Thursday, May 14, 2015

Festival of Trees 2014 - Raising Awareness for Cystic Fibrosis

I am still trying to catch up on all my posts that have rattled around in my head but figured this would be a good time for this one since it's May and CF Awareness month.  So what if Festival was almost 6 months ago :)

Christmas isn't Christmas unless we get involved with Festival.  It just kicks everything off!  Festival of Trees is a wonderful organization that puts on a yearly event to begin the Christmas season.  It is a fundraiser for our local children's hospital - Primary Children's Medical Center.  100% of all proceeds go to the hospital and it's not unusual to reach well into the 1+ million dollars.

Most CF patients are diagnosed at birth or in their early months of life.  They are generally very ill, very frequently and can often spend more of their lives IN the hospital than out.  PCMC is the place that these children virtually live.  The facility is a non-profit center and will not turn any child away regardless of ability to pay.  It's the perfect thing to support at Christmas time for our local CF patients..

I've always tried to find a way to volunteer my time and once I got brave and did a tree for Suicide Awareness.  You can read about that one here.

This year, I knew that I wanted to do another tree and I knew exactly what it needed to be.  After proposing my idea to my family and then seeing what help I could have from my employer, the great undertaking began.  I had so much help from family and friends with everything from dollars, to time, to decorating, to quilting, to just plain support.

Of course we did a running theme, and named it Running for Cystic Fibrosis.  We had a huge shoe rack with all brand new shoes that were generously donated by my employer Wasatch Running Center

Mindy's aunt made the quilt that we draped over the table, and the tree skirt that you really can't see.  Vendors donated socks, body glide, foot rubs and we used those as ornaments, and in the baskets.  We wrapped several new pairs of shoes as presents under the tree and used some as the tree topper.  Kelley came to my rescue the morning of decorating day and helped me make it cute since I am completely inept there.

I got a 65 purple roses and displayed them on the table with a picture of Mindy and a little blurb I had typed up to let guests see and understand what the tree was about.  
Our runner girl was made out of PVC pipe and huge thanks to Becca and Splenda Daddy for all their help

I have to say, by the time it all came together, I was thrilled!  It was exactly how I had imagined it and now I was just waiting to see if others liked it, more importantly if it would sell and raise the money for the medical center.

Luckily, it sold the very first night at the asking price.  The buyer chooses to stay anonymous, but they are dear friends of mine and all those shoes went to others in need.  Win-Win!

Then of course, I wanted everyone who went to festival to take their picture by the tree
my fake extra granddaughters Amelia and Olivia

Nancy and her husband


Matt & Amy

Hannah and Carter

The quilter extraordinaire - Katherine

Shanna's cute kids


Cute Ella

Chloee and Karalee

And of course, the whole inspiration for the tree....
My Luke and Mindy

It was absolutely the funnest experience.  Yes, very stressful at times hoping it would all come together, but when it was all finished - I was so pleased!  Combining two passions in one - running and raising awareness and money for Cystic Fibrosis patients.  It really was just a cool, cool thing.

Of course, the list of people that I need to make sure I specifically thank again:

Wasatch Running Center and employees
Splenda Daddy
The Shaw's
The Patane's 
Kelley Severinsen
Travis Ferran
Jennifer Hanna and Zynergy Body Works
Debbie Dewitt
Balega, Feetures, Body Glide, and Foot Rubz

As always, doing a tree is a huge undertaking and right now, I have no plans for this year, but maybe as it gets closer, I might change my mind :)

What I do know is that the Catmull's will be there again volunteering our time and donating our money towards the medical care of children, especially our Cystic Fibrosis family

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month - Why it's so important to me

In one word?


My beautiful daughter-in-love.  I known her since she was a little girl and I never imagined she would grow up and marry my son and yet, here it is, a dream come true.

CLICK HERE to read in her own words on her fundraising page for this month's Great Strides 5k walk program and PLEASE (yes, I'm begging) donate - even it's just a little bit.

I watch her struggle.  I see her bad days.  But I also see her happy, in love, running, serving other people daily and working at a job that is meaningful.  We as a family choose to see the good in life and not dwell on the negative.  However, the fact is this:  The only thing holding us back from finding a cure is funding.  Plain and simple it's money.  This foundation doesn't get the press and print attention that others do.  Yes, everyone knows cancer and there are several charity foundations from which to choose and they get a lot of attention and federal funding.  Same thing with say, diabetes.  With CFF, they have gotten lost in the funding black hole.  Is it because it's genetic? It's progressive?  It's fatal 100% of the time?  I'm grateful for the advancements in medicine that have greatly improved the quality of life and the life span of a Cystic Fibrosis patient, but the reality is they need more attention and more money.  We need a cure.

