Mattie Miracle 10th Anniversary Walk was an $119,000 success!

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.


As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter



The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: www.mattiemiracle.com and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

June 1, 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

This picture was taken in July of 2003. We took Mattie to see the Wright Memorial (where the first controlled manned flight took place in the US) in Kitty Hawk, NC. While at the memorial we toured inside the museum. I snapped a photo of Mattie and Peter posing by a US Space suit. The exhibition in 2003 was quite special because it was commemorating the site's 100 years of flight!

Quote of the day: If you care about something you have to protect it – If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it. ~ John Irving

Each evening, Peter and I stroll out of our condo and walk the Beach! This is what we see while walking. Emerald Isle has a very wide beach area with hard packed sand. The sand has shells on it, but many of them have been pulverized from the waves. Which is why finding any to collect is a feat!





I photographed three of my favorite shore birds from the week. This regal cutie is a Willet. The willet is a large shorebird in the sandpiper family. 















Another favorite of mine is the Piping Plover. This fellow is a small sand-colored, sparrow-sized shorebird. The adult has yellow-orange legs, a black band across the forehead from eye to eye, and a black ring around the neck.







My all time favorite shore bird is the Sanderling! The sanderling is considered a plump sandpiper. What makes the sanderling so remarkable is its behavior. They literally run on top of the sand, and they run very fast! As the waves come to shore, they run from them, so they don't get their feet wet. As the water recedes back into the ocean, the birds run back out to peck into the sand for mole crabs and other invertebrates. They are a riot to watch and they can do this ALL day long. Lots of running back and forth and they are very territorial about their position in the sand. They have no problem chasing other sanderlings away from their fishing spot. 


We have been collecting shells over the course of our week here! Here is a photo of our collection!











We started off our day by visiting the Teddy Roosevelt Nature Trail. This was the first and LAST time I was smiling on this trail! Fortunately we didn't get very far inside this forest, because within minutes I was screaming and both Peter and I were running out of it! We noticed flies coming at us and we tried swatting them away. However, Peter wasn't so fortunate. When I looked at him he was covered with at least thirty flies. I literally started hitting them off him. I yelled at Peter to run, and together we flew out of this preserve. I have never been so scared because I couldn't process what was attacking us. They just looked big and triangular to me! In the parking lot, I got every fly off of Peter and we ran into the car for protection! Fortunately neither one of us was bitten. When I got back to our condo, I did some research and learned we met up with a swarm of deer flies. Deer flies or yellow flies have colored eyes and dark bands across their wings. They are truly triangular shaped and have very translucent wings. Their bite can be extremely painful, and allergic reaction from the saliva of the fly can result in further discomfort and health concerns. Pain and itch are the most common symptoms, but more significant allergic reactions can develop. Deer flies are also known to carry anthrax. Male deer flies do not bite humans, only the females do. I have no idea what we encountered today (male or female), but I wasn't about to hang around and find out!


After the fly fiasco, we journeyed to Atlantic Beach, which is on the Eastern most tip of Emerald Isle. At the tip is Fort Macon. Fort Macon is five-sided and is constructed of brick and stone. Twenty-six vaulted rooms (also called casements) are enclosed by outer walls that are 4.5 feet thick. Named after U.S. Senator from the State of North Carolina, Nathaniel Macon, who procured the funds to build the facility, Fort Macon was designed by Brig. Gen. Simon Bernard and built by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Construction began in 1826 and lasted eight years. The fort was completed in December, 1834, and it was improved with further modification during 1841–46. The total cost of the fort was $463,790. In the 1840s, a system of erosion control was initially engineered by Robert E. Lee, who later became general of the Confederate Army. At the beginning of the Civil War, North Carolina seized the fort from Union forces. The fort was later attacked in 1862, and it fell back into Union hands. For the duration of the war, the fort was a coaling station for navy ships. Often an ordnance sergeant acting as a caretaker was the only person stationed at the fort.

