Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Walk

I keep putting this off.  It always seems so monumental after all the up front effort and sound and fury of the walk itself dies down to pick it back up again.  But it's worth it.  I'll try to stay somewhat brief.  I think last year's recap put most of you (who were around for it) to sleep, and I want to recognize the effort, the generosity, and the "give-a-shit" of Lily's friends and family...and extended internet family.

Let's first just "do the numbers".  Numbers are easy, and it'll be a nice comparison.

This year we used last year's kickass actual number for our aggressive goal...and beat the shit out of it.  So now NEXT year we'll use this year's kickass actual number for our goal and based on the chart (charts, and also hips don't lie.  But mostly charts) we'll raise close to $5,000.  Maybe.  Also based on the year 2016 or 2017 we'll have 27,000 walkers.  Possibly my math will break down before then.  But CHARTS!

So in terms of how we did fundraising for ABOARD...we did awesome.  In terms of how we did against the other teams, however, despite mopping the floor with all but one team last year...THIS year some of the teams got big donations at the last minute and passed us at the finish line.  All in all I'm just excited that ABOARD had a successful walk...but...ultimately, I want to beat their asses next year.

What I've figured out is that we need one or two corporate/local business sponsors to make big donations.  A couple of the teams had donors who gave in excess of a $1000, or who had fund raised in order to write a big check for the walk.  If I want to keep growing the amount we give to the charity each year, that's what we'll have to do:  find a donor with an "in" to their corporate giving program.  This year my company did not contribute.  I have no "in".

This year we had a better handle on where things were and what to do, and ABOARD took it upon themselves to print out the labels that it took me so long to fill out last year (because we got one for every 5 walkers or something), so things went a little smoother.  Or at least it seemed that way to me.  I'm not sure how it was for all the walkers.  I try to talk to people, but they're with their families, which then fracture and disperse along age lines, with the kids finding the kids and the grown ups finding the grownups...and a few floaters hovering close to the kids AND the grownups so they can sort of participate in conversation, but also watch the kids.  It's hard to visit with everyone, or at least it's hard, after a certain point, to remember who you have and who you have not visited with in order to make sure you got everyone.

I hope we conveyed how much we appreciated everyone's support of us and Lily and of the charity.  But I sorta doubt I kicked ass in that department.  So I'm sorry if I didn't.  I felt a little scattered despite the additional ensmoothening that ABOARD provided.

The walk was great.  It was the best day of the year to that point.  Warm, not hot, sunny and clear and bright and cheerful, and they were playing music and having the crowd do stretches and there was dancing in the street and much rejoicing as we took off from the starters line and marched...EVER.  SO.  SLOWLY...past the starting line before the crowd started thinning by velocities...dopplering out past the starting line until we could lengthen our strides and get to doin' some serious WALKIN'.

It was fun.  People got shirts and some swag and a nice walk in downtown Pittsburgh and raised money for an awesome charity.  And I really love you all for contributing or walking or sharing updates or whatever.  Just thanks.

Here are some pictures from the big day:

Thanks everyone for helping make this another wonderful walk.


  1. They might call it "corporate matching" but I call it "cheating." As far as I'm concerned, your team won, Jim. *glares at the cheaty cheaters*

  2. One of the bigger donations that came in the morning of the walk was from a teacher who did a "penny war" at their elementary school. Lu already has flyers made up. Just nonchalantly slide those into Lily's backpack next year.

    1. penny war? I will up the ante...literally. NICKEL WAR!

  3. Just call Oprah. I'm sure she'd be happy to help.

  4. How 'bout them Steelers? (I mean really, they might have some spare change!)

    1. They might! But I also know they're pretty established charity-wise, and ABOARD is a little tiny charity...I'd venture a guess that they're more the "Autism Speaks" sort of franchise...big flashy name. I don't have an "in" there either.

  5. If you check, you'll see that Autism Speaks isn't at the top of their game - their administrative/fundraising expenses are kinda high. Far better to pick the little charity, where you know your money will go to work within the community.

    Well done!