#5 Walk for a Cause

Saturday morning with the temperature climbing to 90 degrees and the humidity feeling like 100% (not sure what it really was), TEAM THERESA assembled at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City and participated in the 2012 Arthritis Foundation Walk.  A few months ago I shared with you my goal of walking in this 5K, click here to read that post.

This event raises funds for arthritis research, education and life improvement programs.  As someone who has been living with arthritis for 10  years, I fully understand the value of this organization.  I have often gone to their website to read information on pain relief, prepping for surgery and how exercise can play a role in treatment.

Before the walk began, my great niece and nephews got to take a few spins on a couple of the rides in the Planet Snoopy area.

There was even a little face painting going on….

There were also booths set up with information about arthritis and tables of water, fruits and donuts.

The walk itself was not too bad, although I am pretty sure just walking from the parking lot to the Planet Snoopy area of World’s of Fun was about a 5K in itself.

After the walk I had my picture taken with Ellie Fuson, the 9 year old walk honoree who has juvenile arthritis.  Although we were told that Ellie’s arthritis is under control through medications and keeping active, I have a hard time imaging a young child living with the pain of arthritis everyday.

The event raised over $50,000 dollars for the Arthritis Foundation with Team Theresa winning third place for the most funds raised in the Individual Team Category.  I want to thank everyone who contributed and all those that walked with me on this very hot day!

I am recruiting for next year, whose with me?????

Jack the Brave….

I love stories of courageous animals and heard a great one this past week about a dog that I have had the pleasure of meeting personally.  Say hello to Jack Daniels (son of the recently departed Whiskey). 


Jack is a full bred boxer and owned by a close friend’s son.   He is also a brother to Bella, who is owned by my daughter’s in-laws.  Jack is a cherished puppy who has been known to have a steak grilled solely for him on his birthday.  He often gets to sleep over at his grandparents house and play with their dogs.

Jack also has two sister cats, one named White Kitty and one named Grey Kitty.  Here is Grey Kitty..

 A few nights ago Jack’s owner was on the second floor of his house and heard a late night knock on his door.  He was not expecting anyone at that hour so was slow to walk down the steps and answer the door.  Before he got there, he heard the front door being kicked in.  Jack was not slow to the front door at all.  He immediately started chasing and barking at the intruders. 

Jack’s owner, upon hearing the door being kicked in, opened an upstairs window thinking he might have to make a quick escape out the second floor if someone was coming in the first floor.  Much to his relief, from the window he could see the two would be burglars running for their life after encountering the unexpected ferocity of Jack protecting his house and his person.

 Way to go Jack!!!!

 Jack’s owner called the police and then called his dad to help him fix the door.  After all was secured, Jack’s owner decided to stay with his parents for the weekend.   As they were backing out of the driveway the headlights of the truck passed over the roof of the house and they spotted Grey Kitty sitting on the roof.  It seems that Jack’s owner had forgotten to close the window during all the commotion and Grey Kitty decided to have her own little adventure that night.  She was happily surveying the world around her from her high perch as cats love to do.

 Jack’s owner ran back in the house and upstairs to the open window.  After much coaxing and a little meowing, Grey Kitty decided to come back in the house for the night.

 I am sure Jack’s owner and his parents are thrilled that Jack is such a great protector.  People usually assume their pet will protect them in an emergency although they certainly never want to really find out.   For Jack’s family at least, they can rest assured that Jack the Brave will be there to save them from harm and Grey Kitty will serve as lookout.

Wild Hogs

Kindra and DL are riding their bicycles today from Houston to Austin, Texas in the MS150 benefit ride.  They will actually accumulate about 167 miles when they finish on Sunday.  I am praying for no winds, no accidents and much strength.  I will let you know how they manage the ride. 

Dave and a group of friends rode their bicycles in the Kansas City area MS150 for at least 10 years in a row.  However, somthing happened that changed this respectable looking group of 40 year olds……

into this questionable looking group of 50 year olds.

They are still riding two wheelers, but have powered them up a bit.

This group has traveled far and wide, they have been to Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and South Dakota (Sturgis, of course). 

 They designated a navigator and sent out a scout.

They have seen amazing sites such as this….

and this……

and this…….

and even this….

They have slept and dined in luxurious accommodations,

This morning with the temperature at 38 degrees they once again donned their leathers and rode off into the sunrise towards Oklahoma.  I just hope they do not talk Dave into anything crazy like the last time they rode.  He came home with a sleeveless shirt that showed off his “IT(information technology) arms”.

Hopefully I won’t see any PC or Star Trek tatoos this time!

A Legacy

Twenty years ago I started working for a company, Marion Merrill Dow,  that not only shaped the course of my future career path, but became the standard by which I would judge all future employers. (btw, no other employer has come close).   The eight years I worked for this organization also produced life long friends.

Marion Merrill Dow was the second generation of Marion Laboratories, a Kansas City landmark company.   Started by the late Ewing Kaufman, original owner of the Kansas City Royals baseball team, the legacy of Marion Laboratories still influences the local business community today through the numerous companies started by “associates” (the term used to refer to employees of the company) and the inspiring work of the Kauffman Foundation.

When I began working for the company, they were embarking on an international systems implementation project which I was very fortunate to be a part.  Our team traveled frequently to many places in Europe preparing local operations to use the new SAP software.  During that time, I personally traveled to Europe nine times in nine months, many of those trips 2 weeks in duration. 

Fraser, Carl and Steve at a London Pub

Dave did a tremendous job of holding down the home front with our three small children (ages 7, 4 and 1 at the time) while I lived in hotel rooms, ate out every meal and had my room cleaned by a maid each day.

I am pretty confident I had the easier job.

Barry, Tim, Jay and Steve at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Our project lasted for several years and resulted in close friendships between many of us. No other place for which I have worked have I kept in such close contact with so many colleagues.  I have often wondered what was the unique set of circumstances that caused this bond to form, was it the stress of the complicated project, the traveling to foreign environments for weeks at a time or the culture of the workplace that encouraged respect for each other. 


Tim explaining the complexities (ha-ha) of the SAP AP module to Manfred Hauser, the accounting manager in Berlin.

Or maybe it was just all those mandatory team building meetings such as the toga parties,  work days at Towster’s house,  happy hours in the lobby of the Syltr Hof Hotel in Berlin, or the little piano bar in Lisbon, Portugal.  More than likely, it was the sum of all of these things.

Examining remains of the Berlin wall at Checkpoint Charlie.

Several of us still get together for lunch once a month to catch up on family, current job’s and our other co-workers.  This past friday evening I had the privilege of meeting up with a few former teammates, one  I had not seen in several years.   It was as if we had  just talked last week, the bonds of friendship still remain.


Cheryl and Al


We all have stories we could tell about our days traveling and working on the DOWFAS team, but the most important item we accomplished were the relationships we built and have kept over the years.