The Civil War began on April 12, 1861, and only two days elapsed before local North Carolina militia forces from Beaufort arrived to seize the fort for the state of North Carolina and the Confederacy. North Carolina Confederate forces occupied the fort for a year, preparing it for battle and arming it with 54 heavy cannons.
Early in 1862, Union forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside swept through eastern North Carolina, and part of Burnside's command under Brig. Gen. John G. Parke was sent to capture Fort Macon. Parke's men captured Morehead City and Beaufort without resistance, then landed on Bogue Banks during March and April to fight to gain Fort Macon. Col. Moses J. White and 400 North Carolina Confederates in the fort refused to surrender even though the fort was hopelessly surrounded. On April 25, 1862, Parke's Union forces bombarded the fort with heavy siege guns for 11 hours, aided by the fire of four Union gunboats in the ocean offshore and floating batteries in the sound to the east. While the fort easily repulsed the Union gunboat attack, the Union land batteries, utilizing new rifled cannons, hit the fort 560 times. There was such extensive damage that Col. White was forced to surrender the following morning, April 26, with the fort's Confederate garrison being paroled as prisoners of war. This battle was the second time in history new rifled cannons were used against a fort, demonstrating the obsolescence of such fortifications as a way of defense. The Union held Fort Macon for the remainder of the war, while Beaufort Harbor served as an important coaling and repair station for its navy.
A photo of a Casemate! During the Reconstruction Era, the US Army actively occupied Fort Macon until 1877. During this time, since there were no state or federal penitentiaries in the military district of North Carolina and South Carolina, Fort Macon was used for about 11 years as a civil and military prison. 

In 1923, Fort Macon was offered for sale as surplus military property. However, at the bidding of North Carolina leaders, a Congressional Act on June 4, 1924, sold the fort and surrounding reservation for the sum of $1 to the state of North Carolina to be used as a public park. This was the second area acquired by the state for the purpose of establishing a state parks system.

During 1934−35, the Civilian Conservation Corps restored the fort and established public recreational facilities, which enabled Fort Macon State Park to officially open May 1, 1936, as North Carolina's first functioning state park. At the outbreak of World War II, the US Army leased the park from the state and actively manned the old fort with Coast Artillery troops to protect a number of important nearby facilities. The fort was occupied from December 1941 to November 1944. 

Fort Macon State Park (where the actual Fort is located) is a North Carolina state park in Carteret CountyNorth Carolina. It is located on Bogue Banks near Atlantic Beach (the Eastern tip of Emerald Isle), the park opened in 1936. Fort Macon State Park is the second most visited state park in North Carolina, with an annual visitation of 1.3 million, despite being the third smallest park in North Carolina with 389 acres. This photo is the view from the top of the Fort. 

This display caught my attention! Seemed like a horrible existence for a woman!!!! Army Laundresses were employed by the Army to wash the soldiers clothes. These were usually wives of enlisted men or civilian women living near the post. At Fort Macon, a laundress received $1 per month per soldier. They were also furnished with lodging which consisted of rickety wooden cottages outside the Fort. Few people worked harder than Army Laundresses. She carried the water buckets for washing and rinsing and she lifted heavy baskets of clothing. She also stirred, scrubbed, and wrung the wet clothes one piece at a time and managed the fire for heating the water. After hanging the clothes out to dry, she then ironed and folded them! Women were NOT assigned the job of cooks and nurses back then, those were only jobs held by men. 

This evening we will be packing up the condo so that we can vacate it by 10am tomorrow. This has been part of our living space for the past week. It provided us with incredibly beautiful and peaceful sights which will be sorely missed on Sunday night. We will be saying goodbye to the ocean, birds, and no congestion, and instead we will need to reintegrate into our concrete, congested, and impersonal city life.

I would like to end tonight's posting with three photos from our Foundation's Walk. These photos are all about our furry friends and supporters. Check out this fellow watching the kid trots! 





Don't you just love this Chihuahua?! He walked his Mattie Miracle lap and got ORANGED with our beads!!!











This year one of our raffle baskets catered to our furry friends. Here is the family who won this very special raffle item. As you can see the lucky dog was more interested in what was in the basket than posing for a photo!

