Great Strides walks help fund research to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. Now in their 12th year, Great Strides walks are held at over 320 sites throughout the country. Collectively, these walks and other related events raise over 12 million dollars a year, including $283,000 for the seven walk sites in Washington. Robert had the honor of being the 2000 Great Strides Committee Chairman for the Seattle event.
Our team, Tori's Troopers, raised $5,502. A big thanks to all those who contributed! Here's a summary of our fundraising efforts.
Lynden is a small town in Washington State, near the Canadian border. Bill VanderPol of Lynden has organized a bike-a-thon in Lynden to raise money for CF research for the past 17 years. Robert decided to tune up his Schwinn and have a go at it.
The course is about 2/3 mile long, and circles in and around the fairgrounds (including the barns) in Lynden. The event attracted over 180 cyclists of all ages.
After five hours, three hot dogs, one crash and a gallon of Gatorade, Robert had completed 77 laps for a total of 51 miles. Bigger winner: CF research. Biggest loser: Robert's leg and butt muscles.
Cyclists head for the Start/Finish line and the friendly lap counters.
The backstretch of the 2/3 mile course. Besides the walkways, the course took you through four of the barns used for exhibits during the fair.
Tacoma Great Strides (May 20th)
This is the 3rd year for the Tacoma Great Strides, and it continues to get better every year. The walk is held at Point Defiance Park, and follows roadways that are separated from traffic for the most part. The event raised $82,600 this year, which is more than the Seattle walk raised just two years ago, so you know they're doing something right! One of the highlights for us each year is to see how much Trooper Designated Shopper Jan Contento can spend at the silent auction.
(Left) Tori's Tacoma Troopers (l-r): Russ Bosanko, Carson Bosanko, Tori, Jan Contento, Carol and Robert.
(Right) Jan Contento and her booty for the day. That woman can shop with the best of them!
On the left is Meredith Carlson, who's the Great Strides Director from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She's shown here as she realizes the PA system isn't working and she has to yell while standing on top of a picnic table to get everyone's attention.
We had yummy food from the Outback Steakhouse after the walk. This shot is taken from the food line; It was worth the wait! We estimated the crowd at around 600, most of whom were evidently very hungry after walking four miles.
Seattle Great Strides (May 21st)
The Seattle Great Strides walk begins and ends at the Seattle Center, weaving for 3.5 miles through downtown and the waterfront. The event collected $139,000, with the Troopers accounting for $5,502 of that total, 3rd highest amongst Seattle teams. Robert was the Committee Chairman this year, which meant he got to go up on stage and accept a $5,000 donation from Bruce Montgomery, Vice President of PathoGenesis, a Seattle biotech company that makes Tobi, an inhaled antibiotic used by CF patients. Tori had the honor of holding one end of the starting ribbon (is this team cool or what?).
The Troopers had a record 26 people walk as a team, including teachers and students from Tori's school. Designated Shopper Jan Contento gets special mention not only for her shopping prowess, but she also raised over $1,000 for the Troopers.
Continuing the trend of being well fed, we had a big barbeque courtesy of Longhorn Barbeque.
(Left) Robert accepts a $5,000 from PathoGenesis Vice President Bruce Montgomery.
(Right) 18 of the 26 Troopers that walked at the Seattle event.
Trooper members enjoy some Longhorn Barbeque after the walk.
Super Shopper Jan and Tori pose with our 2000 team sign.
Tori holds the starting ribbon as Allison Thrasher from the CF Foundation looks on.
(Left) The crowd gets bigger each year. Here's a shot prior to the start as everyone is getting their teams organized.
(Right) Here's a shot showing the proximity of the Space Needle. It makes an impressive backdrop.
Thank you CF Foundation and Seattle Walk Committee!
We cannot say enough about the staff at the Seattle CF Foundation office - they are the best! None of this could happen without their hard work and dedication, and we are truly grateful to have people like Meredith Carlson, Allison Thrasher, Dottie Moore and the rest of the staff around to help kids like Tori beat Cystic Fibrosis.
Even though the walk committee may think its biggest accomplishment was eating pizza, it's been great getting such an enthusiastic group together and making these events better each year.