Wednesday, July 30, 2008

progress on walk planning

I've been spending a lot of time lately on walk-related activities. We had our August planning meeting last week and it sounds like everything appears to be coming together well.

The corporate sponsorship gathering phase is over now. I guess I had some amount of success helping Michele out here, although I was hoping for more. I was able to obtain one cash sponsorship and two in-kind gifts that we can use for raffle prizes. At least I didn't come up completely empty.

So, now my focus is on helping Diane with media and publicity. One aspect of this has been trying to contact local newspapers and generate some interest in writing articles related to the walk. So far, I haven't had too much success on this front. One obstacle I seem to be running into is that the papers I am trying to work with are local to me, but not particularly local to Bedford Hills where the walk actually takes place. But, we do draw people from these areas to the walk, and we do have people in these areas who are willing to share their stories with the media, so I haven't given up hope completely yet.

Another aspect of publicity that I am working on is contacting radio stations requesting them to air some public service announcements. Here, I seem to be making some progress. Clear Channel Hudson Valley is working with me to produce a 30-second PSA which they can air on their local stations and I've also provided them a 15-second spot produced by the Foundation. I'm going to try to contact another station or two as well.

Then, there are some of the easier aspects of publicity - adding the event to online community calendars, and distributing posters and brochures throughout the area. I've submitted to every online calendar I could find. And, I hope to get started on brochurse distribution over the next couple of days. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for posters to be delivered from the printer.

And, oh, yeah - the actual fundraising! Well, Team Teddy Bear has gotten itself off to a good start. With some offline checks that have yet to be posted to our total, we're already at $1880. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to date! Next week will be "Team Week" where the various teams who have registered will compete for chances to win some prizes. I'll post details on this later for those who might be interested.

And, finally, the Hudson Valley Renegades PKD fundraising event is now all sold out. If you are interested and missed out, please do send me your contact info anyway so I can make sure you are included next year. Since it has been so popular, I definitely intend to plan holding a similar event again in 2009 - except I'll start the planning process earlier so we can get more tickets before the game sells out.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Party for TJ

I'm not sure where all the time went, but eight days from today, I'm going to be the parent of a teenager. I don't know exactly how it started, and I sure don't recall TJ asking me for my permission - but here he is turning into a young man right in front of my eyes.

Today we had the family over for TJs party. It was really hot so Jeanne suggested we get out the Slip 'N Slide which has been sitting in our garage still unpacked for a few years. The kids all had a great time.

TJ was the master of the belly slide!

The funniest moment of the day was when Brian and Jason were told that they had to go and change out of their wet bathing suits before they could sit on the couch. They left the room and came back like this:

It was truly hilarious that they decided to do this all on their own. But, I'm a little worried if they can plan something like this together at 4, what will they be scheming together when they're 14?????

For TJ, I think the highlight of the day was receiving his very own guitar!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy bloggiversary

A year ago today, I made my first post to this blog. At the time, I really didn't know where I was headed with it. But, I've found I really enjoy blogging and the opportunity it provides to share experiences both with close friends and family and with people I have never met (and likely will never meet) face to face. Thanks to those of you who have encouraged me to continue by leaving a comment, sending an email or linking to my blog from your own web pages. And to those of you frequent visitors who have been lurking anonymously in the shadows, don't be afraid to check in and say "hi".

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

We could use more people like Melissa

In case you haven't done so yet, I highly recommend reading the newest addition to my blog roll, The Gift of Life. Melissa's blog is about her "journey into kidney donation" as she has altruistically agreed to donate one of her kidneys to a complete stranger (who happens to have Polycystic Kidney Disease) through Her surgery is scheduled for next week. It's well worth your time to start from the beginning and read her whole story. It is very inspiring.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

An All-American Fourth of July

For Independence Day yesterday, our family celebrated by going to Washington's Headquarters in Newburgh where they were having a special event "Birthdays and Baseball". Now, combining George Washington and baseball on the Fourth of July - does it get any more American than that? The event was led by Mickey "the Lip" Tangel - a vintage baseball expert. Mickey held a show where he demonstrated the equipment used in the early days of baseball back in the 19th century and talked about the rules and how they have changed over the years. For example, it used to be that you were out if the fielder caught the ball on one bounce and there really were no official balls and strikes, although the umpire would issue "warnings" if the pitchers made bad pitches or the batter failed to swing at good pitches.

In addition to the show, Mickey organized a wiffle ball game where the kids played according to the baseball rules used in 1864. TJ, Jason and Brian all had a great time playing.

Here's Mickey setting the lineup for one of the teams:

Jason leads off and smacks the ball off of the tee.

Brian swings hard trying to bring a run home.

TJ makes a valiant effort to field the ball near third base.

This guy was the umpire for the game. I couldn't decide if he looked more like Willy Wonka or The Penguin from the old Batman shows.

We all had so much fun with all of the baseball stuff, that by the time we went in for a tour of Washington's Headquarters, we found we had missed the last tour of the day. We did spend a little time looking through the small musuem they had there and also checked out the Tower of Victory on the property.

Around 5, we headed out for some dinner, then came back to the grounds to watch the fireworks being launched out on the river.

All in all, a really fun day! Hope yours was as well!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Minor facelift

I took a little time to clean up my blog layout this afternoon. Mostly I just removed some old links and rearranged the order of items a little bit. The one significant change I made was to upgrade my blog list to use the new Blog List page element that Blogger released. I imagine this will be a nice upgrade for those visitors who like to use my blog as a jumping off point for visiting other PKD-related blogs. The new tool orders the blogs with the most recently updated blogs on top and also tells you when the last post to the blog was made. So, now rather than constantly clicking through to check if a blog was posted to since the last time you visited, you can easily see at a glance which blogs have recent updates. Hope you enjoy the update!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Team Teddy Bear 2008 Open for Business

Well, it's now official. Team Teddy Bear is back for a third year walking in the Hudson Valley Walk for PKD. I've finally gotten around to getting my web pages together this evening. You can check out our team page here and my own page here. TJ jumped right in the other day and has managed to raise $70 already!

Please take some time to check out our walk pages and consider donating to the cause, or better yet joining a walk near you.