BENEFITING: WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT
EVENT DATE: Apr 22, 2015
Dear Family and Friends:
And so, my Camino de Santiago journey has begun. This a 1000 year old, 500 mile pilgrimage that I will be starting in France, going over the Pyrenees and across Northern Spain. I first heard of the Camino a few years ago on a Rick Steves travel program. I thought, what an adventure, but even though I enjoy endurance, this was not for me. Sleep night after night with 50-100 snoring pilgrims?!?!! Ohhhhhh heck no! Then last year I followed along on Facebook as friends, Cathy Watkins and Tim Quinn took on this journey. EVERY photo that they posted, whether they were in torrential rain, gale force wind, or knee deep in snow, they had the BIGGEST SMILES on their faces! That is when I decided I had to do it. Never say never!
As with many endurance events I have done in the past, I have enjoyed doing them as a fundraiser to give more purpose to them. I have raised funds for 9-11, Michael J. Fox Foundation, American Stroke Association (I ran 100 miles in under 24 hours to honor my Mom), Oklahoma Tornado, and Operation Smile to name a few. For this journey, I would like to honor my “Aunt” Laura who will be 101 years old next month! “Aunt” Laura still lives on her own in her home in the Napa Valley, with her rescue dog Povi. Veterans hold a special place in Laura’s heart, as she still crochets blankets for the Veterans in Yountville and plays the lottery every week, hoping her winning numbers come up so that she can set up a foundation for Veterans. For these reasons, I have decided my fundraiser will be for Wounded Warrior Project. The statistics involving Veterans are incomprehensible. The incredibly high rates of suicide, homelessness, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, major depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and employment issues are staggering. These men and women desperately need our help. And, as I do with anything that helps people or animals, I do this in the memory of my loving Mom, Lillian. She was always quick to help someone in need and donate to animal causes. I miss her so much and I know this would make her happy. Worried, but happy!
I never could have imagined setting forth on a trip like this alone if it were not for all the support and enthusiasm shown by my family and friends! There are so many that I owe a debt of gratitude to, too many to list! I would however, like to give a big shout out to Cathy Watkins and Tim Quinn for patiently putting up with my hundreds of incessant questions. They even made a two hour round trip drive to have lunch with me and share their stories! And also to Ian, who I know would have loved to go on this trip, for selflessly helping me plan this journey down to the most minutia of detail, taking me on so many incredible training hikes and giving me the courage to go by myself.
So, a BIG Muchas Gracias to all of my family and friends!!!