On June 5-6, Team Affiliate Marketers Give Back set out on our 4th annual walk to fight breast cancer. This time, we took on the streets of Chicago for the 2010 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
Our team gathered on event eve at Gino's East of Chicago for a pre-walk team dinner consisting of lots of carbs (pizza and beer). Most of us got to bed early as we had to be up in time to make the 5:00am bus to the Opening Ceremony which was held at Soldier Field. It was an emotional event which gave us the motivation we needed to get walking as soon as they let us out the gates at 7:00am.
Day One's walk took us from Soldier Field through the beautiful neighborhoods of Chicago, many of which I've never seen before. 26.2 miles later, we crossed our first finish line at Warren Park — the site of the temporary Avon Wellness Village, where many of the walkers camp overnight.
Day two's 13.1 mile walk came way too early for some of us. Standing in line at 5:45am feeling sore and covered with blisters, I had to question my sanity for a moment. But after seeing a few of the folks that were walking that were currently going through chemo standing on line with me, I had a much better perspective on what I was about to set out to do.
The route was extraordinary today. The views along the water were stunning while the walk through the Cancer Survivor's Garden was met with mixed emotions of hope and sadness.
After a quick pit-stop at the Chicago Blackhawk's Store to pick up some shirts to support the team later that night, we were back on the road to Soldier Field where I crossed the finish line with Melissa Salas of Buy.com.
After months of fudraising, 39.3 miles walked, dozens of team blisters and aching muscles, I am proud to say that Affiliate Marketers Give Back raised our highest team amount to date: $73,058.81. Our team was the 5th largest fundraising team and I was the 3rd largest fundraiser overall.
I'd like to thank all of the people on my team, all of the folks that supported us with donations and words of encouragement along the way and the rest of the walkers that took on Chicago with us.
In total, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Chicago raised over $7.7 Million, most of which was distributed immediately at the Closing Ceremony to breast cancer organizations throughout the Chicago area to support the remarkable work they do in the fight against breast cancer; work that will someday rid the world of this disease.
We all have so much to be proud of as we showed the world what the power of a united community can do.