Boilermaker Blog

Meet Jacob, 2017 Wheelchair Challenger

May 19th, 2017


The following is a guest contribution from Gary Roback, Co-Director of the Boilermaker Wheelchair Division. It includes a letter from Jacob Moore, a 2017 Wheelchair Challenge competitor. 

It seems like everyone that volunteers, races, walks or watches the Boilermaker has a particular part of the event that they thoroughly enjoy.  For some, it’s the challenge.  For some, it’s the enjoyment of helping others or being part of something much bigger than oneself.  Still for others, being a part of the Boilermaker is a passion.  In the early 90’s my wife, my two kids and I started as goody bag “stuffers” and we all got hooked.  We then ‘graduated’ to helping stuff race packets with bibs and safety pins.  A few years later an opportunity evolved within a relatively new committee – the Wheelchair Division.   Ever since the first time I ran the Boilermaker in 1983, the ‘chairs’ were the most inspirational, powerful part of the entire event for me.   There was just something about what I saw that drew me in.  So when the opportunity came up to join that committee, I did just that.  One of the first tasks I was asked to do was, along with Richard Panetta, develop what became known as the ‘Wheelchair Challenge’.  With runners, getting a quality pair of running shoes, although they can be expensive, is typically your major investment (other than your time and effort).  Wheelchair racing is a bit different.  You can’t easily do a wheelchair race without a racing wheelchair.  However, even the most basic racing wheelchair costs about $2,500 causing a financial barrier to some that made participating just a dream.  Our primary motive was to help break down that financial barrier by creating the ‘Challenge’.  We would award a custom built racing chair to an athlete that had the drive, desire and passion to complete the 15k Boilermaker in an everyday wheelchair.   Many times winning the chair is more than just a prize, it can represent a positive life changing experience. It can help people adjust to whatever life throws at them.  It represents the power of the human spirit. And to that end, the program has been a great success.  To date, we have awarded 28 custom built racing wheelchairs to Challengers.

 

Once again in 2017, we will have an athlete pursing the Challenge.  His bio below clearly shows he has the passion and desire to be successful.  So if you see Jacob on the course on Boilermaker Sunday, cheer him on. To Jacob, the challenge represents a whole lot more than just winning a chair.

As a kid growing up with Spina Bifida I never looked at something and told myself that I could not do it as well or better than others. Often times I was right and also often I was shown I could be just as wrong. Thing is though I never let someone tell me I could or couldn’t do something, and I always challenged myself and pushed as far as I could.  Spina Bifida as a child and for most of my adult life  was never really seen as a set back to me. I played baseball as a pitcher and 3rd baseman. I played water polo every summer as a kid all the way through high school and also I swam varsity in high school.  After high school I started biking. I very much valued the times where I could just get on my bike and go. Pop on some music ride down the canal. It was peaceful, relaxing and I still to this day value the times I was out on my bike and witnessed things I normally would not have. The sunsets, the wildlife and even some of the people I met while riding who all had stories too. I miss it all

About 4 years ago in November I noticed that I was kicking my left heel into the ground. I was trying to “wake it up”. It felt like it had gone to sleep, my foot was going numb. I noticed this routinely would happen. Slowly this started moving up my leg. Christmas came around and I told my family of my concerns about this. The numbness was spreading. I Could no longer walk up or down the stairs. We had to move our room downstairs. It was also around this time where if I wanted to walk just about anywhere I would have to use my girlfriend for support. For example holding onto her shoulders so I could walk somewhere. About a week into January 2014 I sat in a wheelchair and to this day it is the only way I can get around. Later in the year of 2014 I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis of the spine. The doctor who diagnosed me said it is only the 2nd time he has ever heard of it attacking the spine. Of course it was the first time he had diagnosed it.

My interest in racing and also doing the Boilermaker Wheelchair Challenge are similar.  I am 40 years old. I am overweight and as far as activity goes I only recently started to try and get active again. I want to challenge myself again. I want to say to myself I can do that. Then I want to go out and do what I said I can do. In the end I want to do this for myself. I want to be able to say to myself and to my family that I challenged myself and that I did not back down and I saw it through to the end.

In the end maybe I am being greedy but I feel like competing in The Boilermaker and finishing  it represents me grabbing back some of my independence that I may have lost the last few years. In completing this and in preparing for this I also believe it will help me in the long run for adjusting to life in a wheelchair. Yes, I have been in a wheelchair for a while, but you don’t just get used to it. It changes you, and in the end maybe this challenge is part of the change.

