Monday, July 23, 2007

Vermont and The Walk - A Most Brief Update

Team Sarcoma 2007 in Vermont was an amazing experience! We returned late Saturday afternoon to piles of mail (paper and electronic), voice messages and newspapers ..... then were up and at 'em early Sunday for our own Walk Around the Park. Today I was up early to drive Ms M to chemo, climbing over half-emptied suitcases and bags of leftover Walk supplies to reach the front door. Home again by 2:00 pm, I cleared a new path to the bed, being as nothing had actually been put away, just jumbled through to reach what we need, and SLEPT!!

We had a total of 50 people at the Walk Around the Park between 8:30 and 2:00. Here's the core team that was still there at the end.

Standing, left to right: My daughter Elena; Bill Shoemaker, with his wife Butch looking over his shoulder; Minda Vanleeuwen, with son Gage standing in front of her; LeRoy and Anna Stewart, nieces Shawan and Shawn Rice, and Chrystie Quirion, our party planner extraordinaire.

Seated in front: Brad, me with grandson Noah, Kelly (Dominique's mom) and Dominique (Bradley's girlfriend)

And this one is from Vermont: Beverly Shriver, Brad, Bruce Shriver, me.

Thanks for reading my blog!
~ Elizabeth

Friday, July 13, 2007

Shhh, Don't Tell.....

At the completion of this year's Team Sarcoma Events, after everyone's had a chance to recover and we get feedback from other local teams, I'm going to give to Bruce and Beverly Shriver, the founders of the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative, an LSSI Team Sarcoma Starter Kit. The contents will include:

Walk Event Shopping List
Walk Event To-Do List
Sample Flyers
Sample Forms (sponsorship, registration, sponsor sign-up)
Sample letters to donors and media
Sample web and blog pages
Pictures, handy graphics and logos
Silent Auction Bid Sheets
Press Releases
Media Approach Suggestions
Information from the LSSI web-site formatted for printing, including
- Sarcoma information sheets
- Bracelet and Logo information sheets
Spreadsheets formatted for tracking
- Registration and T-shirts
- Donations and Thank-You’s
- Expenses

To this, I’ll add information and documents received from other teams. Ideally, the finished version #1 kit will provide helpful materials for several different types of events. I'll tell them about it when we meet them tomorrow, keeping it secret until then! We aren't bringing any e-mail electronics with us on the bike tour, so this will be my last post until after the Walk on 7/22.

Thanks for reading my blog! ~ Elizabeth

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Food and Flannel

This week we gathered snacks and beverages for the day of the walk. Here's some of what we'll have. In the morning, there'll be coffee and donuts courtesy of Dunkin Donuts! Nearby one of the stores I went to, there was a fabric store I'd never been to, so I HAD to go in .....

And it paid off. They had a great sale on snuggle flannel, $2-3/yd, so I picked these up for more Project Linus blankets. Next fleece sale I find, I'll be back in business.
Thanks for reading my blog!
~ Elizabeth

Friday, July 6, 2007

All Signs, Big and Small

In a rare serious moment, grandson Noah models our collection of smaller signs. He helped by jumping on the completed signs a few times - a budding quality assurance officer? My favorite is the yard sign, front right. Our sign uses an "OPEN HOUSE" yard sign as its frame. I found the ones that come with the metal frame in a hardware store, cheap. The left and right sides of our signs are printed on 8 1/2 x 11 heavy card stock, sealed into self-laminating pouches. There's posterboard on the back, covering up the other side of the sign. The whole sandwich is taped together/edged with a nice craft tape. It comes out to a pretty sturdy structure that can be re-used. Adhesive arrows will be added to these signs as they're placed around the park. Sticker paper is now my favorite office supply. Print, cut, peel, stick, done. The other signs are made using leftovers from the Ronald McDonald House donation boxes and assorted home projects. I KNEW the rest of that blue duct tape would come in handy sometime!

Below is our main event sign for the front and back of the gazebo. The original plan was to use hanging banners, attached either to the fronts of the tables in the gazebo or to to the gazebo railings. After looking at a few banner papers, I reconsidered and created it as a 2-piece sign. The ingredients are 20 x 30 foam board, blue and purple duct tape and logos printed onto sticker paper. It won't flap in the wind and should stand up to light-to-moderate rainfall.

So there are our signs! Thanks for reading my blog!
~ Elizabeth!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

TEAM SARCOMA/Bradley Baker Park Setup

Since Brad and I going to be on the international ride in Vermont the week before the Walk Around the Park in Frederick, we need to have the setup tasks pretty well defined before we leave. The Walk Experience will be a lot more fun if we have everything we need and people know how they can help - no one wants to think too hard at 8:00 AM! The tables shown above will be placed according to where the shade is and will likely move during the day to keep us as cool as possible. Sign production is currently in progress.

Pick up bathroom key the day before
Bring cameras
Set up tables
Put up banners and signs
Keep food table stocked and straightened
Run for ice
Watch Silent Auction Table
Register participants
Man the water tables and assist people with directions
Get change for the cash box
Take pictures

Name Tags
About the Bracelet table sign
About the Logo table sign
Registration Forms
Sponsor Forms
Sarcoma Fact Sheets
Cash Box and Bag
PAD to record donor information for cash transactions
Balloon kits
Pens to write on balloons
Pens and pencils

Signs to put in other park locations pointing to the event
Sign that announces a gathering time
Signs for water station tables
Signs to put along the route
6 long table(s)
5 card tables
Min 10 folding and camp chairs
Weights to hold down tablecloths

BANNERS (approx 5' x 24-30" would be ideal for these)

Tape to put up banners and signs

Bottled water
Donated food
Trash bags

Silent Auction bid sheets
Silent Auction items
-- Make baskets of some donated items. Dollar stores often carry baskets, tinted cellophane and, ribbon. Themes: movies, skin care, hand-made jewelry, local adventure or swim parks, Starbucks, candles, potpourri--
-Gift Certificates
Place a bid sheet and pen with each item

Raffle Items
Raffle tickets
Raffle ticket box
Jar of counted marbles for a "how many" game

Thanks for reading my blog!
~ Elizabeth!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Delivery to Ronald McDonald House

Today I delivered the donations from the Ronald McDonald House Wish List Donation Drive to the RMH in Baltimore. This is me with Sharook, an old friend from my craft night last month. My car was packed to the gills and it took a 4-person fireman's brigade to get it all into the building. To those who donated sugar and sweeteners - when the first staff person looked into the car and saw the boxes, she ran in to tell someone else to take it off the shopping list (they had just run out)! It was fun to be there with such good timing. The house manager was very happy to see how many of the basics were included. "This is great. These are things we use all the time" she said. My husband and I are really fortunate to work for BNA, a company with so many concerned and caring people.
I signed up for another craft night in August while I was there - this time we'll make pillows and I'll make sure to include materials that can be used by kids who only have the use of one hand or who aren't able to use the tables effectively from their wheelchairs. Most of the "handy" kits I brought last month required at least some delicate peeling off of thin paper backings which got frustrating for everyone. Next time we'll be playing with Elmers and never mind the mess!
Thanks for reading my blog!
~ Elizabeth