May 31, 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

Today's picture was taken in July of  2003. Actually on July 4th to be specific! We took Mattie to the Outer Banks, and though he spent little time by the Atlantic that summer, we did take him to the beach on the fourth. He was scared and intrigued by the ocean all at the same time. Mattie was always a very practical and wise fellow. Some parents have to warn children about staying away from the stove, chemical cleaning products, and other hazardous materials in one's home. Mattie really did not need much education on ANY of these matters. He had a healthy sense of what could harm him and what he needed to be cautious about. The ocean was top on his list. What you can't tell from this photo was that Mattie's left hand was like an antennae. The fingers would fan out and radiate, almost as if he was taking in data and processing it from his fingers to his head. Mattie was fascinating to watch and to learn from, and as you can see he looked wonderful in his favorite color, RED. 

Quote of the day: The saddest people I've ever met in life are the ones who don't care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there's nothing to make it last. ~ Nicholas Sparks


There is a different rhythm in Emerald Isle, so much so that I have no problem coming outside in my pajamas, hat, and with binoculars in tow. This morning Peter and I had a show of all kinds right on our deck. Peter spotted a red headed finch and as my friend Mary Ann believes, every time we see such a finch we are getting a visit from Mattie. Mattie's favorite color was red and though this may just be a coincidence that this bird appeared today, I do find that I think of Mattie whenever I see a red headed finch!

While Peter was sighting birds, I spotted a grouping of dolphin. So far the dolphin have NOT disappointed both in the morning and the evening. To me this is a very special sighting. This week has been absolutely glorious weather wise. We have had sun and 80 degree temperatures, not a cloud or even a drop of rain. This is my kind of weather unlike the grayness we have been experiencing in DC. For so many reasons, leaving the beach and coming back to DC on Sunday will be challenging. Emerald Isle is like a throw back to how I think the world must have been like when my grandmother was growing up. No one locks doors, cars, or possessions here. The whole notion is foreign to me. People seem to just trust each other. When the locals hear we are from DC, they start to laugh because they want to know how we plan on keeping our politicians in check! I said it is a full time job and they are lucky to live geographically apart from the dysfunction!

Yesterday Mattie's class graduated from 5th grade. Meaning that all the children Mattie went to kindergarten with have completed elementary school and will start middle school in the fall. Thanks to osteosarcoma, I missed first through fifth grade with Mattie. To me Mattie will always be a kindergartner and in elementary school. It is as if I am locked in time. As summer approaches, it further depresses me. Mattie was diagnosed in July of 2008, and it is a month I will never forget. In addition, my friends all have children. Now that their children are out of school, their lives change and I see them less. Only to compound the isolation and the differences between us. So why go back to DC? Other than Peter's work, I don't have an answer.

Today was a day all about experiencing the natural beauty of Emerald Isle. My first experience on a kayak was in the Outer Banks (years ago!). I absolutely hated the experience. The water was choppy, the wind was blowing us all over the place and I frankly did not get how to paddle. Since that time, I have kayaked in Washington, DC as well as in Bethany, DE. Despite having some practice, I still can't go out in a kayak by myself. So we rented a double kayak. Nonetheless, I am proud of myself, because I rowed for over an hour today and we saw some beautiful sights. While rowing, I tried to snap a picture of Peter and I on the Bogue Inlet. 


Check out this sight in the sand. As we moved through the water we passed lots of little islands along the way. One of the islands was filled with crabs. I entitle this, "Crabs on parade!" They were scurrying through the sand almost like a swarm of ants!





This house fascinated me! Talk about being in one with nature! There are NO roads to this house, the only access is by water, through one of the inlets in this tidal marsh. 









Considering I literally put the camera on top of my shoulder and snapped a photo, this isn't a bad shot of Peter!










The beauty of a tidal marsh! As we were rowing through the inlet, there were fish jumping out of the water and swimming all around us! The complexities of a tidal marsh is the depth of the water changes constantly. So there were times we were rowing and perhaps there was only two inches of water underneath us. At one point, Peter had to jump out of the boat and pull it from the sandy bottom back into the deeper water. Needless to say it was an adventure. 

Along our journey, we rowed to a small island. We parked the boat and jumped out onto the sand. This was a first for me! Remember I am a city girl for the most part! I told Peter I felt like I was part naturalist today!







You can see how small the island was that we landed on! The funny part was in the grassy section behind me someone placed an American flag on it, which made me laugh. As if someone explored and claimed it!!!








Traveling through the tidal marsh!