Jacob Moore

Why I Run

April 28th, 2017


The following is a guest post by Randy Van Wagoner, President of MVCC, Gold Sponsor of the Boilermaker Road Race and host of the Boilermaker Health and Wellness Expo. 

I consider myself an athlete, but I never ran without a ball.  I played a wide variety of sports growing up, but when I went to my one and only day of middle school track practice, I stopped after the first half mile and left to wait for my mom to pick me up.  I didn’t see the fun in running.  Without some kind of ball, I didn’t have a ‘why’ to run.  So I didn’t.

My running world changed in 2007 when my family and I relocated to the Mohawk Valley region. I was encouraged to run in MVCC’s annual Ted Moore Memorial 5K walk/run event, so I asked my oldest daughter who was still in elementary school at the time to run with me.  We survived it, and better yet, we had a fun time running together.  As we learned about the Boilermaker Road Race, our entire family began running in the 5K each year for that event.  We had all enjoyed running down Court Street to the finish line with the crowds cheering along both sides of the street.  It was like getting the full Boilermaker experience but only running one-third the distance.

In 2010, Steve Zogby gave me the encouragement to run the 15K Boilermaker.  He said, “C’mon, you should do it.  All you have to do is make sure you can run six miles and the crowd will carry you the rest of the way!”  I’ve since said those very words to multiple people trying to pay it forward because I’m so glad I took Steve’s advice.  I ran the 15K that year and thought I checked it off my bucket list.  I kept running the Ted Moore and Boilermaker 5K races with my family each year and thought that was enough for me, but over time my ‘why’ became abundantly clear.

We have a Wellness Council at Mohawk Valley Community College and I attended a workshop on well-being that covered research conducted by the Gallup organization. I made a commitment to improve my physical well-being and set a goal of running the Boilermaker 15K again in 2016.  As springtime came, I found myself enjoying the reflective time to run and quiet my mind.  I became more centered and focused at work and more present in my interactions with others.  I also became more aware of my diet and began eating a little better, which led to lowering my weight, which led to feeling better each day.  My ‘why’ I run became to feel better and be better.

I ran the Ted Moore 5K last spring and ran my best time ever.  We had over 200 people participate and had our largest fundraising effort ever for the Ted Moore Scholarship.  It was a great day for the MVCC community.  Late last summer, our oldest daughter and I ran in the Crim Festival of Races 10 mile race in Flint, Michigan where I grew up.  We were part of a Boilermaker Road Race group that traveled there in a show of solidarity with the City of Flint and their water crisis.  The only two road races who sent people were the Boilermaker and the Boston Marathon – a pretty powerful statement.  My ‘why’ I run added to support great causes and connect to the best of being human.

I began running every time I traveled somewhere and mapped out interesting runs to see parts of cities I might not otherwise see.  I ran my first-ever Race to the Canal 5K and ran along the Erie Canal.  My ‘why’ I run now includes to see interesting sights and places.

On Boilermaker Sunday 2016, my family and I once again worked our morning routine like clockwork with all the friends, rides, pick-ups, drop-offs, and meet-ups.  My wife and youngest daughter ran the 5K, as ever, and our oldest daughter and her friend ran the 15K, and I did as well.  I find the local adage to be true – if we could bottle the sense of community pride that’s evident on Boilermaker Sunday, the other 364 days around here would be incredible.  Running down Culver Ave, Memorial Parkway, Champlain Ave., and Whitesboro streets is so uplifting with so many friendly faces.  The views from Valley View are phenomenal and the feeling of running down a crowded Court Street through the finish line is exhilarating.  My ‘why’ I run now is attaching to something bigger than myself.  It’s about being part of this community and touching a unique collective experience that can’t be replicated.

I would love to go back and tell my little 7th grade self ‘why’ people should run.  I’m forever grateful to this community for helping me discover my own ‘why’.  As the Ted Moore walk/run celebrates its 20th anniversary and the Boilermaker celebrates its 40th anniversary, I hope even more people discover their ‘why’ and turn out in record numbers!

