(Contributed by Malinda Walker)
In 2012, Andy and Malinda dressed up in bras, walked a 10K and for our effort raised $2,165 with a huge proportion of the money given by Pamakid Runners. We were humbled and grateful. In 2013 we planned to do it again, and both felt a little intimidated and challenged by the amount of money we had raised. How could we fundraise to that level again? The charity and cause are just as important this year as they were last year, but seeing Andy in a bra? Been there. Done that.
However, again, you our running family, were there to support us. Yvonne Ou and Justin Mikecz, while making a donation decided to ask a funny question in the donor message section: “How much does the team have to donate to get you to coach track in a bra one night?”
We immediately checked the numbers from 2012 and came up with a dollar amount. If Pamakids donated to either one of us, to reach a total of $1,500 (a number partly chosen because of Andy’s love for the track & field race, the 1500 meters) Andy would wear a bra to coach a Tuesday night workout.
The donations started pouring in. The ones from the Pamakid Runners were kept in one tally to chart our progress towards the $1,500 goal. Someone from the Impalas, one of the other running clubs that works out at Kezar on Tuesday night got word of our fundraising effort (and the coach in a bra challenge) and she made a donation. There were also donations from other friends and family members. Every time we received a donation, it made us think about that person and our memories of spending time with that person. As many of you know, Andy cleverly e-mailed a thank you that included the wording: “Thanks for the SUPPORT!”
The Pamakids were giving donations but it was unclear if the $1,500 mark would be reached. Suddenly Yvonne and Justin threw down the gauntlet again. For every new Pamakid that made a donation, they would donate $5 more. It was going to be close. On the actual day of the walk, just hours before we left the house, two anonymous donations came in, one for Andy and one for Malinda. We had good reason to suspect that these donations should be credited to the Pamakids’ “See Andy Coach in a Bra” account. Within the hour were able to confirm that it was so. The goal had been met. We were off to walk a 10K.
The event honoree was Denise Wolf, a colleague of Malinda’s. Denise was also the person who gave us the new additions to our family – guinea pigs that we named Sheldon and Leonard. This year’s bras were decorated with fur to look like a wolf (Denise WOLF!). Purple WolfPack shirts were made. And Andy supplemented his ensemble with a hat that some of you may remember from a Bay to Breakers centipede costume in 2011.
After the walk, Denise gave a moving speech about fighting cancer. It was a reminder that cancer is an awful disease and that while it was fun to banter about seeing Andy coach in a bra, what really was important was to fight breast cancer.
In total, the event raised over $120,000 and with their other fundraising events the Tri Valley SOCKs were able to donate $150,000 to four charities. $70,000 was donated to UCSF, $30,000 to Axis Community Health, $30,000 Valley Care Breast Cancer Services and $20,000 to the HERS Breast Cancer Foundation.
Of this, we raised $2,645, almost $500 more than 2012. We received donations from over fifty different people. It’s a good feeling to have supported this cause. We truly believe that it’s these “small” donations that add up to the “big” dollar figures that make all the difference. It is people coming together to support a cause together. That’s community. That’s support. That’s our friends and family.
We owe a huge thank you to Pamakid Running club family. Please let us know if you have ideas about how Andy can reach yet another new level of embarrassment in the name of a good cause next year.
Thank you for the wonderful support for the Bras for the Cause walk.