Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Running for Ryan 5k

What do you get when you mix together a restaurant manager, bartender, lawyer, web designer, and a dad?
Apparently a whole flipping non-profit organization and a 5k race. 

The Ryan Shuck Foundation and Running 4 Ryan 5k came together nicely,
but it wasn't without total dedication and determination from a great group of people.

I met Eddie Kabbage at the SoHo Tavern on the night of Ryan's wake.
He was working down the street and took time from his break to come over and speak with me. 
It was short. 
It was beyond sweet. 
It ended with me telling my parents that there was to be a 5k in Ryan's name. 

A whole 5k? By September? 
Do these people know what they're getting themselves into?
Are they really serious?
Did you say by September?

These were all questions that were immediately discussed. 
And fortunately for us, they were immediately answered. 
Like, days later.

A big fat, undeniable YES.

Members of Ryan's community.
Friends from the neighborhood.
Bartenders from his favorite watering holes.

We were all on board this crazy train. 
It meant too much to all of us to let a moment like it pass us by. 
We were all hurt by Ryan's loss, 
and it seriously stung to get planning so quickly,
but we knew how turning it into something positive would have longer, more positive effects than grief.

And now it's here. 

Countless hours have been spent fine-tuning what we believe will be a fun, honorable day for Ryan. 

Here are the main points:

If you live here in town, you can register HERE.
Trust me, you do not have to be a runner to participate in a 5k. 
In fact, I will be waddling a butterball of a baby whilst pushing the 45-lb sand bag that is my four-year-old, so you really have no excuse.
It's 3.1 miles. Which is essentially like walking both stories of the International Plaza twice.
(Seriously, I just Googled that.)
Run. Race. Walk. Skip. Shuffle. 
There's bound to be a lot of people willing to make the trot with you.

OK, so you're registered. Now what?
Get a team together. Family. Friends. Co-workers. The guy/gal you needed an excuse to talk to.
What harm can come from literally walking in the park for a good cause? 
Not to mention that there is a free buffet and Coors Light at MacDinton's afterwards.
Teams have no limit to the number of persons, and the goal is to raise as much money as you can.

OK, OK, you live in town, but 5ks aren't your thing.
I respect that. Running, let alone in September, isn't for everyone. 
But we need volunteers
Photographers. Hydration Station. Cheerleaders. Race Goodie Bag Stuffers. 
There is a lot of opportunity to pitch in.
That's how this all came together, after all. Teamwork.

You will not be town, but wish you could be here.
No sweat. Literally.
But, you can totally participate by way of sponsorship or donation.
Sponsorships are pretty pricey, but most definitely have their perks for your business.
Donations are so important, no matter the size. 
When I raised money for the Boston Marathon, I was equally as pumped to see $10 as I was $1,000.
In fundraising, every penny really does count.
Donations can be mailed in to the foundation - click here for that address.

The Dalai Lama says that if you think positively going into something,
that there's no way to finish it without finding some level of satisfaction and success.
And who could argue with this face?

 photo images.jpg

So think about how you can contribute.

Run. Walk. Stroll.
Skip Starbucks for a few days and throw down a Jackson.
Hand water out to thirsty runners on a hot September day in Florida.
Talk to your boss about sponsorship.
Lead a team that will walk away with a trophy on race day.
Pop out your fold-out chair in Al Lopez Park and cheer on the runners on race day.
Share details on Facebook or whatever media outlet you fancy.
Join us at MacDinton's to toast SoHo's incredibly missed Mayor.

The hardest step is the first, people.

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