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Hi Everyone,

We are slowly getting back to normal after our big event this past Saturday night. Now it’s time to get “back to business” on all the other things that take a back seat to a big event. But before we do that……………..I wanted to say THANK YOU to a bunch of people who made it such a successful night! First, to Stephanie, my Communications and Special Events Coordinator. Yes, it’s her job to do this, but she went over and above, even putting in the equivalent of a full day’s job on Saturday. Second, to Scott Barna, Donna Christman and the entire staff at Route 23 Auto Mall in Butler, NJ for hosting the event, helping with set-up, clean-up and everything in between. Third, to our sponsors and players – thank you for your support and for joining us for what I hoped was a fun evening for you! And fourth, to all the volunteers that night, who managed to keep everything running smoothly. Together, we all raised about $13,000 for Push to Walk and people with spinal cord injuries! Awesome!!!

Also a special shout-out to my friends Ethan Ruby and Jeremy Schwartz at Poker4Life in New York City. I can only dream of putting on an event like these guys do! First class all the way. They let me in on some of their secrets and shared information with me so Push to Walk could host our own event. They realize we are all in this together, and have been generous with their time and ideas, in addition to participating and supporting us financially. THANK YOU!

We are working on some pretty exciting things here at Push to Walk, including a future research project, buying new equipment, and plans for Summer Camp. Stay tuned for details!

Have a good weekend!

Cynthia

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As I continue my training for the NJ Marathon on May 1st, I mapped out a route of two segments of 9 miles each. There would be about a 10 minute break in-between, to transport me from one location to another. In the past, I have run this stretch of road, and it is just too dangerous. So my husband met me and drove me from the end of the first 9 miles to the beginning of the next. It was kind of brisk weather – mid 30’s – and sunny. I was psyched for the distance and liked the route I had planned. I overdressed (as usual!) and had to ditch a layer and my hat halfway through. Otherwise, the run went well! I was even able to push myself at the end, with the saying “run, Cynthia, run” (as in Forrest Gump) keeping me going.

During this three and a half hour activity, I was reviewing everything about the Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament the night before. The planning was a little easier this time around, as usually is the case, when you are repeating an event. I learned from last year to have more helpers, and that worked out great. I had the best people helping, offering to do whatever needed to be done, and when they finished one thing, they jumped right to the next task.

As the players came in, it was nice to talk with those I knew, thanking them for supporting Push to Walk once again. I met some new people, too, and enjoyed talking with everyone. With more help this year, I was able to “work the room” and wasn’t tied down to a job for the evening. That was nice!

What I thought about most during this run, though, were the people in chairs who came to support our cause, even though they are not clients of Push to Walk. One guy came all the way from Flemington, another lives in NYC and had been traveling most of the month of March. He came back early just so he could come to our event! Between the long drives and the planning it takes to do extra events like this, I was so appreciative they made time for Push to Walk! And several of our clients, too. It was great to see them there, having a good time.

These thoughts morphed into thinking about so many other people I have met who use wheelchairs for one reason or another. In  most cases, a chair is being used for a spinal cord injury, but not always. I have met some wonderful people and their families, all dealing with their injuries and their challenges in individual ways. Some seem to have it all figured out (I don’t know if they really do, or just seem that way), some have challenges that are on-going, persistent and difficult. As I meet each person, I enjoy talking with them, learning about them and spending time with them. It doesn’t necessarily involve any conversation about why they’re in a chair. Sometimes it comes up; oftentimes it doesn’t.

In any case, I guess my mind was quite occupied with these thoughts, as my 18 miles didn’t really seem that terrible  (until the next day that is, which will be the subject of my next blog!). So as I reviewed the success of the event, the people who helped and those that supported us, I was grateful that Push to Walk has so many “friends.” Thank you, friends – all of you – for helping us accomplish our goals. And thank you for the motivation to reach my own personal goal – running a full marathon in just 5 more weeks!

Cynthia

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