June Executive Update: We Made a Decision
Another month of quarantine has come and gone. As a parent, I am looking forward to getting back to a normal life and putting all this virtual homeschooling behind us. (Can I get an AMEN?”) While I have to be honest, I thought this quarantine would have broken us, but instead I find that it has made us all stronger. I have been able to slow down the rush of my job, carpooling, sleepovers, meetings and more and enjoyed the slower pace of life. I have been able to do things with my kids that would have seemed hard this time last year. Against my will, I even agreed to watch the entire Star Wars series with Grant and Sophia. I must say, I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would and looked forward to cuddling on the couch each night with them. We took walks together and really talked about life as we explored so many areas of Charlotte together. Even my work family seems excited about what is on horizon for us at ISF with the way this new world works.
The past few weeks, I quietly watched predictions about opening the city week by week and I felt this pit in my stomach about our fall events. How can we hold events that are centered around these families in Charlotte with cancer, IF they might not be able to attend? I couldn’t imagine sitting at home with Isabella and watching her race over social media – knowing I couldn’t bring her out due to the fear of this virus. It would be just another thing she would have to watch from behind the glass and it would break my heart. I realized we just couldn’t do it.
We realize things might change by September, but we don’t want to chance it. So much work goes into making our race successful each year and if anyone (not just these families) doesn’t feel safe attending, it would be so deflating for us all. We couldn’t do that either. Our race is more than just a race. It holds a sense of purpose to us all because it’s not just about scoring an auction item, or jumping in the bounce house or now having a yummy brunch with friends. For the people who come to our race, these kids are why they are there. They signed up to support them and we had to find a way to still do this.
So we made a decision.
Our race is still on. But this year, it needs to change. And we need you to help us do it.
Everyone hates the word “Virtual” and I get it. Everything is virtual these days. But you know ISF and we ALWAYS do things differently. So we are going “guns-a- blazing” virtual.
Things are hard to predict. Who knows the size groups we will be able to have by the fall? But, we are building teams now and will continue to build them as the numbers increase. Start by building a team of 25 and if you can grow your team to 50 by September, then do it! 100? Sure. I’m getting started today with my team (Team Name: Chicken and Waffles – The Santos Family). My group will be meeting at my house the morning of the race, will do our 5k together and then in Erin style, will have a backyard party to celebrate. I’m gathering team members in Charlotte, but also will reach out to my contacts to build races in other states. Our goal is to have an ISF virtual team in every state and a ton of them in Charlotte that will be racing that morning. Hoping some of you can reach out to the hard to reach states and help us build them too!
You can also fundraise by joining the “Brunch Club”. When I set up my team, I had the ability to set up a fundraising page and I’m all over it. This awesome program has incentive levels starting at $250 and going up to $5,000. Our new branding looks great and we have some amazing things coming right to your front door to help you coordinate the perfect purple brunch the morning of the race, based on your success. Bloody mary kits, kitchen aprons, brunch tools – and of course alcohol – all add to the morning celebration.
50 states. Tons of teams. Tens of thousands raised. All for these families. The sky’s the limit. But as we have said time and time again – we can’t be successful without you. You have seen the posts. The Chair of the Department is hired, the team is being assembled, trials are being written and the number of kids with rare cancers that will flood to Charlotte for treatment are expected to double this year and triple next year, due to the program you have built. Because of this… We Can’t Stop. We Won’t Stop. And we are hoping you won’t either.
So get out there. Register. Build your team. Fundraise. Share it. Recruit. Follow. All of it.
Can’t wait to see what everyone does with this. I’m kind of giddy with excitement. It’s going to be nuts. This is still Isabella’s race and this is still her day so let’s make her proud!
-Erin, Isabella’s Mommy