you so much for nominating my entry, Cold Heartless Bitch for
best coverage of a news event. (I'll love you even more if you to to the Diarist Net voting page and vote for it as well!)
And congratulations to all the other nominees, especially SecraTerri, The Bitter Hag, and Charlene of Are We There Yet?
STAND FOR THE CURE
12 May 2002
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the
Cure was held in Sacramento today (no, I have not progressed far enough in my
"jockette-hood" that I participated in a 5K race!)
Breaking Barriers (remember them?) has now expanded so that the organization not only
offers social services to people living with HIV and AIDS, but also to women with breast
cancer, so this event was the perfect place to get the word out, sign up volunteers,
etc. The coordinator for the breast cancer wing of BB called to ask if I would be able to
help work the table at the race. It meant getting to Sacramento by 6:30 (that's a.m.) but
that was no real problem so I agreed. My only condition was that I had to leave by 9 a.m.
because I was meeting people in Emeryville at 11 a.m. for lunch.
I was told to meet the group at the statue of the golden bear in front of Cal Expo
(there are 2 golden bears--I was to be at the right [as opposed to left] bear). I got
there at the appointed time and went to the golden bear but there was nobody there from
Breaking Barriers. I waited till 7:10 and still not a soul from BB turned up, so I decided
to go looking for the table. Fortunately the coordinator had given me a table number, but
Cal Expo is a huge place and I didn't have a clue where the table was.
I saw that people were gathering off to my left and tried to elbow my way through the
crowds of old, young, short, tall, skinny, fat people all there to race to raise money for
breast cancer research. There were signs everywhere, people gathering their groups. It was
a sea of "race for the cure shirts." I saw people in wheel chairs, babies in
strollers, toddlers in oversized shirts, breast cancer survivors in pink shirts and hats.
Everyone was there with one idea in mind--to help find a cure for this disease.
I had two ideas in mind--finding a cure, but first finding the damn table!
I finally asked someone at a table for some radio station and he told me to check with
the registration desk, back in the direction from which I'd just come. Someone at
the registration desk told me that the tables for organizations were in the other
direction. I had very cleverly parked the very closest I could get to the entrance, where
I thought we were to meet, and was sent to the very farthest point from the car possible.
(Good thing I'm a jock now!)
I still didn't know exactly where I was going but I wended my way through the slow line
of traffic, and the runners making their way to the starting point and when I finally got
to the end of the parking lot, where I expected to find a bazillion tables, this is what I
OK. So what gives? Fortunately, I caught the glimpse of a poster off to my left, so I
followed the road around and finally--in the distance, where the few tables that had been
set up. And right in the center was the Breaking Barriers table.
The idea is that we were to give out raisins and information about Breaking Barriers
and try to get folks interested in volunteering. Unfortunately, most of the people
wouldn't be at the table until I was on my way to Emeryville. But I did chat with a few
folks and hand out a few brochures. And I got to meet Mrs. Sacramento and Elvis, so the
day wasn't a total loss.
We also learned about the other people sharing our table--a lot of breast cancer
survivors and support groups. Very nice bunch of people. It's amazing to see so many
thousands of people coming together to work either in memory of or in honor of someone who
has dealt with breast cancer--or just people who want to help eradicate this disease.
Mostly I stood around and felt kind of useless, feeling like I really should have
participated in the race itself.
Maybe next year I'll be able to do my part to race for the
cure, and not just stand around.
The runners were just arriving in the arena at 9 a.m., when I was leaving. As I had
fought my way through a sea of runners approaching the starting gate when I arrived at Cal
Expo, now I was fighting my way through a larger sea of runners approaching the finishing
line. And while I had cleverly parked as close to the entrance as possible, they were
routing people out the opposite end of the parking lot and everybody who had already
completed the race was in his/her car and in front of me. I anticipated a good 30-40
minutes in traffic just trying to get to the street which was about 1/4 block from where I
was parked. Ultimately, I snuck out the "in" gate, drove the wrong way on a
one-way ramp, and managed to sneak out onto the street under the nose of a fleet of
highway patrol cars there to keep things orderly.
I thought I was going to be late getting to lunch, but it turned out I was the
first one to arrive. I was meeting Pat and Andrea, two more folks I only know from the
Internet, and it was just a delightful lunch. We got to know each other much better,
laughed a lot, shared secrets, talked about other people we know, and promised to get
together again some time.
And then on to my mother's on the other side of the bay. She had a fall
a week ago and dislocated her shoulder, which is in a sling, so I told her I'd come and
fix a Mother's Day dinner for her and do any errands she wanted run. Turns out she has so
many folks clamoring to help her that she didn't really have any errands to run (well,
only one), so we just spent the afternoon chatting, and that was delightful. When it came
time for dinner, all either of us wanted was salad, so we shared my famous broccoli salad
and a tossed green salad and felt very virtuous.
It was quite a full day, with lots of driving, lots of chatting, lots of fun. Tomorrow
I'll be back on the road again at the crack of dawn to meet Haggie in Sacramento for our ride along
the American River Park bike trail.