The beauty of the Bogue Inlet!!! 













After all that rowing and hard work, we came back to the condo and showered. I felt like I had the salt and sand all over me! Our next adventure today was to the Big Oak Drive-in which was founded in 1976. Originally it was a wooden shack with picnic tables under a big oak tree (which is how it got its name). Now of course it is made of brick and it attracts people from all over the world to its doorstep. The ironic part about all of this is Big Oak doesn't advertise at ALL! The only reason I knew about it is my friend and zumba teacher, Jenny, told me about it! This drive-in attracts all sorts of people, all demographics and everyone seems to know that you want to order a shrimp burger. I had honestly no idea what that was, but today I fell in love with it! This isn't some sort of chopped up shrimp mess, instead it is big shrimp that are lightly coated with cracker meal batter, flash fried (totally not greasy!!!) and served with home made cole slaw. It was a very tasty treat and of course served with a chocolate shake just made it a culinary delight for me!

This afternoon, I was sitting on our deck watching the children next store playing on the beach and watching the bird traffic go by. All of this was happening while I tried to write the blog. In the midst of this, Peter spotted this cute tabby walking around. She is our "local beach puss," and as Peter stated while seeing her.... "a midday puss is a confident puss."

I would like to end tonight's posting with more photos from the Foundation's Walk. These photos were taken during the actual Mattie Miracle Mile portion of the program. Leading us around the first lap were Matthew (Lauren's brother), Gavin (my friend Carolyn's son), Lauren (the founder of Bows for Hope and an osteosarcoma survivor), Emily (my friend Mary's daughter) and of course Brandon (Mattie's big buddy and a lymphoma survivor). 











To our surprise Tricia (Mattie's favorite HEM/ONC nurse) and her family came to our Walk this year. Tricia and her children haven't missed a walk yet. This is the fifth Walk they have attended. Why I was surprised to see Tricia this year? Because just three days before the Walk she underwent surgery! I was so happy she was able to be there with us and I am so happy that our photographer captured this photo with me Tricia, her daughter Nicole, and Brandon! 

As walkers went around the track to complete their Mattie Miracle mile they passed our display section entitled, "Faces of Hope." This was a project I created back in 2011, in which I was able to get 26 families to share a photo with me of their childhood cancer survivor. To me these photos are stunning and they are the true reason we gather each May to walk!


New to our Walk this year was the "Getting Oranged" theme. With each lap walked, volunteers handed something orange for our walkers to wear (such as an orange wrist band, an orange lei, orange beads, and an orange awareness sticker). By the time the mile was walked, everyone was oranged, which is the official Mattie Miracle color. Getting oranged was a symbolic way of showing support for the Foundation and the work that we do!

I entitle this photo, "A walk for all ages!" Some people walked and others got pushed in strollers or were carried. Either way, everyone was part of our festivities. 










Daniel, our photographer, captured me talking to my friends Maria and Annie. Maria is on my left and works in our complex. Maria is a big Foundation supporter and a daily blog reader. When I introduced Maria to Annie, she knew immediately who Annie was.... in fact Marie said, is this "the Annie?!" Meaning the wonderful 6th grader who raised money for Mattie Miracle at her school in Bethesda, MD this spring!

What I love about this last photo tonight is it captures our furry friends! The Walk isn't only for people, each year family pets also come on out and share in the day with us to promote childhood cancer awareness and raise funds for Mattie Miracle! 









May 30, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tonight's picture was taken in July of 2003. During Mattie's first trip to the Outer Banks we took him to visit Bodie Lighthouse. We were unable to climb this lighthouse, but we did tour all around the outside of it. My goal was to share my love of lighthouses with Mattie, and I figured it was never too early to start! In our case, I am happy we did not wait to do things with Mattie, because we wouldn't have gotten a second chance at it!







Quote of the day: The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy. ~ Kalu Ndukwe Kalu


We have a wonderful morning routine here in which we wake up and proceed directly to the deck and watch for fish, birds, and people! In the city I wouldn't be walking around in my pajamas, but here I migrate right outside pajamas and all. It is a much nicer way of greeting the day. We had a fishing boat near us this morning and as always the dolphins do not disappoint. They were jumping all around the boat! We have daily dolphin sightings from our deck. It is always tricky to pick a condo when you aren't familiar with the location and region. But this condo has been an absolute gem. Ocean views that are spectacular and every room is filled with natural light. 

