The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

Aug 18, 2012

VOLUNTEERING - Color Me Rad! & Cox Classic

A new element has been woven into our Summer regimen...we can now add 5K's to the mix!
While running in them is fun...volunteering for them is perhaps even funner (I know, I know "MORE FUN" is proper grammar....but "funner" just sounded well, funner.  sorry Mrs. Hammond)

So, I was excited when the opportunity to be a member of the Color Me Rad! "Color Bomb Squad" presented itself.  Proceeds of the Color Me Rad! race went towards Special Olympics Nebraska.

Any local organization that has a mission similar to, or along these lines:  

"changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect across the state".   or this  "provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship."

 Is most certainly going to be at the top of my "favorites" list!

hmmm....plaster people with paint as they run by, all the while supporting an awesome organization?!  umm...WIN WIN!  Sign me up!!  :-)
I've got my liquid color spray pack on and ready to go!  Bring on those 5,000 victims.  hehe

Turns out that lugging a 25+ lb tank around on my back for hours was actually a pretty tough gig...I think just running the race would have been the easier option.  But it was totally worth it!

I'd say it was a fun time had by all.

A special thanks to Special Olympics NE for this opportunity.  Big props to this non-profit for thinking outside the box and finding creative ways for people of all ages and interests to get involved and help out.

One of these days, very soon, I do want to become more DIRECTLY involved with this awesome organization...but for now, I am just glad that there are at least several "creative" and "non-committed" ways for me to help out, give back and contribute.  :-)
And then...when I received an email that said "Did you know when you volunteer at The Cox Classic on behalf of Special Olympics, Cox Classic will make a generous donation back to Special Olympics?  It’s a HOLE IN ONE!"
umm...again.  Where do I sign up!?!
So...even though the days were long, exhausting and hot hot HOT (seriously, I was drenched with sweat at the end of each session - the dripping down your back kind)!    Walking 18 holes takes forever when having to carry that huge scoring sign...Volunteering as a STANDARD BEARER at the Golf Tournament was really fun and provided a unique, up close and personal view of the game. 
That's me!
I have been to the tournament tons of times, as a spectator and working in the Sky Box and suites (entertaining clients back when I was an employee of Cox Media)...but seeing the action from this perspective broadened my knowledge of golf and allowed me to get to know the golfers, caddies and other volunteers a bit more.
Joe was watching from a distance and snapped a few pics of me with his phone.  :-)
Being a standard bearer provided me with an awesome "PHOTOGRAPHIC" vantage point...would have loved to have snapped some pics of my own...but apparently that would have been frowned upon.  etiquette-schmeetiquette  So my phone remained in the off position  :-(
Congratulations to this years' winner Ben Kohles.  This rookie just began his pro-career...and is undefeated winning his first two tournaments, not bad for a 22 year old!!
(I've said it a previous post...but wanted to "say it again")...

I would be lying if I didn't say that I'd be a little disappointment if Macy did not choose to play sports when she gets older...Yes, we are going to encourage her to try everything and allow her the opportunity to decide what her strengths are and determine where her passions lie.  Whether she's an artist, a musician,  dancer, an athlete, a scholar, whatever she chooses, we'll support her and CHEER HER ON.
But, I LOVED sports - sports were a HUGE part of my upbringing.  I lived and breathed sports as a young girl (ehem, TOM -BOY) growing up.  And I genuinely believe that participating in organized athletic programs, especially Special Olympics, builds character, molds a well rounded, healthy, physically fit, disciplined and respectful individual.  The simple act of being included on a team encourages confidence and empowers people to be the BEST they can be!  Can help build up self-esteem and motivate children to excel academically as well as improve social skills.
The list goes on and on really.  But, I think you get the picture, so I'll stop there.

And let me add, that on the very night Macy was born. Several hours after learning of Macy's Down Syndrome Diagnosis...It was cold, dark, quiet, all our guests were gone.  Joe and I trembled.  We were broken.  We were sad, but mostly confused and worried.  But I must say that one thing that brought a glimmer of hope and anticipation and perhaps provided me a sense of familiarity (of a world I knew NOTHING about), something I could grasp, understand and actually relate to was Special Olympics.  I was not 100% certain just yet what this extra chromosome meant for our sweet new angel, but I did wonder (didn't say it out loud, but did think) right then and there..."does this mean that some day she could be a Special Olympian?"  "WOW".  The idea intrigued me.  It did bring a smile to my face, a happy tear to me eye and even for that split second a sense of excited anticipation of what was to come for our sweet girl.  Everything else, (the science behind it all, the possible medical issues, physical and intellectual disability part) was foreign to me.
But this?
This Special Olympics stuff.
I got this.   :-)

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