Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thanking Our Mentors

We had a great group of mentors this season - Nicki, Paul, Theresa, and Jamey. I want to thank all of them here. Scattered through my blog are a number of photos of these fine people, so I won't repeat photos here.

Mentors are kind of like fund-raising coaches, plus a little more. Each week, they contact every participant by phone and/or email. They are available to meet with their mentees to review fundraising. They brainstorm with participants. It is not an easy volunteer job. Many participants are intimidated by fundraising and keep delaying things until it is really late, and because they are not keeping up with fundraising, they kind of avoid contact with their mentors. Mentors feel a bit like a mother hen, keeping track of their chicks and wanting them to succeed. Mentors also do water stops each week and often bring a post-training snack.

Nicki was our mentor captain, and is great! She is also a patient honoree and a fundraising participant in the Shamrock Marathon - her fourth marathon as a lymphoma survivor. Mentor Captains coordinate all of the other mentors, including the cycle and triathlon mentors. It is a lot of work, but Nicki was up to it. She did an amazing job putting together our extremely successful silent auction. Nicki also came out and supported the Nashville team after her event was done, running with us and setting up roving SAG wagons. Nicki is amazing!

Theresa was my mentor for the second season in a row. She is a fun and creative mentor, always with good fundraising ideas. Plus she gives us gummy worms - mmmm! She was busy for a lot of training weekends so I was disappointed not to see her smiling face more because I really enjoy training with her and catching up on our lives. To show you how TNT works, in 2006 I mentored a wonderful lady named Mary Nell. Mary Nell came back the next year as a mentor, and she mentored a new participant, Theresa. A year or so later, and again this year, Theresa came back to be my mentor. Talk about coming full circle! Theresa, you're the best!

Paul is one of the most dedicated TNT participants I have met. He first came out for TNT, and did his first marathon, in the winter of 2007-08 when I raced Arizona - the first part of this blog. Since then, he has come out every single season as a mentor and/or participant. He trains hard with other particpants and supports them during training. He often brought great post training snacks, including delicious muffins. He did not fundraise this season - you can't do that every time - but he made the trip to Nashville at his own expense to be part of the team. Great guy!

I didn't get to know Jamey too well. Why, you ask? Well, because he can run a mile before I tie my shoes. The last I normally saw of Jamey was his butt and the backs of his heels as he disappeared from Byrd Park! But was always glad to see his smiling face at training and think that he must have been a great mentor.

To all of you, thanks for a great season and for all of the support.

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