Friday, June 11, 2010

Walking in memory…

10-months ago, our incredible Grandpa Tunney passed away from complications from the treatment of his brain cancer. 

Every year, my Aunt Cherie participates in the Relay for Life 24-hour cancer walk. This year she invited the rest of our family to celebrate my grandpa's life and walk in his honor at the Sparta, Michigan Relay for Life. 

My Aunt Kathy, Mom, Dad, Grandma (of course!) and the kiddos & I decided to answer that call by taking a roadtrip to Michigan from HOTlanta. Cutie Face tried to help us drive. HA!

{side note: a 13-hour roadtrip with all of us might sound crazy but we drove two cars and broke up the trip into two days, stopping, of course, at a fabulous hotel with a POOL...or, as Cutie Face says, DA BIGGGG POOOOOL}


On the day of the walk, my Aunt gave us t-shirts with pictures of Grandpa on them. Here's Cutie Face modeling J's t-shirt. {another side note: my grandpa was the one that nicknamed Cutie Face "Cutie Face" and I can't help but think about how big of a kick he would have gotten out of ALL of his cute greatgrands}

she also honored Grandpa by eating his favorite thing ever...

a donut...

(her first bite of a donut ever)

The Sparta Relay for Life is a little different than the other Relays you may know about--instead of individual walkers or teams raising money for the amount of time or laps they walk, groups of people 

(in our case, the Sparta School System was our team) 

raise money by setting up holiday-themed booths (ours was Halloween) and selling food items and fun products.

(cutie cakes trying to figure out why Aunt Kathy was hiding behind the sign)

(the twin donated some skirts, dresses, and headbands from her Etsy store!)

she also raised money by depositing these lovely commodes in people's yards and charging them a pick-up fee...kind of like pink flamingoes. 

The best fundraiser, though, was the bead-lap-necklace. Everytime you walked a lap, you'd stop at the tent and get a new bead. A pink bead for every lap, a white bead for every mile, and a blue bead for every 5. 

It was a HUGE hit and kept everyone coming back to her tent for more!

here's my dad handing out beads

it became such a big deal that other walkers would take pictures to commemorate their bead accumulation!

In the end, The Sparta School System raised $8,000 for cancer research! 

Here are tons of pictures from the day:

Three out of the five kids with the Matriarch of the fam


another lap down:

the youngest family member with the oldest family member

it was lots of fun

well...for the most part (right Cutie Face?)

some of my cousins and their friends were...

CRAZY. they walked about 35 miles (and some walked 50!)

here they are a couple hours later with their lap bead necklaces

people never stopped walking...even in the rain!

a view of the track...

Cutie Cakes helped Poppy rake in the Big (fundraiser) Bucks

We donated lots of money to the concessions stands to keep Cutie Face happy

Cutie Cakes was pretty comfy, though

we did find a real puppy to entertain Cutie Face

and J finished work in time to hang out with the kiddos

(i'm saving this picture as a priceless outtake)

we had fun horsing around

We celebrated the Survivors and their Caregivers 
by giving them "Happy Birthday Cupcakes"

Aunt Kathy took a much-needed nap

and the Cakes eventually fell asleep

...for about 5 minutes

at the end of the night (~9:30 PM) we still had 2 babes awake 
so we attempted to walk the memorial lap

shortly after this picture was taken, however, we had major meltdowns and left ASAP. 
the Relay was a wonderful way to celebrate Grandpa's life and raise money in support of cancer research!

and to make a long post even longer...
the next day the walk continued and we continued our family reunion time...

Cutie Cakes and Poppy watched SOCCER!

we talked

we read

we were entertained (by Poppy)

we walked (in J's shoes)

hugged on our blanket

and on J

took a 5-second nap

and all in all had a grand time with family. We can't wait to do it again...

1 comment:

Bethy J said...

what an incredible event honoring your grandpa! so much fun - and i love the bead idea!!!