 

A bit about Boston

April 18th, 2017


The past Easter weekend I found myself in Boston as my boys, who work in Beantown, had work on Saturday meaning no trip to Utica for Mom’s fare.
While dreading the drive to Boston, I was excited to be there for Marathon Weekend and check out their Expo.
So let me throw this out there- the Boston Marathon is simply THE iconic marathon on the plant.
First of all it’s the oldest (remember respect your elders) this year was the 121st running.
Boston isn’t the world’s biggest, that title goes to New York with over 50,000 finishers. Boston checks in at number 6 with 32,000 finishing.
However, what makes Boston unique is that you need to hit a qualifying time in a different marathon to have a chance of getting selected. Most other races utilize some sort of variant on the lottery system. While not the hardest course, Boston is one of the hardest to get in.
Because Boston is relatively small big city (655,000 call greater Boston home) when the race comes to town the streets are awash in Boston Marathon blue. In cities like New York and Chicago, it gets a little lost.
Finally, I think no city so embraces their marathon as Boston does. And no doubt incredibly intensified as a result of the 2013 bombings.
Certainly even more poignant as “Marathon Monday” is run on Patriot’s Day” which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord the first skirmishes of the Revolutionary War.
Well the Expo was spectacular: large vendor ‘islands’ that represent the who’s who of running gear and accessories. The cash registers certainly were humming
And the Tesla car on display was pretty cool.
I headed home Sunday so didn’t have the opportunity to catch the splendor of Marathon Monday.
Wish I had been there to see the current Boilermaker female record holder, Edna Kiplagat, win this year. Edna is $150,000 richer and, running a 2 hour 21 minute marathon she earned $1,063 a minute.
Or see the strong American performances- 8 on the male side and 7 on the female side who were in the top 15. USA, USA!
Or seeing local folks like Hermin Garic (came in 24th in Wheelchair Division) – a true Sitrin Star!
Or Katie McCauley, who shaved 40 minutes off her previous time helped, no doubt, by extra dry protective socks for her prosthetic legs (last year they got soaked and she had to wait 25 minutes for dry ones in the med tent). You are my hero!
To get a chance to run the Boston Marathon is the pinnacle of a runner’s dream.
Months and months of grueling training get to the start line of that 26.2 mile journey.
To all those crossed the finish line- wear your finisher’s medal proudly!

Just like 2016, sort of…

March 20th, 2017


Well we are in the final stages of filling the field for this year’s Boilermaker.
Last year we saw roughly half the field get filled with advanced runners (those that had run the race in 2015 within the time limit) folks who had deferred in 2015 but wanted to run in 2016.
When Open Registration commenced in 2016 registrations took off like a rocket- a couple thousand signed up in the first 15 minutes: it looked like it was going to be a short day- wrong Tim, it took a week to fill the field!
Fast forward to this year’s registration.
Some significant changes, cap gets raised by 500 for the 15k to 14,500 and we allow advanced runners to choose the race they want to run rather than the race they ran the previous year.
Then I wondered if this being an ‘anniversary year’ (our 40th running) would create any additional demand?
Numbers at the conclusion of advanced registration ended up coming in similar to last year.
Would we see the same initial registration tsunami followed by a drop off or would the surge continue predicating an early closeout of the race?
Pre-noon on Saturday I watched on our Google analytics page as several hundred folks were electronically ‘lined up’ for the noon opening of Open Registration.
Well, the long and the short of it was after getting around 4,000 registered in 45 minutes things got slow, very slow.
I’m assuming that in the next day or so the races will be sold out, while there’ a certain thrill selling the race out in three hours (we achieved that the last year we had first come- first served system) the resulting emails from disappointed runners was less than fun! The old system was sort of like riding a roller coaster and you’re not really sure the safety bar is fully engaged!
Now for something unlike 2016.
When we changed our building location we also made a commitment to make a positive impact in our new neighborhood.
Thus was born the Boilermaker Urban Initiative supporting health and wellness in Utica with particular attention to West Utica, our new home. Since the move we have established an urban garden cared for by local teenagers, created a public market that offers fresh fruit and vegetables to a community with few options and recently established a fitness program at an elementary school.
We have never asked our participants to support us in these (and planned) projects so we thought ‘why not’?
Well, we must be doing something right: to-date over 1,400 runners have donated nearly $21,000 to support ‘Run for U’ that funds our urban programming.
Boilermaker nation never ceases to amaze me in the most wonderful ways!

