Christmas morning is not often a time for great reflection in our house. After all, there are normally countless toys to extract from hermetically sealed packages, not-included batteries to curse, and Christmas cookies to binge on. For some reason, this morning was different. Rather than my normal seven cups of coffee, I woke up absolutely craving a long hard run. In the three miles of hills in this idyllic Chester County neighborhood, I did a lot of reflection about Team CMMD. Suffice it to say 2014 for our team has been nothing short of epic.
The following is a look back at 2014 in pictures and numbers.
Team CMMD’s Broad Street Run team almost didn’t happen for 2014. I convinced myself that we couldn’t top our 2013 accomplishments but a few well-chosen words from a few dear friends changed my mind and our community. “We have to at least try,” they said…so try we did.
2550 Plates of Food
$52.000 raised in ONE magical night.
All due to THIS amazing group of 100 Team CMMD volunteers.
Just as we were gearing up for the last few weeks of fundraising before Broad Street, we learned that Miranda Nolte, a longtime patient of Chris’, was dying of osteosarcoma. She had exhausted all treatment options. With just weeks to live Miranda, a gorgeous 18 year-old, planned her own funeral–something no child should ever have to do. Her parents were not only devastated by the impending death of their daughter, but also by the knowledge that they would not be able to afford to honor her wishes for the funeral. Team CMMD was quick to action and in one Happy Hour event we were able to donate over $2000 to the Nolte Family to offset Miranda’s funeral expenses.
May 2014 —or should I say May 4, 2014: BROAD STREET RUN
In June 2014, Debi McLaughlin had been been gone one year. Team CMMD 2013–the original BSR team, was formed shortly after Debi’s battle with ocular melanoma turned in her cancer’s favor. We ran Broad Street 2013 less than a month before she died. She was there in a wheel chair, too sick to stand, at mile 9 to cheer us on. That was the last time I saw Debi alive. I hate cancer.
Sure our team logged over 5000 miles logged in 30 days in our “50 mile” challenge…
But, our biggest accomplishment? 4000 pounds of food donated to The Lord’s Pantry.
As the summer wound down, Team CMMD turned it up. We challenged each other and ourselves to run our fastest 5K EVER. Over 100 people committed and donated a dollar for every minute of their best August 5K. In the end we raised over $2000. For weeks I struggled with breaking the 30 minute mark on my 5K and then came Chris Crooke. She paced me to a 5K time of 28:35. How? Simple–she made get out of my own head.
The month was peppered with many great runs but Team CMMD showed up strong at the Philly Rock and Roll Half Marathon and The Moving for Melanoma 5K.
Then, how about the “I Love You to the Moon and Back Challenge?” Together we logged over 33 MILLION steps in September and set some faulty pedometers ON FIRE.
What to you get when you combine SEVEN dedicated coaches, 68 enthusiastic kids, and 9 consecutive Sundays of PERFECT running weather? Team in Training of course! Under the leadership of Cari Sobolewski, Mike Delaney, Chris Crooke, Kelly Colquitt, Ellen Lewis, Abby Oppenheim and Matt Sobolewski, nearly 70 children ages 6-12 trained to complete Team CMMD’s Inaugural 5k. Of the many amazing things this team has accomplished, nothing quite compares to the looks on the faces of the dozens of little ones crossing the finish line of their first 5K.
On a breezy Thursday Night in October, nearly 40 people showed up for our twilight Denim Dash to support Lee Denim Day and breast cancer research. We asked each runner to donate a dollar for every mile they were able to run in their jeans. We learned that running in jeans is not easy but more than that, we were able to donate over $500 to the Lee Denim Day campaign.
After month and months of preparation, November 15 dawned bitterly cold. But too many people had “personal” reasons to do the inaugural Team CMMD 5K : This Run’s Personal. All told, over 800 people registered for our run. Thanks to the generosity of dozens of sponsors and families, and hundreds of volunteer hours, This Run’s Personal was a massive success. All told, Team CMMD Foundation cleared over $20,000 which will go directly to local cancer families in need.
We also were thrilled to announce our first annual Karen Baker Bravery Award given to Karen Baker –now in her 6th year of battling Leiomyosarcoma. Not only will this award be a legacy, it will be paired with an annual scholarship known as the Karen Baker Award. This financial award will be given to a local graduating senior with a remarkable cancer story.
And, as if breaking records at our own 5K wasn’t enough, Team CMMD showed up BIG to support childhood cancer research and the Cure4Cam Foundation at their annual Turkey Trot—over 100 teammates to be exact!
The last month of the year and the BIGGEST month for our team…so much goodness in the first 25 days of the month.
Team CMMD ended this year with a bang (and trash bags and jingle bells.) Not only did we make financial gifts via our Team CMMD Elves (Kat Homnack, Chrissy Ferrazano, Kathie Donovan, Stephanie Wientjies, Renee Knox, Cristin Young, and Maria Ungaro—7 of the most self-LESS people on this team) to eight local cancer families.
December also saw our largest dedication run ever. SEVENTY EIGHT runners, walkers and even dogs came out on a frigid Sunday morning before Christmas to honor Bob, Jane, and little James–all cancer fighters–all in our hearts as we logged mile after mile that morning.
And, just when I thought I would be the only nut on the trail on Christmas Eve, nearly 40 teammates showed up on a soggy Wednesday morning. Together we tallied over 238 miles. A dollar donation in that amount was made to our own Spencer Uggla,the youngest member of our 2015 Broad Street Run team (sick on Christmas with a nasty bug).
So it has taken me three days to finish this post–That’s how much we have accomplished together in these short 12 months. Whether you are a “regular” at most runs or a “newbie” still seeking out the “manual.” Team CMMD would not be what it is without you. For your time, support, dedication, sweat and tears this year, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Here’s to more amazing stuff in 2015.