Monday, December 7, 2009

Message from the Captain (#4)

Ahoy me Hardees! This is your captain speaking, mentor captain Art that is, with another weekly message for you!

It was good to see so many of you yesterday at the fund-raising clinic and social. Thanks to Amy and her husband for opening their beautiful home to team members present and past, and for their hospitality. I know that everyone very much appreciated this. Not only did participants have some fun and get to socialize in other than running clothes and swim suits, but hopefully they learned something at the very interactive fund raising clinic. Thanks for all of the participation by mentors and coaches. I know that Cate and I wanted that. We didn’t want to be the only ones sharing knowledge, as vast and amazing as our store of knowledge is. J

Here are some things to look into this week, and some ideas. I don’t want to keep beating the drum of making sure people customize their page, get notes sent out, prepare letters and so forth. We hit, hard, that last night. Suffice to say, any participant that has not yet done at least two of these three things by now is having valuable time go by. So all that goes without saying.

Picture It! Some of the participants are interested in photos for their web page. I will not be at training this weekend. But maybe a couple of you could bring your camera to run/walk, bike, and tri training, and snap some photos – not just of your mentees but of anyone who wants to. They could be posed, group, or action shots. Or goofy shots, even. The next time I come out, I will bring my camera – beware – but for now, see if you can help with this. The same goes for coaches. Someone put across the idea of changing their web page photo every few weeks, which is a great idea. But you need a supply of photos to do this. If you want an idea on a little bit of an offbeat photo, look at the one of the running shoes in this older blog post of mine:

Go Online! Last week I sent you the link to the new LLS fundraising online slideshow. Make sure participants get this, because there is great information in this. And this includes some background information that participants might want to share with potential donors. I am pretty sure that the current team is the first to have this tremendous resource, so let’s put it to great use!

The Auction Block! Now is definitely the time for people to be collecting silent auction items. We threw a bunch of ideas out there last night, but see if your participants need any more ideas or help.

New Crew! A few of you have new team members. Make them feel welcome, and remind the coaches to introduce them to the veteran teammates. And if you lost crew, consider writing them a short note wishing them well and expressing the hope that they join us again in future times.

Leave no Sailor Behind! Work with the coaches to make sure that the slower runners and walkers don’t get left behind. If you are not training for an event, consider lagging behind to keep someone company. I think that the cyclists and triathletes pretty much stick together during training, but if not, the same principal applies. Training is usually more fun if you are with someone.

Time for an Update! For those diligent teammates who hit the ground running and sent out their initial notes a few weeks ago, it is time for an update and gentle reminder to potential donors. They can discuss training to date, progress in training and/or fundraising, people they have met, stories they have heard: whatever tickles their fancy.

Bon Voyage! For those of you lucky enough to be traveling for extended periods this month, just keep your mentees in the loop and load ‘em up with ideas in advance. If possible, check in by email with them during that time. And have fun! Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Holidays of your choice.

Mission Moment! Here is a personal one. This Wednesday marks seven years in remission for me. There is rarely a day that I don’t reflect with tremendous gratitude for not only still being alive, but healthy as well. And I know very well that a lot of things went into my survival. Things learned by doctors in the past. Patients who didn’t make it, but along the way, things were discovered about ways to treat these diseases. Money raised to deliver research. Dedicated researchers. I am thankful for life, and for what each of you and all participants in TNT and Light the Night do everyday to work for better and more humane cures. I am one of millions who is living proof that we are making progress with solving the mystery of these terrible blood cancers. So, THANK YOU!

We are heading along with fair winds and following seas as we cruise through the spring season, approaching our first port of call, New Orleans, in just a couple more months. Please contact me if you have questions or need assistance with anything. Thanks for all that you do.


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