Sunday, September 29, 2013

2nd Annual RODS Race for Vaughn

We've had some incredible fundraising events over the last year and a half.  As I look back at all the different ideas I can easily pick out the RODS Fun Run as one of my all-time favorites.  That's why I was a little bummed when my career took me down a different path that didn't include me living in Meridian earlier this year. 
When I moved from Idaho to Utah I knew that the likelihood of being able to do another community race in Meridian probably was very slim.  With my new job, the move and everything else we had going on with RODS it just seemed like it was going to be too much for me to handle.  At least that was my mindset until later that summer went on I got a phone call from Angela Redding to talk about doing another race.
As many of you who may have followed this blog over the last 18 months have come to find out, Angela Redding is a RAINMAKER when it comes to events.  She was the brainchild behind the snow cones for Kona campaign.  She also organized the Tyler Stenson concert last year as well as was a major part of the first RODS Fun Run.  So when Angela called to talk about organizing another race despite the fact that I lived in another state I listened.  It only took a few minutes of conversation to convince me that this was a great idea. 
I knew from the onset that I wasn't going to be able to attend the event.  This was hard for me but I've also come to the realization over the last few months that the only way this organization is going to grow to it's fullest potential is if individuals like Angela are given opportunities to take the ball and run with it with or without me.  And run with it she did!
Similar to last year, Angela decided to do some "multi-tasking" for the race.  "In addition to saving orphans, why not help a young man out with his Eagle Scout Project", she said.  That young man's name is Jonny Holm.  He did a fantastic job in taking charge and organizing this race alongside Angela. 
In addition to Angela and Jonny's efforts, there were some incredible people in the community who stepped up and volunteered their time and talents as well.  Special thanks (in no particular order) to Docena Holm, Tracy Coltrin, Randy Stenson, Kerry Stenson, Shauna Jenks, Chelsea Rippy, Tiffany Erickson, Leah Stenson, Sheena Lindholm, Carrie Paternoster, Alexis Jorgenson, Lori Jorgenson, Kim Redding, Michael Nelson, Maria Hoagland, Becki Goodwin, Brian Preece, all the timers, Erin Larkin, Rachel Jessen and the activity day girls signs and especially to ALL OUR RACERS WHO CAME OUT FOR THE BIG DAY!!!  As well, I'd also like to send a special thanks to FRANZ, our special guest who once again was the life of the event!
I'd also like to thank all of those who sponsored the event.  If you have any chance to use any of their professional services, PLEASE DO SO!  These individuals are the reason why there was so much good that was accomplished during this race!
In the end, this event played a major part in RODS Racing reaching our ultimate goal of raising $15,000 for Vaughn, a young orphan in Columbia who has Down syndrome.  This money will go towards the adoption costs in bringing Vaughn home! 
One housekeeping item is the race shirts or better yet, lack there of.  We had over 60% percent of our participants sign up less than 8 days before the race.  We LOVE the participation but it put us in a bit of a pickle with race shirts that had been ordered.  The good news is we have a big order in for more shirts that will be done the week of October 10th.  As soon as we get the shirts we'll be in touch to get them to you.  Sorry for the delay!
RODS Racing has continued to grow in a way that nobody could imagine just a short 18 months ago.  My son Nash was the original inspiration for RODS.  However, that inspiration now comes from so many others as well.  It's individuals like Angela and all the other volunteers for the race that personally take on the call to action to do something outside of their comfort zone with the intention to simply do good in the world that make RODS Racing what it is today.  It's because of these selfless acts that a young boy has a chance at life now. 
For that I want to say one last THANK YOU to each of you for being who you are and doing what you do for Orphans with Down Syndrome.  Here's a few pictures from the days events.  You can see all of the race pictures at HISSHEENA.SMUGMUG.COM  Huge thanks to Sheena Lindholm for volunteering her professional photography services for the event!
Keep training and keep up the great work! 



Sunday, September 8, 2013

Golfing for Vaughn

Each year our company has their annual golf tournament.  This is a good opportunity for our advisors to have a chance to bring their clients or others with whom they have a business relationship to the course and enjoy a morning of golf.  For this year's tournament I decided to do something a little different.  I felt like this would be a good opportunity to not only have an enjoyable day of golf with our clients and friends but as a firm also try and help Vaughn inch closer to the goal of $15,000 raised for his adoption.

The idea came when I was visiting with one of our advisors about the tournament.  He suggested that we do a fundraiser where we had Nash be involved somehow.  That's when it hit me.  Why not put Nash and I on a par 3 and "help" the teams that come through in hopes that they will be willing to help Vaughn reach his goal of $15,000.  So that's exactly what we did!

We setup on hole 14 at Old Mill Golf Course.  We put these two signs out explaining what our intentions were for assisting each group that came through.  We had Andrea and Ridge there as well as our Director of Operations, Teresa May to help out.  The weather was great and the typical excitement and anticipation of a golf tournament was in the air.

So this is how we were planning on helping out.  The tournament was a 4 man scramble.  Each player hits and whichever player had the best shot the rest of the team moves their ball there.  That's where the boys come into play.  When everyone was gathered around the best shot, I'd have the boys toss the ball towards the hole in hopes that we would get the team closer.  Where ever the toss ended up the team had the choice of playing from there as if that was their original shot. In return, we asked that they make a donation to Vaughn for the assistance they received.

I have to admit, I was a little worried on how this would work out.  I worried whether or not the boys really could have enough touch to get them closer.  I also worried whether the boys could last 4 hours.  I'm happy to say that they did amazing!!!

Here's a few of the highlights.  One of the groups hit a great shot and were less than 10 yards from the hole.  With everybody watching, Nash lined up and eyed the hole.  He rolled it at just the right speed and from the release it looked good.  The ball slowly rolled right up to the hole and as luck would have it, went right in!  The team erupted and Nash went into major celebration mode.  He took off running around the green with his arms like an airplane yelling that "he did it!".  Everybody loved it!  High fives and hugs all around.  Nash actually had two "hole in one's" on the day!


The second highlight was a group that was playing well, but for whatever reason had 4 not so good shots on this hole.  The best shot was off the green a ways.  Not only that but there was a huge drop on the green that really made it hard to play it right.  You would have had to hit it just right and let the ball roll down the hill and turn towards the hole.  Nash took the ball and threw it overhand as hard as he could.  The ball landed perfectly, rolled down the hill, made a big turn and stopped 12 inches from the hole.  Once again the team erupted and Nash went into his airplane celebration victory lap.

When we had everybody back at the club house I felt it was important to really try and help everyone understand just what their donations would do for a little orphan.  I showed a picture of Jaymi Bonner and told her story about how she had spent the first 5 years of her life in an orphanage.  Because of a loving family willing to take a huge leap of faith and many people rallying around them to raise the needed funding, she was now home.  Then I had Jaymi and her mom Jeana walk out to the surprise of the group.  It was fun to get to see everyone's expressions as the story unfolded right before them. 

On the day, we raised $1,014.  It's possible that more donations will come in as well as everyone had an addressed envelope where they could send a donation to RODS Racing.  That brings us up to nearly $13,000 of our $15,000 goal for Vaughn.

It's so fun to get to involve the wonderful people that I get to work with in the cause to help these special children find a home.  It's also very rewarding to get to do this as a family and see how each one of my family members can contribute in their own way.  Or in Nash's case today, in a BIG WAY! 

I'm already brainstorming for next years tournament.  How cool would it be to have Vaughn be our special guest...