Colors of Courage

Last weekend Hope Scarves hosted our fourth annual event, Colors of Courage.  This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Hope Scarves and an event I look forward to each year for many reasons.  First of all it reminds me each fall about the time in my life when I was just launching the organization.   The first Hope Scarves event was intended to introduce the organization to our community.  We gathered with about 150 folks in the backyard of a dear friends house.  The gathering was planned with about 10 of my friends and was a great party. The support we received that evening created momentum for Hope Scarves to become a strong nonprofit organization.  Now, four years later, we had over 500 people!  The event is still planned by The “Friends of Hope Scarves” which has grown from 10 to over 40 volunteers.

The event is intended to be a backyard get together with friends.  And even as we have grown I am so proud to have maintained this comfortable, organic feel.

This year we added a special time of reflection where we took a break from the party to remember those 56104c51a689b4f76eeef53bcurrently in treatment, especially those facing advanced stage disease.  A group of survivors – who have all either received a Hope Scarf or donated a scarf or story to Hope Scarves- held candles while my friend Carter sang a beautiful Irish blessing called “Long time Sun.”  Following this moment of reflection we held a special appeal asking our guests to consider giving directly to Metastatic Breast Cancer research.  I am so proud of our guests who in about 5 minutes gave over $15,000 to research!  Including one individual who made a $5000 challenge gift to match every gift up to $5,000!  It was humbling to look out over the guests and see the response to supporting research. I am proud for Hope Scarves to expand our mission to support research.  The event raised nearly $125,000 in all and despite the rain – was a huge success!

I am so thankful to feel good enough to pull off this big event again this year!  Moving picnic tables, rushing around to confirm auction items, networking with sponsors, coordinating volunteers – I love it!  It’s so busy (and stressful at times) and I treasure every moment!

You can see pictures from the event taken by Andrea Hughes Photography.

Hope Scarves and my personal journey are one in the same.  I’m glad to share this quick update on this big milestone and look forward to sharing more positive information about both Hope Scarves and my (hopefully) continued good health. I am so thankful to all my friends who helped pull off another great event and to our donors, guests, sponsors and more!  Our family has a lot to look forward to this fall as we continue our dance with NED… soccer tournaments, Alabama football game, trip to Michigan, girls trip with my high school BFF and more.  In a couple weeks I will run in the 200 mile Bourbon Chase – a relay race throughout the state of Kentucky.  I’m so excited to be able to run 7, 5 and 4 miles over two days.  Each step I take will be with gratitude for my health and in full awareness of those facing metastatic breast cancer.  There may be a day when I can’t run.  But today is not that day.  or tomorrow.

With my heart overflowing with gratitude,

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