Thursday, November 6, 2008

Light the Night, 2008

October 18, 2008 marked my first Light the Night walk of my life...just the start of my participation in this wonderful cause. Light the Night is a one mile walk in the evening to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Many corporations form teams, many families form teams, and many individuals participate. I was fortunate enough to participate with my employer, Huntington National Bank, who had the MOST registered walkers of all...308 by the time the walk started!! Something we were very proud of! In addition to having the most walkers, we were able to raise over $36000 at last count with more money coming in. Personally, I raised $551, which exceeded my personal goal. **update...I just received a letter from the Leukemia and Lymphoma society saying there were approximately 6,500 walkers and we raised over $580,000!!!**

The night was full of different ceremonies to participate in. The memorial ceremony was held early in the evening, one I participated in. After words were spoken, we lined up to honor our loved ones lost to either form of cancer. I was nervous to get in line because I'm so shy but I'll do anything to honor my sister. Once it was my turn, I was given a red carnation and the microphone which I proudly told the world "Jennifer Lyn McColley". My very loving and amazing sister I lost 11.5 years ago to Leukemia. I then wrote her name on a yellow ribbon to keep, placed the red carnation in the vase to be displayed later, and received a Gold "in memory" balloon to carry during the walk!

When the the sun set and the moon came out, the walk was about to begin. Our table was at the front of the line so we were the first to start the walk!! At 7:45pm, we began the short trek around the 1 mile track at a park on the campus of Ohio State University. Chilly and breezy, no one seemed to mind. The memories of our loved ones being shared with each other as we walked. My heart was warm as I shared stories to friends and a coworker. Missing my sister so much!! What was so the front of the line was done as well as almost done...there were walkers just getting started!! Had we stretched out side by side, we would have well surpassed the one mile of track!! It was truly and gold balloons w/ lights inside lined the track...being carried by the young and the old. Truly amazing and an event I plan to make a yearly way to remember my loving sister, taken to early from this earth!!!

Jen - I miss you! I love you! I think about you each and everyday and pray that I make you proud! When it's my turn to leave this earth, it's you I will find first!!!!!!