Thursday, July 7, 2011

Journal Entry with First Mention of Skating for Hope Idea (2/12/09, 12:48AM)

I know my writing is horrible, so here’s my translation:

2/12/09 12:48 AM

Skated @12:00 MM- said she wasn’t going but showed up,

My idea – skate 24 hrs straight for H. Lodge

Deb & Erin – good idea!

CVS, Stop & Shop, Target – Crohn’s

(Edited) arrive

New Demitri Martin Show

Important Things: Timing

Texted Andy – had met Daily Show guest (UC Davis prof)

So, I first wrote about the Skating for Hope idea 2 years, 4 months, 25 days ago. That’s 875 days ago. And now, it’s 23 days away.

A lot has happened since I first wrote this idea down…

I spent most of 2009 trying to find a rink that would let me have the event, but had no luck finding anyone that would donate me the rink time. After calls and emails, FMC told me that I could rent Buffone Arena in Worcester at a discounted rate. That was good news, but I still didn’t have enough money for the 24-hour rental.

Before he moved away to Oregon, my buddy Glen gave me a wake-up call by giving me this MacBook I am typing on, an iPhone, snowboard, and a bunch of other things. His generosity made me think about all the “stuff” I had and how I really didn’t need it.

After my cousin Katie gave me this t-shirt for Christmas that year, it came clear to me how I could fund the rink rental for Skating for Hope – take donations for my t-shirts. My sister Megan was the one who came up with the idea for me to blog about them, and was born. Thanks to my family, friends, Hope Lodge guests, websites, and local businesses, I was able to make it through 2010 wearing a different t-shirt every day. All of my family and cool friends came to see all of the t-shirts on display on New Year’s Eve that year, and everyone helped kick start my donations by going t-shirt shopping.

At the beginning of this year, my sister Carolyn set up and I was able to take donations for the t-shirts online. By the beginning of March, I had received enough donations to make the payment for the rink rental.

After I knew Skating for Hope was going to happen, I started picturing how it would be in my head. I remember my first skate at Buffone after I had paid for the rental. I did my usual watery eyes, really happy, but trying to hold it back so I don’t look like a bawling fool in public. I thought of Danny and Justin. I thought of Denis Leary, Cam Neely, and Michael J. Fox skating next to me. Hey, when I dream, I dream big.

In the months since booking the rink, I have done what I can (with a lot of help) to make my visions a reality. I contacted former BC hockey players, and right away some of them said they would join me. I reached out to WAAF, Star Wars 501st Legion, Oprah Winfrey, Cam Neely, Michael J. Fox, The Bruins Foundation, The Worcester Sharks, Bauer, Powerade Zero, Pure Hockey, Hockey Monkey, and others I just can’t think of right now. Some of them got back to me, some didn’t. Some initially said they would help, but then stopped responding to my emails (like Hockey Monkey).

My mother reached out to Ann Leary to see if her husband Denis was interested, and Denis’ assistant emailed her back and said he couldn’t make it, but would donate items for a raffle.

Then, we started the Skating for Hope Committee meetings and everyone has helped out a lot to help make SFH an event people will want to participate in repeatedly. My father and another SFH committee member (Mark) helped me get in touch with Paul Stewart, a former NHL referee who is a cancer survivor. My sister designed the poster, and a friend of my father’s printed them for free. Green Mountain donated a coffee brewer for a raffle prize. Ocean Spray is donating juice. After unsuccessful attempts with getting a website through ACS and Relay for Life, was launched. People have signed up to skate and volunteer. The schedule is getting more concrete.

Today, Paul Stewart emailed me and said I can announce on the website that he will be there. I’m talking to him tomorrow night about the event. I’m very happy about this!

I know there is still a lot of work to do in the next three weeks, but my initial idea from that night in February 2009 is happening - Skate 24 hours straight for Hope Lodge. I am doing that, and playing in 3 hockey games in the middle of it. One of those games is going to be with guys that I watched play at BC, and one of them played with The Bruins…these are all things that make me smile.

I’m not sure what will happen with other people the SFH committee and I have reached out to, but I’m thinking positive thoughts. It worked for me with cancer, it worked for Timmy Thomas winning The Cup, and it will work with Skating for Hope too…looking forward to July 30th!

PS – A little more translation with the journal entry: The MM I refer to is my friend Megan, who was skating with me when I asked her if she thought we could skate for 24 hours. You can see how she skates here.

My friend Andy is a professor at UC Davis, and I texted him to see if he knew the guest who was on the Daily Show that night – he had met him, which I thought was pretty cool. I guess I also watched the Demitri Martin show that night!

I also wrote down the names of the Hope Lodge guests who came in that night… I censored thanks to regulations.

Finally, Deb and Erin are two ACS employees who I shared my idea with…glad they thought it was a good one!

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