the sky.
Saturday, June 29th--RACE DAY!:

Friday was a repeat of Thursday where meetings, meals and baseball were concerned. We made great progress on the review process changes and enjoyed a more relaxed night at the ball game. Jayme Brendle, the Allard rep for the Mid-Atlantic states joined us for dinner and the game last night--it was great to catch up with her! The evening ended with fireworks at the stadium but I was so focused on spending time with the Dralla/Allard team that I left my camera at home.

This morning Jim, Jamie Button and I are planning to run the Freedom Run 10K in downtown Greensboro. Jayme Brendle, the Buehlers and Denny and Ashley from the Bouvier-Kelly PR team met us at the registration area before the start. Luckily, the race is starting/finishing at the Marriott where all the Dralla/Allard folks are staying which is also only a mile from my house.

Again, the short-cut version of my Saturday will be photos only:

Jim and Jayme are out and about early.

So glad to see my friend and Allard teammate, Jayme, here in town! Jayme..."Does that make sense?"

That's Denny on the left taking photos of the policeman "getting back UP" while Ashley looks on in the background (center of photo under TV). Thank you, ladies, for coming out so early on your Saturday to cheer us on!

Greensboro's Finest!

MY DEAR FRIEND, EMILY BYRD!!! I haven't seen Emily in 2 years (unless you count our Facebook stalking of each other) and she has been sorely missed. Emily went through a very scary event last year and almost died after suffering a serious fall, broken collarbone, pierced carotid artery, skull fracture and traumatic brain injury. We are all so happy she made it through--talk about Getting Back UP!!! Not only did Emily have to endure all of this but she had a 1-year old daughter to take care of as well as a very-public career as a TV meteorologist. She is truly amazing and I was so happy to see her this morning, made my whole year!

Emily and I ran the course together this's a rare opportunity for us to get an hour (give or take) of unopposed time together. Thank you, Emily, for letting me run beside you today. I love you, my friend!

Jamie Button was the first of our group to finish, Jayme Brendle was AMAZING in her support, and Jen, Siena and Andrew were the last to make it down this morning after a very long week for all 3 of them. Can't believe you 3 got here in time to cheer us to the finish--you deserved to sleep in this morning but I was happy to see you all!

Jim had a bit of an adventure today as he stopped to help a runner who was struggling at mile 5. This run is very hilly and, like usual, today it was also hot and humid. The runner, a woman named JK, was weaving and dizzy but refused to stop. Jim and I have learned how quickly "dizzy" can go to "disaster" during an event like this and thus he stayed with her until she got medical attention. She actually got sick a few times but then spent some time in the cooling mister and after her vitals were once again normal the medics allowed her to walk the last mile in. Jim-- as a fellow runner I thank you for not ignoring JK's condition and for walking in with her!

This photo is courtesy of Ashley Watkins...both of us getting different perspectives at the Start.

Brian from Fox8 was waiting at the finish line to help us share the Get Back UP message through their TV station. Thanks so much, I had messages waiting when I woke up on Sunday from people who want more info about the brace!

Jim, Jen, Jamie and Jayme...apparently the "J's" have taken over the city.

I finally get to meet Brie (Gabriella) once Emily and I crossed the finish line. Emily, thank you again for letting me run with you today. I've missed you and it was so wonderful to catch up.

Jamie Button, second from left, won his age group today! Congratulations, Jamie--you won one for Team Dralla!

Honorary TeamUP member (and ToeOFF wearer) Steve Loughlin met us at the race today. Congrats to both you and your daughter for great performances today!
The afternoon was filled with shuttling folks to and from hotels, restaurants and airports. Once everyone was gone Jim and I got to spend a few hours at the baseball game visiting with our friends who actually live here. We have fireworks every Friday and Saturday home game but this weekend was the first time we've seen them in a long time due to our heavy travel schedule. We were not disappointed.

Immediately following the game I had to go home to start work on a special-request cake for our granddaughter's 1st birthday party tomorrow. Don't know how I'm gonna pull this one off but I'm gonna give it my best effort.

Sunday, June 30th:

A 5:00am wakeup call to finish Summer Anne Austin's 1st birthday cake. Kassie, our daughter in law, requested a special cake for Summer since she adores sunglasses... she wanted a cake that was shaped like Strawberry Sunglasses. My husband was such a great help in trying to get the "engineering" of the cake figured out while I worked on icing and decorating details. With literally 5 minutes to spare we had the cake finished and we rushed out the door to the 11:00am brunch at Lucky 32.

If any of this looks familiar it's because we ate here with the Dralla team on Thursday night.  From left to right: Granny Pat, Lauren, Kaylen, Kim, Dwayne and Sandy, Jim (Sr.) and Georgia Austin (my Jim's parents). At the back is Jason Austin holding Rowen Austin who will turn 3 next week. Summer, Kassie and the other half of the crowd are at the next table.

Summer Anne in Kassie's lap, Jason seated and off to the right are Kassie's grandparents and parents.

So this was our rendition of a Strawberry Sunglasses cake. Thanks again, Jim, for your help in making this happen this morning!

Another view.

Grandpa Jim and Rowen sporting their Strawberry colors this morning.

The cake is about to be put to the test!

Summer approves of her cake! Happy Birthday, Summer! 

So that was my week... how was yours?!!

Next trip is to NJ for Allard meetings and projects, a quick stop in DC and then I'm off to Chicago for the next Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. Hope to see you along the way!

1 comment:

  1. That cake was amazing! All races should end with fireworks :)