Updated: April 28, 2014 10:10AM
Did you register yet for the Valparaiso Family YMCA’s Ringing in Spring run?
Maybe that will help bring spring to our area soon. Give Jodi Jackson a call at (219) 462-4185 if you’d like to volunteer to cheer on the thousands of runners who begin their season with this April 5 event celebrating its 20th year. (And maybe you’ll be given a volunteer job.)
Then, the following week, all you runners can join the Spring Has Sprung 5K Run and one-mile kids run April 12 at Immanuel Lutheran School, 1700 Monticello Park Drive in Valparaiso. If you register by April 5 ($20 for the 5k; $15 for the mile), you are guaranteed a shirt. To register, visit www.thtiming.com or email email@example.com.
The 5k race, with timing by T&H Timing, is a qualifier for the Extra Mile Championship Race Series. Both of these runs are to help with financial needs for children — the best reason to run. I imagine there aren’t many more than two people still enjoying winter weather that started back in November and just won’t quit. Oh, sure, it might be warm today, but what’s next? Predicting our Midwest weather is almost as difficult as picking out the right teams in the NCAA basketball tourney (and my bracket is pretty sad).
I’m just hoping that once we get more than one day above 50 degrees, Mother Nature will see all the smiles and decide to keep it going. Then, this summer, when it’s in the 90s and humid, I’ll look back at this winter’s weather and feel a chill.
When we had that one warm day, it was so neat seeing so many people outside, and especially children playing, riding their bikes and smiling at everything and everybody. Let’s have more of those.
Speaking of smiles, the new cellphone message from Cheryl, our Colorado daughter, ends with “and smile at someone today.” That in itself made me smile and also made me think “smiles” all day.
I discovered that if you make eye contact with anyone, no matter their age, and you smile, they smile back. What a nice idea to get started in our society. Maybe even the politicians could learn to smile at each other, even when they don’t agree. And maybe when someone says something nasty to you, and you smile at them instead of retaliating, it will have the opposite effect than what they expected. Wild and crazy idea? Maybe not.
What a super evening it was at the Shorewood clubhouse last Friday, mingling with some of my favorite people, all of whom have Down syndrome and the happiest personalities of anyone I know.
Chasing Dreams founder Denise Babjak had hundreds of blue and yellow balloons to be launched into the sky by all of us to signify the rising stars we were there to honor. As the balloons rose higher and higher, it got me thinking about how much higher many of these children can reach than was ever expected. They teach us and we learn from them.
To accentuate the “Super Heroes” theme, Batman, Captain America and the Green Hornet were there to give high-fives and sign autographs after writing encouraging words for every young super hero. If you ever want to be around kids who know how to smile, visit Chasing Dreams, and it’s guaranteed to bring you a happy heart. Give Denise a call at (219) 299-9049 to give yourself a treat.
One of our neighbors in St. John needs every one of us to fulfill a very simple but very meaningful and necessary duty.
Little 3-year-old adorable Grayson Kammer was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which affects boys and eventually weakens muscles, making it hard to walk and breathe, and it hurts the heart until it can’t beat any more.
At this time, there is no cure, but a trial drug called eteplirsen has proven very effective in treating this debilitating disease. The Food and Drug Administration has not accelerated the approval process, but according to news reports, affected families believe that if 100,000 people sign an online petition, the White House might examine the issue for accelerated approval. That goal has been reached, according to petitions.whitehouse.gov.
Maybe there will be a chance for Grayson and other young boys with the disease to live a full life. Please, please, visit www.theracetoyes.org and give the few minutes it takes to register and add your name to the petition that possibly can help add years to the lives of youngsters suffering with muscular dystrophy.
You can help save lives in just that short of a time. Then I hope you have a great day because you deserve it.
Thanks for reading. Fly your flag.