Volunteering for the St. Vincent Cancer Walk of Hope (3 years running, er, walking!)
The St. Vincent Cancer Walk of Hope rolled around again on a beautiful day, September 21st, 2013. (Yes, I realize that was weeks ago now. I’m slow.) I arrived, as usual, well before the rays of the rising sun. The tables and grass were wet, but the rain from the day before had ended.
I worked, also as usual, to help with last-minute setup for the event. I helped put colorful skirts around tables, raise the large metal archway, and other small miscellaneous tasks. Things were very well in hand this year, so much so that I didn’t have a whole lot to do.
This year I got to spend more time talking with people. First of all, I met Beth, a fellow volunteer, shown on the right. Beth and I got along instantly, and I appointed myself as her minion for the morning. She also seemed to have a fairly good sense of what she was doing and where everything was, so I figured if I tailed her I could be particularly helpful.
When we ran out of work, I noticed Beth talking to a woman who had come to the event as a vendor. They were talking animatedly, so I sidled up and joined the conversation.
The vendor, I discovered, was Mary, and Mary is definitely my kind of people — she likes to tell stories as well as listen to them. We chattered together at length, shared our personal reasons for wanting to be a part of the Cancer Walk of Hope. She also told me about her comfort kit project, affectionately called LUCY (Let Us Comfort You). She also told me about her family, and I told her about Kiss Chronicles. And geez, what’s wrong with me that I still get embarrassed when I explain my Kiss Chronicles story to people directly? Shouldn’t I be over that by now? I nearly crawled under her vendor table to hide.
Time went by, and the walkers for the 10-mile walk showed up for their opening ceremony, which included an opening prayer and some Zumba to warm up.
About an hour after the 10-mile walkers went on their way, the next batch of walkers showed up for the 3-mile walk. They had an opening ceremony as well, and then we cheered them on their way.
I ended up staying much longer than I intended. That seems to happen every year.
BONUS! I ran into someone I knew. However, I didn’t recognize him. He looked much fuzzier, and more blue, than he used to.
It was another successful year, with over $300,000 raised to aid those patients dealing with the struggles of cancer. I plan to volunteer again in 2014. Keep up the good work, St. Vincent!