We have visited Morehead City, Beaufort, and the next city I wanted to visit was Swansboro. Swansboro was featured in Nicholas Sparks' book, The Guardian. I love Sparks' books for two reasons. The first is he is very in tune with the concept of loss and grief and he has a way of capturing the complexities of human love and emotions. The second reason I love Sparks' books is how he portrays North Carolina. He makes the towns seem quaint, charming, and highlights the connectivity among its residents. When I read his books, I feel like I am becoming part of the town, towns where there is community spirit and people are united over commonalities and culture. Something that we definitely do NOT see much of in our American big cities today. In North Carolina people seem to take pride in building things with their own hands, they prize hard work, and are very conscious about keeping development at bay. On our visit to Swansboro, I learned that it is a beautiful and historic waterfront community located at the mouth of the White Oak River, where the river joins the Atlantic Ocean and flows past the pristine beaches of Bear Island. It was founded in 1783, and its unofficial name is the “Friendly City by the Sea!” I can attest to the fact that it lives up to this name!!!


This is Front Street, the main thoroughfare in Swansboro. Settlers first came to Swansboro around 1730, founding a community on the site of an Algonkian Indian village at the mouth of the White Oak River. The colonial port town of Swannsborough was incorporated in 1783 – named in honor of Samuel Swann, who had been speaker of the North Carolina House of Commons. The community’s early prosperity was based on shipbuilding, and its most famous shipbuilder was Captain Otway Burns. Burns, whose exploits as commander of the privateer vessel Snapdragon brought early attention to Swansboro, was also the builder of the Prometheus, the first steamboat constructed in North Carolina.


I am pictured in front of the Swansboro pier. Although its shipbuilding industry declined, Swansboro found new prosperity in lumber and naval stores, and, in the mid-Twentieth Century, in the commercial fishing industry. Beginning with World War II, Swansboro, like most of Onslow County, began experiencing an economic boost from the nearby establishment of Camp Lejeune, one of the U.S. Marine Corps’ largest bases, and from the growth of coastal tourism – trends that continue today.


The architecture of Swansboro is charming, features houses that are over 200 years old. Peter snapped some photos of the stores along Front Street. 
The Olde Brick Store has served many functions through the years. Church services and school were held in the building in the 1890's. It also served as the post office during the early 1900's. In the beginning of 1912, it operated as a drugstore.





I entitle this photo, "Big Red in Swansboro!" All I know is I wouldn't want to take this cat on! She's quite a gal and we even met her owner.









This grey tabby lives with Big Red above. They keep watch over a store in Swansboro called the Grey Dolphin. The irony is the grey tabby appears to want to get into the store, but when you open the door for her, she backs away. Several patrons tried opening the door for her and coaxing her in! A true cat, not knowing exactly what she wants but is great at getting you to try to meet her needs

One of the highlights for me of our trip to Swansboro was going into this special store
entitled, Russell's Olde Tyme Shoppe. As you enter the store, you are hit with all sorts of beautiful but not overbearing fragrances. But it is like walking into something from the past. As you walk around, you quickly begin to see that EVERYTHING in the store is hand painted. I mean everything, from painted vases, purses, candle sticks, and lots of other items. But who paints it? The painter and artist owns the store and her name is Maxine Russell. She not only assists her guests, but she paints right in the shop and you can see the things she is working on right there by the cash register. Maxine is an older adult in a motorized wheelchair, but honestly it would be very easy to overlook her disability and her age, once you begin talking to her. She has led a remarkable life, lost her husband who was a marine 25 years old, and raised four children. If Maxine lived closer to me, I would be visiting her often! Most likely to get her to paint Mattie's sun on all sorts of objects!