Try Skating Barefoot

February 16th, 2017


I was walking through the garage and my eyes wandered to a large plastic can: protruding from it were a couple of metal bats and a defenseman’s lacrosse stick.
I’ve walked by this container hundreds of times on the way to the car and ignored it: not today.
As I rummaged through the can, baseball gloves, soccer shin guards, basketballs revealed themselves. It was a trip down memory lane as I remembered countless hours at baseball fields, hardwood courts and outdoor fields.
Then I remembered in the cellar were pairs of soccer cleats and skates whose life was cut short by one of my three kids growing feet.
I thought to myself “what a waste: this equipment is still in great shape and their owners have long since left home. This stuff needs new owners!”
And from that, the Skates and Sneaks Equipment Drive was born.
It felt like a natural partnership to do with the Utica Comets as we are two of the biggest sporting events that occur in our community.
It was a short conversation with the Comet’s folks- absolutely yes!
So at the March 3rd-5th Comets home games our friends from EJA Moving will have a truck stationed across from the Auditorium Drive entrance to pick up sporting goods equipment. We will be collecting for an hour and a half prior to puck drop: Friday and Saturday from 5:30-7:00 pm, Sunday 1:30-3:00 pm.
Approximately two weeks later, we will be distributing the collected gear to organizations that serve our local youth.
Here’s one thing we ask, PLEASE do not bring equipment that clearly has outlived its life: key words-gently used! We don’t want stuff that probably more properly should be carted off to a landfill.
The Boilermaker and the Comets understand the importance of physical activity.
Sports does more than build a healthy body- it nurtures discipline, instills teamwork and promotes goal setting- sort of nice life skills.
And if you are a believer that ‘idle hands are the devil’s play shop’ (and I am) then sports are clearly a better path for our young people than other activities.
You will in all likelihood never know the child whom you have opened the door to, perhaps for the first time, participate in a sport.
But that my friend is the true meaning of giving.

Erie Canal Half: A Boilermaker Event

January 31st, 2017


If you’ve been following this blog during recent months, it should be obvious that the Boilermaker is undergoing a change. Let’s call it an expansion of focus. We are no longer content with being confined to the month of July but instead have ambitions to be a year-round change agent. Blossoming outreach initiatives like the Boilermaker Urban Garden and the West Utica Public Market have certainly been tremendous steps towards this goal. However, did you know that the Boilermaker actually conducts another road race, a half-marathon at that? The Erie Canal Half, taking place on May 21st,  includes a 2-person relay, 5k, and even a kid’s run.

The Boilermaker is a lot of things, but above all it is a celebration of the indomitable Utica spirit. The course itself winds its way from east to west, painting a stunning portrait of our eclectic neighborhoods. Unfortunately, it entirely bypasses the city’s oldest and most exciting district: Bagg’s Square. As one of our most promising areas of redevelopment in recent years, Bagg’s Square deserves the spotlight and that is exactly the Boilermaker’s vision for the Erie Canal Race which starts and finishes in the heart of Utica’s “oldest new neighborhood”.

Now for a brief history lesson. In the early 19th century, the Erie Canal was instrumental in Utica’s emergence as a manufacturing center. The Erie Canal’s original path roughly followed modern-day Oriskany Street, bisecting Bagg’s Square which sprung up as Utica’s original core, centered around Bagg’s Hotel. The race starts and ends in Bagg’s Square while following the path of the modern-day Barge Canal. In a very real sense, the Erie Canal Race traces the history of our city while giving a glimpse into our future, in the form of the Bagg’s Square renaissance.

In my short time with the Boilermaker, I’ve heard the same sentiment on numerous occasions, “If only we could sustain the Boilermaker spirit throughout the year…” The Boilermaker has grown into what it is because you embraced it. Here we have another opportunity to band together around a civic event, and showcase the best of our city. Let us embrace the Erie Canal Half and Bagg’s Square with the same fervor as the Boilermaker. Look it as a warm-up of sorts if you’d like, but this much is certain: the Erie Canal Race will be defined by how we, as a community, choose to embrace it.

