On September 30, the Four Seasons held its yearly Parkway Run & Walk to benefit cancer research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and I was running late.
I am an ambassador for CHOP and was asked to start the race. I caught the subway and made it down there just in time. My parents were not especially pleased (and I did not feel that great about it, either) that I did not make it there with enough time to see my squad members before the race. I did see all the members of Team Rotzy eventually, though. I immediately went to the stage next to the starting line, which took a little effort to locate in the midst of around 9,000 people.
During the opening ceremonies the other ambassadors and I were brought on stage and mentioned. Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee and his wife Kristen were event chairs, so Kristen as well as their son, Jaxon, were brought up on stage. (Cliff could not attend because the Phillies were in Florida finishing a series with the Marlins). Those who accumulated the most donations handed their giant novelty checks to CHOP representatives, and then it was time to start the race.
I was a little nervous. Public speaking was never really my favorite activity. I only had to say a handful of words, but as I mentioned earlier, there were thousands of people there. I was handed an air-horn and the microphone and preceded, “Attention runners. On your mark. Get set. GO!” The runners took off, and I jumped off stage with a huge smirk on my face.