There are some moments in life that stand still in time…
I was having one of the best summers of my life. I was an elementary school teacher and for the first time in my teaching career, I took the summer off and headed to the beach! Newport Beach, California.
Early one morning I got a phone call that brought me to my knees… my mom told me she had breast cancer!
I felt so helpless, I was living across the country and didn’t know what to do. Unfortunately, my family was no stranger to a breast cancer diagnosis. It took my grandmothers life years earlier. In fact, she had one of the first mastectomies but unfortunately the cancer infiltrated her bones and she died a very slow and painful death.
Thank God for medical advances and early detection, my mom has a different story to share. She became a survivor!!! Although she did undergo chemotherapy and radiation, as well as having a double mastectomy, she now has been cancer free for 21 years. What a blessing!
I always wanted to do something in memory of my grandmother and in honor of my mother and three of of gal pal survivors.
So years later….
I was no longer an elementary school teacher. I was now married, a mother of two and the proud owner and instructor of Happy Hour Fit Club (an outdoor boot camp workout for women)
I love being the motivating force for our group to participate in local races. We did mud runs, 5 and 10ks, sprint triathlons and fun obstacle course races which all benefited various charities.
Then one day, I felt God tap me on the shoulder - He said, “Kerrie, it’s time to do something bigger.” I know He blessed me with a powerful group of women for a reason and I was going to soon understand why.
So I had a crazy idea. What if we participated in the Susan G Komen- 33 mile 2 day walk. I jumped on the computer to find out the details and soon felt deflated. We need to raise $2800 per walker to participate, not to mention the walk was only a few months away!
The following day I brought up this crazy idea at class and before I knew it 8 women were ALL IN!!!! Within the week we got together and made shit happen. We ordered pink shirts, planned trainings and strategized how we were going to raise $22,400!
We decided we were going to throw an amazing party to reach our fundraising goal. We delegated the responsibilities and began to round up amazing silent and live auction items, created ideas to generate donations (the amazing “Wine Pull” was my favorite) we booked a venue and a DJ and started to get the word out on social media.
The party was a HUGE success, it was filled with music, friends, laughter, a desert bar, cocktails, a photo booth and our community showed up BIG!!!!
We exceeded our goal and raised $28,000!!!!
The walk itself was an incredible experience.… We walked through beautiful Santa Barbara, California stopped and had picnic lunches, chatted with other survivors and although our feet were blistered we crossed that finish line with smiles on our faces.
It wasn’t until a few months later I realized the power of our community. How alone I can do so little but together we can do so much.
Over the past 10 years our group has raised over $150,000 for various charities. Two organizations that are near and dear to my heart: The Los Alamitos Education Foundation and Honoring our Fallen.
We have also given back to our local community. We’ve helped a family whose home burnt down, organized meal trains, made gift baskets and prayed and supported those who are hurting or sick.
This group is nothing short of amazing. To think how we have loved each other through the trials and tribulations of life - it’s priceless.
I’ve always believed that when God gives you a special gift or blessing it is not for you to keep to yourself. It is to be given away. And that’s just what we do at Happy Hour Fit Club.
In Wellness & Friendship,