 

 

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

January 20th, 2017


So here we are in January of 2017, I must say I’m pretty proud of myself: wrote no checks with January 2016 (although my sons laugh at me that I still write checks- unless it’s to them).
This is a big anniversary year for the Boilermaker- our 40th running!
These are times when you remember your roots and celebrate the folks that made it happen. These are the times when you look back at where we have come from, things we no longer do and things that we (hopefully) do better and think about things we should (or shouldn’t) do.
Old stuff that comes quickly to mind- The Expo at Riverside Mall, the Utica National Kid’s Run taking place Boilermaker Sunday running the last mile of the course (before we had the 5k),a Post Race Party that easily fit into the courtyard of the brewery and when the 15k started at 10:30 in the morning (ugh).
I’m sure many of you have your own special Boilermaker memories that you either cherish or wish to forget.
And for me, this will be my tenth Boilermaker race as president of the organization-wow.
In my relatively short tenure we have seen a building move, the death of the paper registration, the meteoric rise of social media, enhanced security and our first, tentative steps involving community outreach.
Yet with all these changes throughout the years we have followed our ‘North Star’ of fitness, fun and community enrichment.
The Boilermaker, in my mind, is more than a race: it’s a force.
It’s a force that drives participants to achieve a bit more than they could.
It’s a force that brings athletes and volunteers together for a common purpose regardless of color, creed, age, gender or political affiliation.
And it’s a force that brings all of us a tremendous amount of pride in our home (and sometimes we really need that).
So this year, stands as an opportunity to both celebrate our rich history and to contemplate our future.
Hey, the big 5-0 is only 10 years away!

Boilermaker Square at Butler Park – Lou Matrulli, Boilermaker Square Director

January 10th, 2017


How many of you reading this message have run the full 15K race course? Next question – How many have walked the 15K miniature race course in Butler Park? OK, final question – Do you know what Boilermaker Square at Butler Park is all about?

With that out of the way – Here is your history lesson for the day.

The venture began in 1997 when a group of Boilermaker volunteers met to discuss how a vacant and seldom used Utica City park could be developed to honor and memorialize their 15K race. The location was ideal, near the finish line and adjacent to the post race party. The Boilermaker Race Committee adopted Butler Park, developed a plan to renew and revitalize the land and return it as a gift to the Community, as the Boilermaker celebrated its 20th Anniversary. Boilermaker Square at Butler Park was created.

The original concept included the development of a walkway in the shape of the race course route, tree plantings with a specific grid pattern, and decorative pole lighting.

The main feature is a 4 foot wide – red brick path – forming an exact miniature replica of the 15K Boilermaker race course as it winds its way through the City. Along the way are brick pads designating major landmarks such as the F.T. and T.R. Proctor Parks, MVCC, the Zoo, Utica College, and 15 others important Utica features. Engraved brick pavers, with personal messages from donors line the two sides of the pathway and the borders of several of the landmarks. Two of the landmarks are dedicated to the winners of the Les Diven Media Award and Volunteer of the Year Award. The Start line, Mileage markers and Finish line are also engraved and placed along the course.

Soon after developing the concept, a Boilermaker Brick Drive was initiated and several hundred bricks with engraved messages were accumulated. By late 1999 construction was started. Grading of the entire Park, subbase for the brick pathway was placed, decorative light poles were installed and more than 40 trees were planted. Nearly all of the work was completed with donated labor and materials from local contractors and material suppliers.

Today more than 1,900 inscribed messages have been selected by Boilermaker supporters and installed along the pathway with just as many blank spaces left to be filled. Are you one of them? If not, here is how you can participate.

  • Bricks are sold at the 2 day Health and Fitness Expo in the Boilermaker Merchandise Store.
  • Bricks are sold along with other merchandise at the Post Race Party.
  • Bricks are available for purchase from the Boilermaker web site.

Each brick includes your personal message:

  • Standard Brick is 4 inches by 8 inches. Cost $30 each.
  • Up to 3 lines of engraving.
  • Each line contains 14 letters/spaces maximum.

The engraved bricks vary from reading like entertaining scripts to memorials for loved ones, but each is a personal message created from their heart. From runners to spectators, to volunteers to race supporters they each have purchased an everlasting piece of Boilermaker history. Here are some examples from recent purchases:

THERE IS NO PLACE I RATHER BE

J MO RUNNING FOR BEER SINCE 2000

UTICA FREE ACADEMY CLASS OF 1947

IN MEMORY OF JOHN C. MANION UTICA CLUB

For the Committee members and volunteers, Boilermaker Park has been a labor of love. The process to sell the pavers and install the engraved product has been long and enduring. We have been happy to have those who have supported our efforts by creating their individual lasting memories.

For more information, contact me at lmatrulli@boilermaker.com.

