Wednesday, May 12, 2010

And the winner is ....

Woot woot! Goooo Team Pink. Pink Panters Rock!!!

And so went the cheers emanating from our Pink Panter Relay for Life team headquarters tent. We had fantastic participation. Lots of people raised money for the Canadian Cancer Society (which is the prime purpose for having a team in the first place) Lots of people walked (during the daylight hours we usually had between 4 and 10 people on the track at a time) Some brought food and drinks. And EVERYONE supported our pinkness.

While not everyone arrived at the field in a pink costume, everyone was willing to don something from the pink dress up box - feather boas, tutus, pink rabbit ears, pink wigs, various hats etc.

Even before the relay started at 10am Saturday, people were asking if they could get their picture taken with us. Throughout the day little girls would follow us (well, more specifically my gorgeous princess-like daughter in her flouncy pink skirt and soft baby pink hair) around the track and across the field, just so they could be near all our pinkness and jovial camaraderie.

It was sort of bizarre to be thrust into stardom for the day. At one point Brandi, my Mom and I were walking across the field and we got stopped for an interview that was broadcast throughout the grounds.

And then there was the TV interview. A real live TV interview. I've said it before, and I'll likely say it again, I don't public speak. It was nearly an out-of-body experience to be miked up (micced sp?) and standing in front of a large camera. I headlined the news the next day. Yes headlined! with my team surrounding me.

They always give out recognition awards for the best decorated tent and best costumes and most dedicated team support. With all the attention we received all weekend, I was certain we'd take home at least one award. And I was momentarily disappointed when it didn't come to pass.

We didn't win best decorated tent. We were very decorated, but I'll admit pink helium balloons, feather boas, pink banners and pink chairs probably borders on tacky. But fun. And the tent that won did look pretty cool. A little too neat and orderly, but cool.

We didn't win best costumes. We did have some of the best costumes. However we sort stick to our own theme: pink, rather than the 2010 country-wide Relay for Life theme of "Fight Back". The team who dressed as super heroes did look pretty cool - bordering on obscene with men in tights with their underwear on the outside, but cool.

We didn't win dedicated team support. One team had members that set out to walk the entire 24 hours. One member, a sister of the man the team was there to honour after he lost his battle with cancer, managed to walk for the entire 24 hours. Though her feet were bloodied and bandaged she hung in there. That was dedication. That was cool.

My disappointment at not receiving an award was very short lived when I considered all the awards we would have won, had there been such a category:

Team having the most fun.
Team with the most members on the track at any one time.
Team that rewards those who walk.

Team whose participants came from farthest away
Team with the most support from non-team members
Team tackiness
etc etc....

I know that all who support the Pink Panter's do so for their own personal reasons - many remember loved ones lost, many supporting loved ones in the midst of fighting, many do it as an investment - knowing full well that someone close to them, and perhaps themselves, will one day rely on the support and research of the Canadian Cancer Society.

Whatever the reasons, the fact that they choose to Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back through the Pink Panter team, a team that was started because of my breast cancer diagnosis, blesses my heart. I regularly thank God that my battle was not a long difficult fight. I credit that to the prayers of my huge support team.

It doesn't matter who won the awards, I know in my heart who has the best support. I know who the winner is. And I thank you for it.

Here you can check out the TV interview:

Here I am dressed to "Fight Back". The back of my boxer's robe said "Fight like a Girl!"

The first lap of the relay is a survivor's victory lap.

The survivor's group photo was really a Where's Waldo game. Can you find the Pink Panter survivor?

Jody was a huge support and provider of much of the dress up box contents.

I don't really have a great shot of the quilt that my mom made for the raffle. As usual, it was fabulous and it raked in a lot of dollars. I purchased a ticket for anyone who supported me financially, but alas none of them won. It went to someone in Victoria.

Barbee the team captain who started it all.

Brandi the pretty princess whose shirt read "TKO  Mom 1 : Cancer 0"

You didn't have to be a human to support the Pink Panters.

You didn't have to know how to walk to support the Pink Panters.

You didn't have to be female to support the Pink Panters.

Getting things set up.

Numerous requests by total strangers to pose for a team photo.

Crystal and Jayme all the way from Boston Bar. Talk about team dedication.

Diana's Mom was just as surprised and thrilled as me by the visit from the carload of girls from Kamloops.

Poor little Xander was sick and not at all impressed with Granny having pink hair. He wore his pink shirt but it wasn't warm enough to take his jacket off - good thing the camo fit the "Fight Back" theme. He did his token lap and then PaPa took him home for the afternoon.

Nana gets some X time.

While yes it did get quite cold at night... no there was no snow. Mom took advantage of the emptied cooler ice to exaggerate the situation.

The morning after looked just like that - the morning after. People sleeping in chairs and frost covering everything. Even the helium balloons sunk like torpedos until the sun came out and defrosted them.

Our official sum raised as of 10am Saturday was $5068 however when all was said and done I think we were closer to $5500. YAY PINK PANTERS! I'm so proud of our team and thankful to all who support us.

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