Monday, August 22, 2011

Goals for Hope

Goals for Hope.... another great event to raise money to support Breast Cancer victims and their families. Goals for Hope

On Saturday August 6, 2011, an unbelievable group of people put together a really special women's soccer tournament.  170 players at the Lagrange soccer fields with all money going to the Miles of Hope Foundation was so well organized and attended!  While I knew of these great events before I became a victim to the disease, I never really knew of the passion behind them.  The incredible people who create and fulfill all that is necessary to run such a thing are a special bunch.

It was December 30, 2010 when I got a message via Facebook from a long ago friend, Mary Darcy Schanz.  We knew each other in a past life back when I was in high school and Mary was not yet there.  My blog alerted her to my situation and she reached out to me to show her support and cheer me on.  We quickly caught up over the 30 years that we were missing from then until now. We would share things from the birth of our kids to an update on our medical situations.  We became fast friends and strong supporters - again.

Somewhere in the middle of this time, Mary told me all about the event.  While I'm not exactly a soccer player (hahaha) I am a very good volunteer and offered to help in any way possible.  Mary connected me with her sister Trish and I was assigned to work at the raffle tent - whatever that was!

Raffle Tent - high stakes gambling (6 chances for $5) for donated prizes from local business.  There were a few of us in there, but I was the newbie who had to learn the different levels of participation in order to place the purchased ticket into the bucket of the prize.  The drawings were at the end of tournament so we had approx. 5 hours to sell, sell, SELL!!!  We shared the tent with the logoed clothing and paraphernalia and somehow I was entrusted with Dana's cell phone so I could process credit cards!  Besides being a very cool piece of technology - I thought I was hot stuff... kind of typical of me!

I wore my yellow 'Yes they're fake.  My real ones tried to kill me.' t-shirt that my Workshop girls gave me right before surgery.  It gets lots of attention whenever I wear it! It also demonstrates the sense of humor you need to get through the tougher times. It garnered so much attention that there is talk of adding this to clothing line for fund raising!

The co-chairs of the event presented to the crowd all the impressive details - money made, thanked players involved, thanked volunteers for their contribution.  All the things that should happen at an event like this.

It was Mary who began to read the list of survivors... and somewhere in the middle was me... Mary Sylvester Ritter.  The phrase shot through me like an arrow. I instantly felt alone but in shock.  Reality can come smack you in the face sometimes and this was one of those times.  That was me - survivor.  It's still so hard for me to comprehend what I've been through in 9 months.  I feel so physically good it's easy for me to forget what my body was like from Dec until May.  It's easy to forget how unsure I was of the outcome when presented with a diagnosis in November.  The thoughts and  fears that consumed me all seem so far away ....

But here I was - standing amidst these wonderful women for the 'Survivor Picture'.  That's right, for a few minutes I was known as a survivor.  The rest of the time, I preferred to be known as Mary, the chick with the cool t-shirt working the Raffle Tent.

All in all, I had a blast!  Time flew by with the ladies under the tent.  I saw old friends, made new and confirmed what I knew already - the people in my life are a courageous, caring, giving, selfless bunch.  I found myself counting my blessings more than remembering what I lost. 


mintzgirl3 said...

I love you Mary.

DOI said...

That last sentence summarizes your secret of success, Mary -- along with your reference to the value of a sense of humor. (By the way, a sense of humor is closely related to a sense of proportion -- understanding what is important and what isn't.)

Lisa Buglione said...

You always make a splash where ever you go Mary! Love ya, Lisa.