Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans Tweet up and Charity Event

This past weekend, not only did I get to run my first post baby half marathon, but I got to meet up with fellow runners and bloggers, and do some good for the city of New Orleans. For those that don’t know, I was born right outside of the city in Metairie, and I grew up about 30 miles away. I still consider it home, as all of my family is still there, so I was excited to give back and help Feed the Children last Saturday.

But first, let’s backtrack. I slept over nine glorious hours Friday night, sans-baby, and woke up to a gorgeous chilly day in the French Quarter. Bobby and I decided to leave early and walk around for a few minutes before the tweet up. We were just a couple of blocks from all the action!

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Our first stop was Jackson Square.

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Some of the paintings were so beautiful.

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We still had some time so we passed up Café du Monde and walked down to the French Market.

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After a quick walk through, it was time to head back down to meet up with some bloggers and some of the Rock ‘n Roll team!

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We saw a couple of friends who didn’t see any of the Rock ‘n Roll crew anywhere. So I went inside and spotted Dan who was trying his best to hold down tables for us (it was VERY crowded!). Soon after others began to trickle in, as well as the food!

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I knew to wear white, powdered sugar gets everywhere!

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Bloggers and beignets, so much fun!

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PR guy Dan forgot his phone charger. I of course came to the rescue with my pink charger!

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Had so much fun meeting more of the Rock ‘n blog crew and some of the Competitor group employees.

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After photos, we split up in multiple vehicles to head to the Feed the Children charity event.

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Feed the Children was the benefitting charity for this race, which I was happy to hear. We have been supporters of the charity for years, and it was really great to see them in action in the community. On this day, 400 families were going to be given food, toiletry items, haircuts, lunch, and fro yo! We arrived at the Apex youth center and a line had already formed outside.

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We arrived just in time to throw on some volunteer t-shirts and catch the end of the volunteer meeting.

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Families would go through the inside of the center and then out onto the basketball court where we had boxes of food and such. Whole Foods was there giving away fruit, and we manned the milk station.

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There was a DJ, a lot of amazing volunteers, and…..

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THOMAS MORSTEAD! He is the punter for the New Orleans Saints….and if you know ANYTHING about me, you know I love Saints football. Heck, I stalked Malcolm Jenkins in the New Orleans airport last year so I could get a picture. Thomas does a TON for the city of New Orleans. He is always in the news helping different charities, and it was so great to meet him. He actually took the time to talk to me which was super nice. He and his wife were running the 10k the next day, and he told me he wasn’t in running shape so he hoped a lot of people stopped him along the way so he could get a break! The coolest thing was not once did he “act famous”. He graciously took photos when asked, but I constantly saw him working, carrying boxes, and helping people…and it was awesome.

After my total geek out moment, it was back to work. I moved over to the boxes provided by AVON, helping hand them out to the grateful families.

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It was such an amazing experience getting to give back during a race weekend, and see where the charity money goes. Yes I could have been out on the beautiful day that is was exploring the city or enjoying my first baby free weekend with Bobby, but this was way, way more important, and I am so glad that Rock ‘n Roll made it possible for us to take part. We need to never forget while we are enjoying our racecations and running our miles, that there are families out there thankful just for a quart of milk and a free haircut. It really makes you realize how truly blessed we really are, and how great Rock ‘n Roll is for having a charity for their races!

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Thanks to Larisa for some of the photos!

QOTD: Have you ever helped out at a charity event?

Virtual Race Entry GIVEAWAY

 

My blog friend Shannyn is hosting a virtual race, and I am giving away a free entry! It is the first ever virtual Pug run to benefit the Northern Illinois Pug Rescue.

You can participate in the 5k, 10k, or 1 mile option and get the beautiful medal on a ribbon mailed to you. If you want to sign up or donate to the cause, the cost of the race is $27.

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If we can save 26.2 pugs, Shannyn’s fiance will run the Chicago Marathon in this singlet.

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From Shannyn:

“We want to save 26.2 pugs, for a donation of $7,860.  As my fiancé runs his marathon at the Chicago Marathon, we’d like to dedicate each of his miles (and the .2) to changing the life of one pug and fundraising for the Northern Illinois Pug Rescue.

That’s right.  You can support the cause, and run or walk on your home turf between now and October 12th, when Chris runs in a pug singlet (seen above) and you’ll get a shhh-weet unicorn pug diecast medal mailed to your door.

To hit our lofty financial goal, we’d have to have over 375+ participants.  To be able to afford to do bigger medals, we’d need to hit 500 medals to get a better discount and still hit our $7,860 goal.”

Want to win a FREE entry into this virtual run and get your medal for free? I am giving away one entry to a THLG reader! Mandatory entry as seen below in the rafflecoptor widget is you have to SHARE about this run in some way. Either in your own blog post, tweet about it, make a facebook post about it, and LINK THE POST IN A BLOG COMMENT ONT HIS POST or your entry will not count.

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Tomorrow I will be back with my weekly pregnancy update, I cannot believe I am 34 weeks today! My goal for this week is to get the car seat installed and maybe even start on getting the crib put together. I think that will make me feel better. I read about these other pregnant women that have everything all together by this point in their pregnancy and it is making me a little panicky. I know I am “behind” because of the move, but I can’t help but feel like my due date is quickly sneaking up on me and I DO NOT feel ready to have a newborn. AAAHHHH! But I still can’t wait to meet her and also get back to feeling like myself again. More on that later.

