Tuesday, October 4, 2011


FORT WAYNE, INDIANA -  It’s a little hard to see, this is a still shot of a video (soon to be posted on the Vera Bradley Foundation Facebook) – but it’s worth sharing with you. This is Carolyn, my dear friend that past posts. So she made her annual trek to home office to deliver what she is contributing this year.

Let me tell you something; she inspires awe in me. I know survivors, and a HUGE number of them. I can count on maybe one hand the number of people who are in the fundraiser/survivor category, though.  And of them, I would say maybe 2 or 3 are even in her galaxy. She has taken the disease that touched her and has poured her energy into an annual event that raises money to help others.

She didn’t try to re-invent the wheel, didn’t try to come up with a gimmick or strategy that would have imitated someone else’s idea. She knew what she loved to do – skate. She knew her ample skill set – marketing and nonprofit fundraising. She just sat down and pulled them all together. I’m not saying it’s easy. She works harder and more hours than anyone else I know, but it’s what she knows that makes it so successful. She has friends in one great big family, the world of the ice arena denizens. It’s been 8 years since her first event, and it has grown every year. It did start small, like everyone who does this work. Skate for Hope has now raised more than $300,000 to help fight breast cancer.

But this year – this year, Carolyn gave us a check for $50,000. FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.  (worth repeating). One woman. With a big heart, a strong passion and a remarkable husband encouraging her every step of the way. I wanted to tell you again about her. I’ve heard the "I’m just one person and I can’t think of anything I can do to help people" thing too much to let them not see her and know about her.

***One more thing, I don’t have a photo of this, but she was wearing the most adorable black faux-snakeskin peep-toe black stiletto pumps. Just in case you thought she couldn’t get any cooler …***

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