My parents and brother have participated in this annual fundraiser walk every year since 2004, the year my mom went public with her leukemia diagnosis and started actively campaigning to help LLS. They've raised an increasingly impressive amount of money (I've just donated from afar) and this year, the team (which includes a few family friends) exceeded a remarkable $26,000 for this year, as of late last week. Passing $25,000 for the team got them their own "VIP tent" for the pre-walk festivities and refreshments.
I've heard about the walk for years, of course, and seen various photos after the fact, but actually being there amidst several thousand people who'd gathered for a common cause was very powerful. There were lots of leukemia or lymphoma sufferers and survivors, lots of family members of survivors or victims, and lots more supporters, most of them carrying lit balloons as we walked around Rye Playland along the shores of the Long Island Sound. (I'd actually love to see photos taken from the air, or from across the water.)
I also got to meet several of the notable folks from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, all of whom know my mom and consider her a celebrity. She's not only an active volunteer, she's a great spokesperson. She's been in some of their in-house videos and has been interviewed on a number of radio and TV stations about the cause. After the walk, our group headed back to Dobbs Ferry for a late dinner at a local Italian restaurant where we used to get pizza when I was a kid. They've still got pizza, but they've also gone way upscale, and they had some great food.
It's not too late to chip in for this past weekend's walk. Can you donate a few bucks (or lots of bucks) to help the cause?