As most of you have heard already I participated in the Great Canadian Run for Childhood Cancer this past weekend. Our team of 6 runners ran from Toronto to Blue Mountain, a total of 131kms. We completed the run in 13 hours, 10 minutes.
I’ve done a lot of amazing things in my lifetime and participated in many fundraisers but I have to tell you this was one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done. This journey began by a post on Facebook by someone I went to the same high school as me but was a couple years older than me. She asked if anyone wanted to join her, as soon as I read what the cause was I couldn’t ignore the post. She wrote back “Are you serious Julia?”. I quickly replied “Yup” and I was then committed. Not only was I responsible for training but I also had to raise my portion of the team registration fee of $5000.
The running was going fine so I had to focus my attention on the fundraising. I sent out the typical on-line pledge page these big fundraisers provide you. I received a few generous pledges from family members but I was no where near my $1000 goal. I had to come up with something better. Being in the business I’m in I know that people are tired of donating money, tired of being asked to dig into their pockets for this cause and then again for that cause. I had to come up with something great, something that made people not only feel like they were donating to a great cause but also that they felt they were getting something for their money. In one of my many past lives I was a photographer so I decided to use my god given talent to help me raise my money.
I had no idea what a success my fundraising efforts would be. I posted on Facebook that I would be doing family portraits for $25. I set a date for July, August and September. Everyone of those days was a huge success! I raised over $1600 doing family portraits. In total I was able to raise just over $2000! That is the most money I have ever raised for any charity event I have participated in.
The race was September 24. The start line was in Toronto and the finish line in Blue Mountain, just outside Collingwood. Trevor and I left Friday morning for our weekend away in Blue Mountain. We arrived at the beautiful Blue Mountain resort just after 5:00pm. It was at this point that I panicked about two things…how far 131kms really was…almost a two hour drive…and, how early we had to get up in the morning in order to make it to the start line in time.
The alarm was set for 3:10am. We were being picked up at 3:45 by Kathy and her sister Suzanne. We arrived at the start line at approximately 5:30am. It was still pitch black. I was the first runner of the day for our team so I had to get myself geared up and ready to hit the road. I layered on clothing, put on my head lamp, my flashing butt light and my reflective vest. The opening ceremonies began with a story about a team, Journey for Jacob, who raised $65,000! Jacob is a three and a half year old little boy who was diagnosed with cancer just 6 months ago. I barely made it through the first minute of her speech without crying. Thinking of my little nephew, who passed away from cancer just after his third birthday. He was the reason I was running.
My first leg of the race was a short 4.5kms but was at an hour of the day that my body does not function well when it comes to things like running. I struggled through my first run. I had put on too many layers, I was wearing a fuel belt I had never used before and was distracted by it bouncing on my back and we weren’t allowed to wear ipods so I didn’t have my running buddy to keep me distracted from the pain and fatigue.
I didn’t run again until quite a bit later. During the time between my runs we drove the team from one check point to the next while our designated runner made his or her way there. It was amazing to watch everyone running and pushing themselves. We’d drive by our team mates and cheer and honk the horn. It was so great!
My second run was less painful then the first but not as great as my last run of the day. My final run of 6.1kms was my strongest run of the day, I felt great. I even finished it with a sprint. At that point we were only about 20kms away from the finish line. I was getting anxious to finish up, to complete this amazing journey.
Kathy was our final runner. Off she went and we all headed off in the car to the final point before the finish line. 300 meters from the finish line the teams all meet up and run the last leg together to cross the finish line as a team. It was dark at this point and we watched as many teams ran their final leg together. It brought tears to my eyes every time.
There she was! There was Kathy coming around the corner. My heart started pounding. I was so excited to see what the finish looked like and what it was going to feel like to cross the finish line as a team after such a physically and mentally challenging day. A couple of us took off sprinting up the hill, sadly leaving our teammates behind. We were told to slow down and wait up…lol…sorry girls I was little excited. The final 300 meters had us running through the Blue Mountain Village and as we came around the corner they announced over the loud speaker, “ladies and gentlemen here comes Team Momentum, let’s here it” and the crowd clapped and cheered. It was fantastic! And, we even got to run through the finish line tape. As we crossed the finish line we huddled up in a big group hug. This was one of the things this event did perfectly. Even though it was dark and people were starting to disperse they stayed there and made sure that we all felt just as special as the first team crossing the finish line. There were still many more teams behind us and even one individual female runner who was running the entire event herself and they were committed to standing there and waiting for her to cross that finish line, no matter how late it was.
Now, I am telling you this story in such detail because I want you to understand how I was feeling that day and what accomplishing this meant to me. Do you feel it? Can you relate it to something you’ve done, something you’re working on, something you hope to feel?
The story behind In the Moment is exactly this story. I have come to realize over the last 4 years what life is truly about and at In the Moment we are committed to making sure that you get to live moments like the one I experienced this past weekend. I want to be the one who created that finish line for you. I don’t want you to remember me or to come over and thank me for creating that moment for you, it is satisfaction enough for me to see you cross that finish line with tears in your eyes and knowing that it was a moment in your life that you worked for and that you will never forget. And that applies to everything. If you have a special moment in your life that you want to celebrate, In the Moment wants to be there to make it come true for you, just the way you envision it.
In the Moment is committed to ensuring that you live your moment, no moment is too small to be celebrated and we will always do our very best to give you the most we can give you on the budget you can afford. Party planners aren’t just for the rich and famous. Party planners are for those who need help pulling together a special moment and I can guarantee that we will put the same passion into the planning of your event that you read about above. That is my personal guarantee.
Julia O’Grady has big vision, fresh ideas and a proven track record in the events industry. She and her team work hard to exceed client expectations and push ITM Events to achieve greater heights. A driven entrepreneur, Julia also manages the business side of ITM Events including human resources, finances, marketing and writing grant and sales proposals. In taking a high level approach to event management, Julia is able to visualize a project from inception to successful execution. She attracts valuable sponsors by offering meaningful opportunities to engage with participants. Julia uses her keen analytical mind to create incredible events that maximize the available budget. When Julia isn’t planning unforgettable events, she loves travelling the world with her family, staying active, and enjoying fine food and martinis.
It takes a long time to build something from scratch. LGBTQ + Wedding Show - Love is Proud started four years ago. The first year was good, attendance, interest in the event from area services and business, media. The second year was challenging, weather and show location impacted attendance at the event. This year was amazing! In order to make things work like you dreamed they would you have to be willing to listen, learn and make changes until you get the chemistry just right. We did it this year! All the pieces came together just like we have always dreamed it would. www.itmevents.ca/?portfolio=love-is-proud-2018... See MoreSee Less