Sunday, April 21, 2013

The SLO Walk to Defeat ALS...

On April 13th the Walk to Defeat ALS was held in San Luis Obispo, CA and Sam's Twysted Ride-SLO Team was there in support of all of us living with ALS!  Although I wasn't able to be there personally, I was there in spirit … and as a cardboard cutout (see if you can spot me in the group photo below)!  Throughout the event, it was lots of fun for me to receive texts and pictures from family and friends who were at the event to support me and the ALSA in our goal to find a cure!

I want to send a heartfelt "Thank You" to absolutely everyone who participated in any way with the Walk to Defeat ALS and Sam's Twysted Ride.  I am so touched by the enormous outpouring of community support that contributed to our team's success (on both coasts)!  My mom, who lead the team in SLO with enthusiasm and love, gave a moving speech (video sent to me via text - I love technology!) before the Walk began.  While many of our team members were local, two of my aunts and two of my little cousins, all who live in Southern California, made the drive up to participate in the Walk with our team! 

In addition to the Walk, my mom and her team collected dozens of item donations from local businesses which were raffled off at the unofficial "After Party" at the SLO Down Pub in Arroyo Grande.  The Pub donated a portion of the food and drink sales to our team and two local bands donated their time and talent to play at the event - Jody Mulgrew and the Skeleton Crew and Valerie Johnson and her New Sound Boogie Band - which was incredibly thoughtful and generous of everyone involved!  I heard from ALL of my sources that both bands were fantastic, the food was great, and the overall atmosphere was positive, fun and supportive!  Together, the SLO team has raised close to $6,000!

I grew up in the Five-Cities area, went to school at Grover Heights Elementary, Judkins Jr. High, and I graduated from Arroyo Grande High School.  Before moving to the "big city" at 18, I even spent one semester at Cuesta College.  Twenty years after I left, my family and I moved back to SLO for a couple of years while I finished my degree.  In 2011 we left the Central Coast of California for Colorado just as the first symptoms of ALS were beginning to show … but, of course, I didn't have any idea that was what I was dealing with at the time.  I will always think of the Central Coast as my hometown.  It is the place where I grew up - where I played sports and went to dances, where I learned to drive, to waterski, and where I fell in love with the ocean, it is where my husband and I got married and walked hand in hand on the beach together, and it is where my son and I learned to ride a motorcycle.  It is a place that holds many special memories for me.  I am especially grateful to know that I still have family, friends, love, and support from "home".  Thank you!!

Sam's Twysted Ride - SLO Team

My mom and friends!

The Hendrix Family and me!

Walking together!

Just a few of the raffle items donated from local businesses
Rockin' at the SLO Down Pub
My mom, Jeanne, and Jody Mulgrew
Enjoying a burrito in SLO - oh, how I miss good Mexican food!

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