See the rafflecoptor widget below for instructions on entering the race entry giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tutu’s for a Cause

Awhile back, Lesley contacted me and told me she was raising money for Girls on the Run. I just happen to LOVE Girls on the Run. When I ran the Rouge Orleans relay race a couple years ago, our team raised money for them and they were just so sweet and thankful. Well, Lesley had the great idea that not only could runners get the satisfaction of giving money to charity, but they could get a really fun product in the process!

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-Between now and October 6th, she will be selling adorable running tutu’s for $20 and 100% of that will go to Girls on the Run. Shipping is included in the USA. Shipping is $5 outside of the USA.

-To purchase you just need to send her an e-mail at [email protected] From there you will discuss your custom design and how to pay.

-All tutu skirts and headbands are made completely by hand-no sewing machines. Therefore, each piece is unique!

Who is running runDisney’s Tower of Terror (villain anyone?), Wine and Dine, marathon weekend races, Tinkerbell, or Princess races? There are so many events coming up, so getting a CUSTOM handmade tutu for $20 including shipping is an AMAZING offer. Lesley is super creative and can help you come up with a design of your choosing. I just so happened to want to be a villain for he Tower of Terror….so Lesley made me this amazing Cruella de Vil tutu for me. I love it!

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Excuse the wrinkles, I was so excited to take photos I didn’t fix it just right from being shipped, but will for the race!

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Hidden Mickey on the back, adorable!

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I have some other outfit “components” but I want them to be a surprise so you will just have to wait and see. A huge thanks to Lesley for making this for me, and I do hope you will choose to support Girls on the Run with Lesley!

QOTD: What character would you have a tutu made after for a race?

ZOOMA Florida Discount and Charity Challenge

 

I mentioned awhile back that I had the honor of being selected as a race ambassador for the ZOOMA Florida race in January. There is a half and 5k option, and the host hotel is the fabulous Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island! ZOOMA is so awesome, that they wanted to do something for YOU, and for charity.

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They came up with an awesome idea that for ONE DAY ONLY, if you register with my special discount code, you will get 10% off registration for either of the Florida races, AND, ZOOMA will donate $10 to one of my favorite charities for that one day, which is October 5th, FRIDAY.

So for example, if ten people register using my promo code tomorrow the 5th, not only will they get 10% off registration, but my charity of choice will get $100! How awesome is that?!?!

So, I’m sure you want to know what charity I decided to choose for the promotion.

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I thought about choosing a charity nationally known, but decided to do something a little closer to home, Team Gleason/The Gleason Initiative Foundation.  This charity may not be as well known, but needs more publicity and help.

Steve Gleason used to play in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints, until he was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). You may have heard his name or have seen a clip of him blocking a punt at the Saints first home game back in the Superdome after hurricane Katrina.

Even though he was diagnosed with this awful disease, he chose to make the best out of his life. He and his wife decided to have a baby, and then they started Team Gleason, a charity with a mission to show that patients can not only live but thrive after this diagnosis. In doing so, he hopes to inspire others to do the same, and have meaning and purpose in their life. The photo below is from a Saints game last year. Steve had to hold on to Drew to walk out onto the field and lead the crowd in the pre game chant, but he was determined.

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He spent much of his career visiting patients at the New Orleans Children’s Hospital, and Gleason, known for his long locks hanging out of this helmet, regularly donated his hair to “Locks for Love”, which provides hair for wigs for children with cancer.

The mission of The Gleason Initiative Foundation is to:
1. Help provide individuals with muscular diseases or injuries with leading edge technology, equipment and services; (so they can live as normal a life as possible)
2. Raise public awareness toward amyotrophic lateral sclerosis “ALS” by providing and documenting extraordinary life adventures for individuals with muscular diseases or injuries.

He has done such things as send people with ALS to the Superbowl, he has taken them skydiving, and climbing Mt. Rainier among providing high tech equipment so they can function even after losing muscle control . He believes the diagnosis is not the end and encourages others with ALS to live life to the fullest.

Please help his foundation and mission by registering for the Florida ZOOMA race on October 5th, and $10 of your registration will be donated to Team Gleason for ALS. Below is a GREAT video on Steve if you would like to learn more about him. If you want to get to the “meat” of the video and just hear about his mission and determination, (have a tissue handy) skip to the 5:20 mark on the video.

So please, consider running the ZOOMA Florida race in January, and register TOMORROW, October 5th using my special promo code at checkout:

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Want to learn more about the race itself? Check out this post I wrote with all the details. Want even more incentive? Anyone that registers for ZOOMA Florida before 11/4 will get a training care package mailed to them. The training care package will be full of necessary and fun goodies to set you up for success!

Ready to register? Go to the registration page and enter in the promo FLAMB4 to save 10% and give $10 to Team Gleason, on October 5th ONLY. So today, just think about it, set an alarm on your phone, whatever you need to do to remind yourself to enter TOMORROW, and I will see you in Florida!

Thanks for your support!

QOTD: What is your favorite charity to support?