A great cause, great support, and truly great friends

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My boss, Steve, is raising money for the Livestrong organization in honor of his wife who passed away from cancer about 18 months ago. While I never had a chance to meet her, I've heard nothing but truly wonderful things about her from many people; she had wanted to participate in the Livestrong Challenge, which is a 5K race held in Austin.

Since she wasn't able to do the event, Steve is carrying out her wish by assembling a team of people that will train, fundraise, and travel to Austin this fall. Each person on the team is raising money for the event, and each person will be responsible for their own travel expenses (no fundraising money is used for travel or entry fees). To date, the team has raised more than $5,000.

As a "last push" for the Livestrong challenge, we hosted a fund-raising event at The MidTown Pub in Middleton.

The folks there are absolutely superb - they literally bent over backwards to accommodate us and went above and beyond to help us put on a really outstanding event. Joel, Jamie, BK, Quinn, Stacey, Jeremy, Evan, and countless others took fantastic care of everyone in attendance, and they donated so many wonderful items for us. Thank you!!

The event was scheduled to begin at 5:00pm last night. Steve and I arrived early to hang-up some banners, post signs, arrange seats, and prepare the patio. The weather was absolutely perfect, if not a bit sunny... but, it sure beat the alternatives! Here's the entry way to the patio, where we set-up our event. Livestrong was kind enough to send banners and signage for us to use:

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Here's BK (on the left) and Jamie pouring ice on some of the beverages that we had available for the event. Thank you to Frank Beer, Wisconsin Distributors, General Distributors, UWP, and L&L Food Services for helping us out with food and beverages. Jamie did a great job of arranging the event and lining-up the providers for us.

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We arranged a table near the entry to the patio so that as people entered, they could purchase food, drinks, and tickets. We had a ton of great prizes available, all compliments of local businesses - there were some really great items available, including a Dell Netbook from TDS.

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With everything prepped and ready to go, there was only one thing left to do - pose for a picture while things were still calm. :-)

Here's Steve (my boss and friend), Jamie, and me, standing near the grill. Jamie whipped up some excellent burgers and incredible brats, and he did it while baking in the hot sun all afternoon, with nary a bit a shade. The guy is a trooper!

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We had a chance to sit and chat with a few folks before things became too busy. It was nice to grab a seat in the shade and catch-up with some of our co-workers. I'll admit that I was a bit nervous that we might not have anybody show-up... especially when 5:00pm rolled around, and there were only a few people on the patio.

But, before I knew it, the patio was jumping. There were people everywhere - our friends, co-workers, acquaintances, MidTown patrons, and passers-by filled the patio. We sold a ton of food and drink tickets, and people were really excited by the contests. Here's Shana (a coworker and friend of ours) with her son as they purchased some food tickets:

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The food was a hit with everyone - as I walked around, I heard nothing but compliments on the chow, but that's no surprise, considering we were at the MidTown Pub. Their food is really good in general, and it's impossible to not enjoy a freshly grilled burger or brat. Here are a few more happy patrons - this is Kate, the daughter of my coworker Brian:

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And her younger brother, Michael - looks like they're both enjoying their hamburgers. Nothing beats a satisfied customer. :-)

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And to go along with the great MidTown food, we had the super fine folks from Bloom Bake Shop in Middleton generously donate a few dozen cupcakes and a gift certificate to our cause. Their cupcakes are fantastic - I'm definitely a HUGE fan - and folks raved about them last night as well. Here's a picture of the few that remained; I only had one, believe it or not! Thanks again, Annemarie - you're definitely a star!!

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With folks fed and "hydrated," we fired-up a competition. We used a children's golf club, a driving mat, and marshmallows to conduct a "longest drive" contest in the parking lot. Each contestant got 3 swings with the club, and the person who hit their marshmallow the farthest won a Polar Heart Rate monitor, compliments of Orange Shoe Personal Fitness.

Here's Dan, one of the contestants, taking a swing:

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The contest was a success - we had a bunch of folks participate, and it was really a fun thing. The kids that attended made great "clean-up" helpers - they'd chase down the marshmallows and throw them into the woods for the critters to munch on. Andy C won the contest and took home the Polar Heart Rate Monitor.

Here's a shot of the patio, as it filled-up. Again, thank you to everyone who attended and supported the event.

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At around 8:00pm, we held the drawing for our prizes, which included:


  • A Dell Netbook, compliments of TDS

  • Capital Brewery Clothing, glassware, coolers, and koozies, compliments of Capital Brewery

  • Tattoo Gift Certificates, compliments of Ultimate Arts

  • Cupcake gift certificates, compliments of Bloom Bake Shop

  • Badger Football tickets and t-shirts, compliments of MidTown Pub

  • Golf balls, coolers, and a rolling duffel bag, compliments of TDS

The grand prize winner of the netbook was, ironically, the nurse that assisted Jodi (Steve's wife) throughout her illness. Talk about a good omen.

The event continued-on until around 9:00pm, at which point people began to head for home. I had a chance to sit down and chat with Dan and Tara, who made the trek all the way from Lake Mills! Thank you!! And I also had a chance to chat with my cousin, Leanne, my Aunt Linda, and my uncle Warren - all of whom drove down from the Randolph area. Thank you!!!

I felt bad that I didn't have much chance to socialize with everyone that I had wanted to - the time literally flew-by. I wolfed-down a plate of meatloaf at around 9:30pm, chatted with Dan, Tara, Leanne, Warren, and Linda, and then cleaned-up the patio for a bit. What a whirlwind.

All told, we raised a lot of money for Livestrong, all thanks to the generosity and support of our friends, families, coworkers, and our awesome sponsors. I don't know what else to say - it was a great event, and I hope that everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did. To everyone who participated, thank you for coming down and helping us out. To our sponsors - thank you for the generosity. To MidTown, especially - thanks a million. Let's hope the Livestrong race goes as well as the fundraiser did!

Cheers, and hats off to everyone.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve published on August 26, 2011 9:29 AM.

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