Know this:  I will work every day of my life to continue in the cause.   I will fight for federal funding as well as personal fundraising.  My goal is for my son and his wife to enjoy their marriage long into their old age.  To have children, raise a family.  I will fight for her to have the blessing of being a mother and heck, a grandmother!

This is my cause.  My reason to be involved, raise awareness which leads to raising funds is quite simply my family.  It's personal and we'll Fight Until there's a Cure Found.

Friday, May 1, 2015

A couple of races - Snow Canyon 1/2, Turkey Day 5k, St George 1/2 and Lake to Lake Relay

Again a little late, but hey -  at least I'm getting them journaled.

I went with some running friends and family over the past few months to get some races done for the Runner's Series so I have a sure "in" for St George marathon as well as our traditional Thanksgiving family run

The first was the Snow Canyon 1/2:
Brenda and I went down and ran this one with her niece.  I was still dealing with the neck and back pain, but still thought is was muscles so I just ran through it.  Not my best time, I was just glad to have it over with.

Traditional Beaver Big chair pic

Beautiful sunset

Just as pretty sunrise that morning

On the bus ride to the start line

Love meeting up with running friends at the start - hi there Chanda

My official time.  Not my best, not my worst but all things considered, I'll take it

As a family we did the Thanksgiving day Turkey Leg 5k and even Chloee ran the kids 1k race.  
Family selfie

my crazy girls

Me and my running bestie Brenda

Corb crossing the finish line

Getting ready to run with my little bff

Just missing Tuffy and 'Tana

Gibby keeping track of the finishers

Luke crossing the finish

Kar crossing the finish

Joe Joe working the tent

Mind's crossing the finish line

My work bestie Alex

My work family - Darrell, Alex, me, Joe and Gibbs

Splenda Daddy triumphantly crossing the finish line

Chlo and I coming in

I LOVE running with this girl.  She has a competitive spirit about her when it comes to running and that makes my heart swell with happiness

Next up was the St George half marathon in January.  By this time I knew I had a bulging disc, but hadn't started any treatment for it yet.  Another race where it was just a matter of powering through to get it checked off the list.  This time we had Karalee, Brenda, Mindi and myself.
a beautiful sunset on the drive down

road trip

traditional shot in the Beaver big chair

at the start

Doug and Melia - my own personal cheering section each time I come down there.  I love them so much!

Yeah......this is how it was towards the last mile or so

Crossing the finish line

Before heading home, we met up with Doug and Melia for lunch.  
Such a great time, and even better to get this one crossed off the books

And finally, the funnest one of them all - the Lake to Lake Relay!
By now, I not only knew about the bulging disc but was starting treatment and trying to figure out the best way to get it taken care of.  I was in no shape to run, but I had captained this team and no way was I going to miss being with my girls and friends.  Thankfully, my team members took most of my miles for me, I allowed myself to run 3 miles at the very end and then knew my running days were over for awhile.
Traditional Beaver Chair pic
Mindy, Joni and Karalee in the back
me and Brenda up front - love these girls

Joni rockin it!  She was seriously our ace in the hole.  I wanna be like her when I grow up

Beautiful scenery for this desert rat

Mindy tackling the hill

more beautiful desert scenery

Karalee coming into the exchange

Seriously Brenda is a running rock star!!

Kar and Mind's catching some wonderful sun rays.
And yes, there were sunburns

Just a quick shot of me bustin out those 3 measly miles

Not too shabby for an injured girl.  I'll take it.

Seriously love these girls.  Like SERIOUS love
Brenda, Mindy, me, Karalee and Joni

Our team name was Girls on the Run but apparently there was a letter missing
girls on the un - pretty cool

and finally, saw this on our way home through Hurricane.  
Custom built trailer.
Only in Hurricane.

So there we have it.  A massive post with all my races in one re-cap.  If you've made it this far - good for you.  I can now rest knowing I got these caught up.

I have to admit, that looking through these pictures while I'm recouperating from surgery has made me even that much more anxious to get out running.  Still not cleared to do that yet, but I am walking my butt off and by June - I'll be posting about Ragnar.
Until then.....

happy running yo