Saturday, October 20, 2012

Volunteering at Its Finest

I have been away for a bit; sorry about that. Not that there are many of you who are reading me yet...

My wonderful, amazing wife is the volunteer coordinator for the Dempsey Challenge in Lewiston/Auburn, Maine. It was last weekend. Prior to the Challenge, I was helping her with some custom programming, and then volunteered during the weekend (the whole weekend) and was thus away. But this short post is not about me...

The Dempsey Center is a free (as in 100% free, like they have no way to take payment) cancer support center attached to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. It provides all kinds of necessary support for cancer patients, their families and anyone else affected by cancer, regardless of treatment facility.

The Challenge is the primary fundraising event for the Center, and 100% of the proceeds go to client care. Management salaries are paid by the hospital and the event is paid for by sponsors. The Challenge consists of  5 and 10k run/walks, 10, 25, 50, 70 and 100 mile bike rides, a kid's fun run and a survivor walk. It is organized by the most amazing group of volunteers I have ever seen who sit on a local organizing committee. What really strikes me about these people is the complete lack of egos; every one of these people willingly give 100% of themselves. Behind them are some 700 volunteers, many filing multiple assignments. This past weekend there were over 1,100 assignments fulfilled by a group of volunteers who gave freely and with incredible flexibility. Over and over, I saw volunteers moved from one need to another and pick up the new task quickly and effectively, making the Challenge the best organized event of its kind in the universe. (Okay, I don't really have a point of comparison for that statement, but you know what I mean.)

Personally, until last year's Challenge, though I was "voluntold" many times, I did it begrudgingly. I am an outgoing introvert, and groups of people suck the life out of me. Last year's Challenge changed that. The spirit of the participants, the volunteers and LOC and even the event management company didn't suck the life out of me, they energized me. That is how amazing this event is.

I challenge each and every one of you to run/walk, ride, volunteer or donate to next year's Dempsey Challenge. It will be among the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. October 12 and 13, 2013, Lewiston/Auburn, Maine- put it on your calendar.

Now to get back into the woods...

No comments:

Post a Comment