Monday, February 21, 2011

Good Vibrations

I love the colorful clothes she wears 

And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair 

I hear the sound of a gentle word 

On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air 

I'm pickin' up good vibrations 

She's giving me excitations 

I'm pickin' up good vibrations 

She's giving me excitations
Good, good, good, good vibrations 
She's giving me excitations
Good, good, good, good vibrations 
She's giving me excitations

I began to notice it the night before as Maddie and her friend sat at the kitchen island with Donna making signs.  They filled board after board with sayings like "Go Team Crowley", "Make A Muscle, Make A Heart", and "Pompe Power".  It continued the next morning as soon as Emma and Carter's friends began walking through the door.  The mood was clearly upbeat, in fact, a bit festive.  Within minutes the house was filled, filled with the excitement that frequently comes along with voices of young people.  It was filled with Good Vibrations, as today was the MDA Walk.

In a previous post, I spoke about the importance of the day, what it meant to our family, and hopefully what it would mean to others.  The post was a bit "heavy" carrying on from our experience at the MDA Muscle Summit back in October.  Today was different. For us, today was not a day for reflection as much as it was a day for celebration.  

When we arrived at the mall and welcomed friend after friend we were nearly brought to tears.  We expected a big turnout, but seeing everyone was overwhelming. Everyone was in a great mood, ready to walk, ready to support our girls, and anyone there with muscular dystrophy.  As Donna and I greeted the members of Team Crowley clad in red, white and blue, we saw great signs and shirts.  The signs covered the spectrum from "Crowley Crusade" to "Emma and Maddie R RedHot", and to "Emma and Maddie are Hot Tamales" (both with the boxes of candy glued to the board of course.)  The homemade t-shirts varied from those painted with "CC" for Crowley Crusade to a family of five who spelled out P-O-M-P-E on the front and P-O-W-E-R on the back.  Awesome! 

After a quick 3-2-1 kickoff, the walk began and the Good Vibrations continued.  One of our friends decided to lead Maddie and her friends in cheers as they walked through the mall.  The chants "I say Emma, you say Crowley", "I say Maddie, you say Crowley", and "I say Carter, you say Wooh!" filled the mall.  It's amazing how loud a group of 12 year old girls can be.  Next, came the Zumba dancers who were there to entertain the crowd. When Maddie's team found them, the signs dropped, the girls headed to the dance floor (along with their leader), and Zumba began.  Even Carter joined in.  I know funny, and that was funny.  

The festive atmosphere continued through the morning as Donna and I tried to speak with everyone we could and thank them for coming.  Each and every person said there were impressed by the turnout and genuinely pleased to share the day with so many other great people supporting a great cause.  The attendees included friends and neighbors, our fantastic nurse from CHOP, and a few people who have held our hand through this entire process and by doing so have become family.

At the end of the walk all the teams gathered around as Page from the MDA read off the awards.  Several teams won prizes or awards including a door prize for Emma's Key Club and a plaque to the Crowley Crusade for the largest team.  Through the great work at Emma's school and the support of so many of you, we jointly raised nearly $8,000 with the MDA total for the day at $55,000.  A great success!

On the drive home our friend who took the lead cheering on Maddie's group of girls was asked why he did what he did, cheering, dancing, etc.  His response was, "Did you see Maddie's face?  Did you see her smile?  That's why."  When I heard that I sat down, reviewed the day and wondered how we got so lucky, so lucky to find a group of people who would take time out of their lives to raise money, spread the word, and walk with us on an early Sunday morning if nothing else than to bring a smile to our daughter's face.

On behalf of the Crowleys, please accept this sincere thanks to every person who had us in their thoughts, donated to this event, and walked side by side with us yesterday.  You unexpectedly filled our hearts with...              

Good, good, good, good vibrations 

All for Two and Two for All!

Credit to: The Beach Boys, "Good Vibrations"

Making signs the night before

Carter and Emma's friends

Someone told me this was the first sign 
they saw and it only got better

Maddie, her friends, and their loyal leader

Zumba anyone?

Some members of Team Crowley