Wednesday, September 17, 2008

4th Annual "Our Hike" for Bone Marrow Disease

The Fundraiser, September 6, 2008

Well, all in all, it was a really fun day. Each year we seem to get more figured out, and everything seems to run just a little smoother. We had about 20 registered hikers, and at the end (Lost Vega's Resort) we had a lot more people join us for the dinner, music and raffles. We raised $1,000 that will be sent to the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation! Mom and I fell a little behind on the advertising this year, so we were happy with that amount, considering we had a smaller crowd. We are already excited for next year and planning on ways to spread the word even more. We hope to make these numbers grow each year. So please mark your calendars and join us next year for the 5th Annual "Our Hike" for Bone Marrow Disease Saturday, September 12, 2009! Since it'll be the 5th Annual hike, we're hoping to make it a special one!!

How about a recap and some stories from the day?

We started with a new route this year that I think we will continue to use on future hikes. On previous years, we trekked for 12.5-miles on a paved road with about 5 stops along the way. This was fun, but made for a very long day and got a little overwhelming by the end of the night. This year we shortened everything up and we thought it was much more enjoyable.

We started at The Corner Connection where the hikers registered. Each paid registrant received an "Our Hike" logo'd sportpack and bandana donated by 4imprint, a bottle of water, a frisbee, and some informational brochures about the AA&MDSIF and bone marrow diseases. Each paid registrant's name was also entered in a drawing for a really nice travel backpack full of goodies like a hydration pack, mess kit, snacks, tent lantern, hiking socks and a Swiss Army knife.

(Picture above, L-R: Patty, Kelly and Robin. Kelly was the winner of the backpack raffle)

We all filled up on a ham sandwich and potato chip lunch special, and head out at about 1:00pm. The first section of the walk was about 1/2-mile country road walk. From there we turned onto the brand-new section of ATV trail that went into the woods. The trail wasn't quite as done as we were hoping, but it was bulldozed well enough for us to walk easily. There was one small section of the trail that crossed a boggy creek, so Adam helped my dad build a bridge the night before. On Saturday morning my dad drove out and placed the plank bridge across the river so we would be able to cross without trudging through mud up to our thighs! It worked out perfectly. Next year there will be an ATV bridge already built across the river for us to cross over.

The day's weather treated us nicely! The skies were blue with puffy clouds, and it was warm enough to walk in shorts, but cool enough to keep us comfortable. We were all talking, so we didn't see many deer or wildlife, but we DID come across a porcupine that was playing dead hoping we'd leave him be... which we gladly did! We were able to snap a few pictures, though. Poor little porkie was probably scared out of his mind. So we didn't get too close, but got our pictures and hiked on.

After the new ATV trail ran out, we hooked up with the haywagon, which was driven by my uncle Kenny and dad. We hiked another short section of ATV trail, then walked on wide, gravel roads for a couple of miles. From there we turned onto Hwy W, which is another short section of paved road, but this brought us right up to the driveway of Lost Vega's Resort where we were finishing off the day with the fun raffles, dinner and music. The loop was right around 7 miles, and it took us about 3 hours to complete. It was a great distance to get some exercise, enjoy the fresh air and northwoods and have a good chance to get in on some great conversation with each other.

Once at Lost Vega's Resort, we did some car shuttling, then sat down for drinks to rehydrate ourselves. Then the food came out! Alvin and Sheila put on a spaghetti dinner for $7/plate, and we all gorged ourselves in wonderful pasta deliciousness!! After our bellies were full, Adam got set up behind the DJ equipment and started some music -- shortly after that, we starting selling paddles to raffle off the awesome baskets that my Aunt Karen put together and donated (she does every year!).

The night went on, baskets were raffled off, music was played, fun was had! A few of us even drained out the last few ounces of energy we had and walked back to my parent's house 2 miles down the road! It was a great night!

Story of the Night
Oh, how the raffle paddles flew around!

See Will pointing at Ken and laughing? That's because Ken won a meat basket... he's a vegetarian!! :)

I don't know if I have this story 100% accurate, as I was running around most the night, but from what I've heard go back and forth, this is basically how this story went:

Ken was eyeing up a print that was being raffled off (one of my original monoprints). He wanted to win it really badly -- so badly that he was saving most of his money for that particular raffle. When it finally came time to raffle off the print, he bought a chunk of the raffle paddles up, hoping he'd be the lucky winner. The winner had a choice between a print or a backpack full of chocolate.

Who won? My grandma. Ken thought for sure that his chances were done -- of course grandma was going to choose the print! And she did at first... but then went back and took the backpack instead! There is a side-story to this, too. Of course we all wondered why grandma chose the backpack over the print... through the Price County AMVETS Post 50 Ladies' Auxiliary, which she is a member of, was a drive to donate backpacks to local children to help them with back-to-school supplies, so when she remembered the drive, she quickly went back and took the backpack and later donated it to the program. She even had a picture taken with the backpack and was featured in the local newspaper for her donation! I'm so proud to have such a sweet, giving grandma!! :)

We all giggled because now Ken had another shot at the print! We went right into the next raffle. Ken again bought a big chunk of paddles. Who won? My best friend, Tami (we were practically sisters growing up)! She took the print, too. Ken was bummed. He was pouting, even! I felt so bad for him... I told him I'd make him a print of his own, but he really wanted this particular one...

A short time later, John, another friend of ours came by with the print! Ken looked shocked and asked how John got it. Apparently he bought it from Tami! She already had one that I made specifically for her, and she knew I'd make her another one if she asked -- so she thought it would be nice to give it up to someone else... and now she was left with a few more bucks for raffles.

I don't know how the next part all went down exactly, but the next raffle was winner's choice of a lotion basket, a lap quilt and a bucket of meat. John was eyeing up the meat earlier and bought a bunch of paddles hoping to win it. Ken was still pouting about losing out on the print, and I don't know if John felt bad or what happened, but he gave Ken ONE of his paddles.

Who won? Ken! With one paddle! I remember standing in front of the 3 baskets and Ken staring at them having NO idea which to choose. A girly lotion basket, a pretty lap quilt, or a bucket of meat (he's a vegetarian!). All of a sudden this look of pure genius came over his face and he snatched up the bucket of meat and held onto it good and tight. I looked at Ken and said, "Ken!! What?? You're taking the meat!? You're a vegetarian!!" He turned around and later walked back with a huge smile on his face, proudly and happily holding onto the print. He traded John for it -- so everybody walked away happy winners. John had his bucket of meat and Ken had the print.

What a scrambling turn of events. These paddle raffles are always fun. Once the baskets and prizes are won, it's always fun to see how people trade and bargain with each other. We almost always have some sort of story to share!

Just a few more pictures to enjoy...

Bushwhacking towards the river crossing

Hikers walking the gravel road sporting the donated "Our Hike" sportpacks from 4imprint!

"Caution: Hikers Ahead" signs posted on the gravel road to warn any traffic

THANK YOU Aunt Lee and Karen (baskets and raffle help), Lost Vega's Resort, The Corner Connection, Bottom Dollar (frisbees), 4imprint (bandanas and sportpacks), Adam (Mr. DJ/Emcee), Dad (bridge and haywagon putter togetherer), Uncle Kenny (haywagon driver), Tommy (use of and helping to get the haywagon ready), Rasmussen Service Center (4-wheeler Ranger to pull the haywagon) and the participants (wouldn't be possible without your support!!) We raised $1,000 for bone marrow disease! Every little bit helps in the fight for a universal cure!

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