Running – Cindy Dardano, Boilermaker Volunteer Coordinator

January 3rd, 2017


I was never a great athlete. In my mind I was but in reality I wasn’t. I was just average. I tried many sports. I skied, skated, swam, played tennis and golf and cycled my little legs off but I never excelled. It didn’t mattered how good I was though, because I just enjoyed the experience. The glory and accolades were all in my mind. Then one day I discovered the pure joy of running. I wasn’t a fast runner. I never was in contention for a medal; I just loved the feeling of it. I loved the races. I loved the Boilermaker. I loved all the great friends. I loved running alone. I loved running in a group.  I loved running on an early summer morning…just me and the birds. Nothing could beat running through the snow on a crisp Sunday morning with The Beatles blaring on my headphones (Yes, headphones. Yes, The Beatles). I loved running in new cities I visited. I loved running. Then the bottom fell out.

As a teenager I had dislocated my knee a few times and I never realized that such a traumatic injury would result in problems as I aged. I ran 12 Boilermakers, my favorite race.  I even met my husband during the 1996 Boilermaker. A few years later my knee was no longer runnable (if that’s a word). No more Boilermakers. After 19 years I have finally accepted the fact that I will never be able to run again…ever. I am thankful to be healthy otherwise. I can walk, and exercise but I can’t do the one thing I truly wish to do….lace up my sneakers and run. I do have running dreams all the time. I can actually feel the wind in my face. When I wake-up it takes me a while to shake the reality of it and to realize that it was only a dream.  All is not lost, I did find a solution of sorts. I am working part-time here at the Boilermaker Office.  Now I deal with runners, listen to runners, read about runners, see runners, wear running gear but I am still not a runner.  I guess it’s the simpler things in life that mean the most. That first summer when I hung up my running shoes was the worst. But that too passed.  I am blessed to still be involved in this sport and working for the Best 15K in the Country. Happy 40th Boilermaker!  By the way, I still always buy the top running shoe….just to walk in….just because in my mind I am still a runner and always will be.

We Have Been Blessed

December 18th, 2016


“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me”
Elvis Presley

The end of the year is marked with the inevitable lists chronicling: best songs, worst movies, sexiest celebrities etc. of the year.
And there is the sad list of famous folks who have passed away in 2016.
As an aside, this year was simply a horrible year for music- lots of losses.
And this year the Boilermaker lost two incredibly loyal volunteers Ted Petrillo and Julie Fatata.
Ted and Julie were different in gender, age and personality: for example ‘bubbly’ would not be the first word I would use to describe Ted.
Yet in spite of these differences, their passion for the Boilermaker burned equally bright.
And they did it for all of nothing: well, not for nothing.
Perhaps it was for the personal satisfaction of making the community a better place.
Perhaps it was the social interaction, working with old friends or friends not yet made.
Or perhaps just to bring a smile to someone’s face, often a person they don’t even know.
Simply amazing people!
Sometimes, there are folks in our community, hopefully only a few, that seem to perversely thrive on talking down our area (which, by the way, is their area). In the military we would refer to that as ‘calling artillery in on your own position’.
Julie and Ted were the absolute antithesis of this: if I were to make up a motto for them it would be “go positive or go home”.
The passing of Ted& Julie acts both as a reminder of the temporal nature of life and the criticality of finding folks like them to support the Boilermaker, indeed any not for profit group.
The Boilermaker, like many service-based agencies, is fueled by the efforts of its volunteers.
And we all want the folks who are busy, because those are the people who get things done.
Think about it, we are asking folks to give up their most valuable asset, time, to make the Boilermaker, and all its efforts happen. Our challenge, in many respects, is harder than businesses trying to hire good folks- at least a future employee get paid: our volunteers get a tee shirt (well, it is a pretty nifty tee shirt)!
I had said to a reporter at Ted’s passing “they don’t make them like Ted anymore” (ditto Julie): yet somehow we need to inspire folks to be in their image- to embrace the philosophy of service over self (as opposed to being self serving).
I know, somehow, we’ll figure this out -indeed it’s mission critical we do!
But for now, I just feel more than a little down over the loss of a couple of folks that were wonderful volunteers and fantastic friends!
To Ted and Julie’s families: thank you for ‘lending’ us these two, as I’m sure they missed family obligation to make the Boilermaker frequently called ‘Christmas in July’ happen.
A blue Christmas indeed…