After talking with Maxine, I asked her if it would be okay if we took a photo of her. I told her my intention was not to sell it but to share it with my readers. Here is a bio on Maxine Russell, or as her friends call her, "Max." Max is a remarkable artist nationally respected for her original decorative painting. For over 25 years, she has created unique and affordable art for her charming gift shops, Russell's, in historic Swansboro, NC, highlighted in Southern Living as a must see shop in the South! Born in Bancroft, Iowa with Spina Bifida, her earlier childhood loss of mobility gave her the opportunity to discover a naturally tendency toward creativity and artistic talent. Maxine graduated with a degree in art from Lindenwood College in St. Charles, MO. After graduation, Maxine met and married Bill, a US Marine in 1956. Together they raised four children, Mary, Bill, David, and Greg. As the family moved about the Country, Max expended her professional painting career, selling her work to over 200 shops. Upon Bill's Marine Corp retirement, the family chose to call Swansboro home. While Maxine painted, Bill and the family restored several historic buildings in this picturesque seaside village before Bill's early passing. Russell's is pleased to showcase Maxine's beautiful hand painted artwork. Her artistic commitment and cheerful attitude delights visitors to this lovely destination. 


Maxine confirmed so much of my thinking about the townsfolk that are so often portrayed in Sparks' books. She was a delight to talk with and I personally admired her creativity and her attitude about life. As she says, painting is therapy. I understand that wholeheartedly, though I don't have her artistic talents. Even Maxine's shopping bags are a work of art. Anything you purchase gets wrapped up like this!!! She actually paints a rose on each bag and signs (and dates!!!) the work of art! I can assure you this could never happen in DC! If this were DC, the artist would charge you for the bag, the rose, the signing, his/her time, and most likely the whole design would have a trademarked! 

I would like to end tonight's posting with several more Foundation Walk photos. Another new feature at our Walk this year, were adult relay races. Two brave teams signed up to participate in these zany races and also to raise funds for the Foundation. Thanks to Foxy Voxi (captained by Grant Elliott and whose participants were all employees or family members of employees at Voxiva) and RCC Moms Rock (captained by Ann Henshaw and whose participants were all Resurrection Children's Center moms) these teams raised $4000 for Mattie Miracle. In this photo you can see Team Foxy Voxi participating in our "All Tied Up" relay race. They were given a ball of twine and asked to wrap it around themselves alternating sides. It sounds easy, but I assure you it isn't and the twine got knotted up VERY easily.

A close up of team Foxy Voxi. Pictured are Pam and Grant, and as you can see the twine was getting ALL TIED UP! This group is used to dealing with issues and strategic problems in their daily work, and from my perspective I could tell they had these skills because of how they were working with each other through this tied up problem!

This was a close up of the "RCC Moms Rock" team during the All Tied Up relay. Pictured are Kathy (Mattie's preschool teacher), myself, and Ann. Mind you this group didn't ask me for my help. It truly was an unconscious reaction to go over and help them. After all, I used to be a part of this group..... a RCC mom! Their twine was a true mess and I could tell they were at an absolute standstill. I am sure when Peter and I created these relays, my assistance of a group wasn't part of the rules. But as Kathy said to me later, I wasn't cheating, the twine was such a mess that I was trying to help make the race more even and put them on a level playing field. Needless to say, this photo to me is an absolute riot! 





Each team performed three relays. This was our last relay, which we entitled, "Strike a pose." Literally half of the team was one side and the other half on the other. As you can see Pam had to run across the field to meet five of her teammates by this box taped box. Once in the box, she had to take out all the items in the orange bag and wear them. Then after she was dressed, the five teammates had to act like crazed fans and wait for the photographer to snap a picture of this in action. After the picture was taken, Pam had to put all the props back in the bag and run back across the field for her next teammate to get dressed up and pose!











Here is a photo of Kathy, Mattie's preschool teacher, striking a pose and the team getting their photo taken! 











I personally love this photo! Coach Dave was helping Peter and I manage these relays. Our photographer caught Dave laughing over the sights he was watching!!!










At the end of the adult relays, the teams were all great sports and shook hands with each other. Every team member received a prize. Pictured here is the RCC Moms Rock team with their trophies for being outstanding fundraisers for the Foundation. Pictured in the bottom row from left to right are Jennifer Greiner, Tanja Mayer-Harding, Mary Doane, and Catherine Canterbury (lying down!). In the second row from left to right are Jane Pisano, Ann Henshaw, Dawnee Giamittorio, Danelle Fortune, Kathy Harris, and Carolyn Coker.