-By Susan DeLuca, Director of Annual Giving and Special Events
I have to be honest. I don’t run, unless someone or something is chasing me. Or my dog gets out of the yard. My sneakers are at least 5 years old, and they’re still white! So when Liberty Lutheran’s event committee voted in July that our next fundraiser should be a 5K in October, I was more than a little intimidated. Galas, dinners, auctions… those I can do! But a race?
My first call was to my best friend in Syracuse, New York, the tri athlete, and volunteer for Make A Wish Foundation. Can I do it? Do I have enough time? She calmed me down right away. “Of course you can,” she said, “You’ll love it!” So, here we are….race day is a little more than a month away and I am knee-deep in chip-timing, race bibs, and age divisions, all of which I had ever heard of, much less spoken about before.
To say this is a learning experience is an understatement. The “running world” is another dimension. That being said, I have never met a more enthusiastic, fun group of people than those I have encountered during this planning process. They make me think I’ve been missing out on something; especially when they talk about the “mud” runs, or the “color” runs, where you either roll in dirt or get splashed with paint. I’m all for having fun while raising money for the good of the cause, so I am really looking forward to this event, even though we aren’t planning on getting too dirty that day. The family activities will be my favorite, I know – I’ll walk the 1 mile Fun Walk, my daughter will enjoy the kids activities and the food, and I hope everyone will have fun and learn a little more about what Liberty Lutheran is all about.
So, though I may not run, per se, I know what I am “running” towards – a belief that what Liberty Lutheran accomplishes on a daily, weekly and yearly basis is making a difference in the community and the world around us. I am in the fundraising business, and usually, I don’t see the day to day smiles on resident’s faces, or necessarily hear enough of the stories of the children who are placed in their forever homes. However, what reaches me are notes scrawled on a piece of paper attached to a check. “For Amy, who helped me to get back on my feet,” one reads, or “We are so very thankful to have found Artman for Mom.” In the rush of our day to day lives, not to mention the lives of those recovering from injury or caring for an elderly parent, I know the thoughtfulness and the time it takes to express those thoughts. They are real. They are powerful. And I know from working here that people’s lives are better, or safer, or more hopeful because of the compassionate workforce we have.
So, join us on October 5th, whether you run or not, have fun, celebrate with us, learn a little. Run or walk towards a better community, by supporting an organization that makes it happen every day.