We arrived at the Fraze Pavilion in Dayton and registered. Since I'd raised over $100, I got a free t-shirt as well as my red balloon for the walk. Nice! Stephanie had raised over $300 so she also got a free sweatshirt & a wind breaker which they'll mail to her. (One of her co-workers' husbands got corporate matching to help - nice!) The four of us raised over $600 - not bad for 4 school teachers.
After we picked up our free gifts, we moseyed over to the food booths. Papa Murphy's Pizza (sold locally at the Walmart in Troy among other places) had pizza and I nabbed a slice of cheese pizza. I picked up a 7Up as well - the 7Up bottling company provided those. We moved onward and discovered that Chipotle's was also a food sponsor. They had half-burritos they were giving out. I picked up a steak burrito - yum! That filled me up aplenty, so I didn't need to partake of the chips, hot dogs, or bagels which were also available. For the walk, I grabbed a bottle of water.
We continued our mosey of the area and another booth was selling cute (and very soft!) teddy bears with Light the Night t-shirts for $5 a piece. The four of us couldn't resist, so another $20 was raised for Light the Night. We then were ready to pick up our glow-balloons. They were helium filled with a wire that went up into the balloon powering a blinking light. The handle was the battery supply. Unfortunately, the helium was substandard or something, and there were a lot of balloons, like ours, that barely floated. No matter, we just tied 'em to our heads/glasses/ears.
Carl Day, anchor for Channel 2 News (a Dayton TV station), was the local chapter spokesperson. He's been a 9-year survivor of lymphoma. He spoke some, letting us know that we were one of the biggest groups to march. Jared estimated 5000 of us. Could have been - there were a lot of us! Anyhoo, Carl introduced a lady whose daughter is fighting (and looks like she might be winning) the battle against leukemia. The little girl was so cute - 4 years old or so. She had her white survivor balloon. :-)
Anyhoo, we started the walk as it was getting dark. It was neat to see all the red & white (lots of white - yay!) balloons with their blinking lights (in various stages of flotation) as we walked through the nice neighborhood that Fraze is a part of. We walked around a pond and all we could see in front or behind us were people walking. It was a very nice sight.
After two miles or so, the walk returned to Fraze and they gave people Hostess fruit pies or ice cream. Our party went for the ice cream (teeny tiny containers of strawberry - picture Taste portion, elsaf & judiang). We could have stayed for the final numbers (crowd size & money raised) but we decided to head back - it was almost an hour drive back.
Of course, having had the Chipotle's for supper, we decided we should stop at the nearest one for burritos for lunch the next day. Wearing our lovely Light the Night stickers as we went through the line, Jared & I both managed to get free burritos! We're still not sure why - after all, Melanie & Stephanie didn't. But hey, I'm not complaining! That was very nice of the lady at the till. (Could be she was to give out free burritos to the first X Light the Nighters who went through the line. We weren't sure.)
Anyhoo, Jared drove us all back to Troy where my car was waiting. Then I headed home, burrito & teddy bear by my side. (Dying balloon in the back seat, where it still resides.) I had intended to take my free burrito with me for lunch the next day. Of course, I forgot! (I don't pack lunches, so it takes some effort on my part to remember when to bring a lunch in. And Friday mornings, I just don't have that effort.) No matter, I had my burrito for supper!
BTW, if you still wish to contribute to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, you can still do so. You can contribute through this link, or go to their website.