Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Broadway Bares, Fred's Team Kick-Off, and CONTEST #1

Oh, mah Gawd, there is SO MUCH to get through today, best of all giving a shout-out to ALL THESE AMAZING PEOPLE:

and NANCY DORE, who was the eBay winner of the Vera Bradley bag.

Total to date:


A lot of little donations, all adding up to make a difference.

That being said, I wonder if any out there would like to issue a "challenge grant" -- in other words, you tell me "I'll donate $1000 -- or more -- if you (fill in the blank)" that (blank) being something like raising a certain amount of money in a week, or a month, or hitting a training goal, or a time in a race (which are monitored with chips so I can't cheat.) I'm up for a challenge. Apparently a marathon is not challenge enough.

Speaking of challenges, THE FIRST CONTEST is coming up at the end of this post!
OK, lots of ground to cover, both figuratively and literally. First off, "Broadway Bares." If you read the last post, you know a little about it. If not, in short, it's the annual strip show benefitting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the service organization founded, and funded, by the performing arts unions. It was an AMAZING show this year!! There were over 220 dancers this year, the numbers were great, and best of all we raised almost $750,000!!! I was on my feet for nearly 18 straight hours on Sunday, and ate little more than a bagel, a brownie, a piece of chicken, and lots of vodka. Lots. On the downside, it's sad just how disgusting Roseland has become. Not that it was ever spankin' clean to begin with, but there were these red pasties from last year's show STILL STUCK ON THE STAIRS. And there was, I kid you not, the same dead roach from last year in the bathroom stall. And it was a monster roach, palmetto bug size. Far be it for me to ask them to push up their annual sweep, but you know, they have PATRONS coming in, and this is how they choose to showcase their venue? So sad.
One of the highlights of the evening is, as I mentioned earlier, the rotation, aka go-go-dancing for tips. During the rotation for the second show, someone wrote a check for $10,000 and stuffed it down Chris Seiber's shorts (I think it was Chris.) If there is anyone out there who would like to write me a check for $10,000...well, if I must...I was never much of a dancer...but if that's what it takes to get a $10,000 donation, pass me the g-string.
Tonight was the kick-off party for Fred's Team, at MSKCC. Eileen Begg, the Team coordinator, was the "emcee," and there were a few speakers -- the race director of the Chicago Marathon (who made it sound so good a bunch of us were thinking hmmm, maybe next year...) one of the chief researchers at MSKCC who is also a Fred's Team member, our coach Jeff Rochford, and two of our Team members, Aubrey Barr (namesake of the Aubrey Fund, where your support money goes,) and my friend Matthew. I won't mention his last name to protect whatever shred of privacy he might have left, since we all know how good I am about asking permission from people before quoting them.
A few thoughts about the evening to share. First of all, I didn't know -- or didn't consider -- that one of the major challenges with pediatric cancer is that the medication and treatment you give adults can't just be given in smaller doses to children. They need their own specific protocols. But most of the research efforts -- and dollars -- are focused on adults, and that is why Fred's Team is so crucial to MSKCC.
The other thing I want to mention is Matt's speech. This August will mark his 2nd anniversary as a cancer survivor. He was treated at MSKCC, and it is so hard to believe that two years ago, he could barely walk two steps. He spoke so movingly about what Fred's Team and MSKCC meant to him that I don't even know what to say about it, except that I am honored to be running alongside him. Well, alongside him for the brief moment he laps me. He finished last year's marathon -- his first, mind you -- in 3:03. One year after cancer treatment. If anyone is ever in need of motivation to do anything, one need only look to Matt. It reminded all of us just how important this really is, so much bigger than running a marathon. We are, all of us, blessed. The Team, and those of you who support the Team. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

And now, without further ado --

This contest is open to ALL readers of this blog, Fred's Team runners included, regardless of whether or not you have donated to my Team effort. Here are the rules:
-I make up all the rules

That's pretty much it.

The winner of this week's contest will have a CHOICE of prizes! Either:

A NYRRC Marathon T-shirt (size XL)

OR an official Fred's Team shirt (either S, M or L)
(this is the front) (this is the back)

These shirts are new, by the way.

Here's how it works: I'll give you a question, and the email address to send your answer to. If there is more than one correct answer, those names will be put in a hat and the winner drawn at random. If the winning entry also had the bonus answer correct, they'll get some other prize that I need to figure out.
Easy, simple, here we go!
QUESTION: How many fountains -- not drinking fountains, but actual fountains -- are there in Central Park?
BONUS PRIZE: Name them!
Contest ends June 27 at 10pm.
Send your guesses to me at

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