As I close Buttons of Hope verse one...I'd like to acknowledge and thank some very special people** who were behind the buttons. Thanks for believing in me and supporting this brave idea...
**you know how it is after six years you're bound to overlook someone ~ my apologies...if it's you please send me a note..it's really important to me that I remember everybody!
For more about whats going on please read Buttons of Hope...a beautiful poem | verse one complete
Writing this...this song seemed perfect I think
Rhonda for everything...plus making it OK to chase a dream(s)
Ryan & Emily for always being there no matter how crazy your Dad's ideas are
Mom for the always smart, sensible advice and for keeping tabs on my employee
Dad employee one, the only other person authorized to make buttons (the IPO was gonna be huge)
Aunt Teresa and the Lewis clan (Dale) for meaning so much to me in my life and then for letting me honor Dale with the very first button of hope
Mary & John Kelker (Janine) What Dale started as a spark Janine stoked into a flame - thank you for honoring me with your friendship and for allowing me to share your beautiful daughter Janine's story
Carroll Foster (Codie) one of the first Mom's I came to know who had lost a child...I've learned so, so much about life from these most courageous of Moms
Paul Burton for giving life to an idea by designing the website and best logo ever
Brian Bowers for adding the PHP website tech magic that made it all work
Jason Toff for making those very first buttons of hope and supporting me along the way
Molly Barker for inspiring me with who you are and what you do, plus coffee
Seth Godin without Purple Cow, your blog, your friendship this would not be possible
Spencer Lueders for introducing me to cycling, fundraising and of course Lance!
Margaret & Terry Cokeley (Elizabeth) for allowing all of us to bask in the sunshine of your daughter one of the most beautiful and nicest people I will ever meet
Scott and Anita Elam (Brandon) for having the most courageous and unselfish young man I will ever have the joy and honor to know and to the Dad who still proudly wears his son's button everyday!
Amy & Tim & Grace Potvin (Ellie) for having this wonderful little girl who "specialized in kindness" who will live in all of our hearts forever
Stuart & Shelby Stout (Hope) hard to imagine there will be a more unselfish, beautiful epxression of pure hope than Hope Stout
Nicole Kenney (Bill) for your inspiring devotion to your brother & your fundraising exuberance
Jamie Hushower (Dameon) for a special bravery in honoring a loved one lost to the most challenging of causes suicide
Becky and Tom Giblin (Rachel) I never met Rachel but Rhonda and I were with her on the MS ride when she was tragically killed we will ALL always carry a little bit of Rachel in ours hearts
Tom Barry (Lee Anne) all Tom and Lee Ann knew was riding bikes to help others - until Lee Ann was killed on just such a ride about 15 minutes before I was to meet her to ride the final few miles - such a tragic loss
Steve Hallmark for your dedication to a friend, Janine taken far too young
Regan White for capturing perfectly what Buttons of Hope was and still is about
Joan Petruski for giving 120% to the second most challenging of causes missing adults and for believing more than anyone in the power of personal billboards
Diana Wiles for your fearlessness and for your amazing words on behalf of BOH in Seth Godin's Purple Cow page 193
Jen Sherrel & Lisa Moon or the "oyster girls" whose courage is only surpassed by their humor and warmth
Michelle Brown for loving your son and Tony's buttons always in ALL CAPS!
Kyle Fleischmann's family & friends....I wish things didn't get so confused glad I was able to help in some small way
Scott Helms & his Mom Wendy for introducing me to Elizabeth & designing the original "Road to Recovery" button
Michele Kwok (Dad) whose story about running to honor her Dad just stuck with me
Pamela and Karen "California" for just being a pleasure to deal with and for completing the triple crown of fundraising
Cristina & Ray Cassidy for making the NC Special Olympics buttons a little less crazy and much more special
MojoRiding cycling team so many of you made buttons and raised over $550,000 along the way!
Gary Steelman for your friendship and for caring enough to help me find a way to make this dream a reality
Dennis Milligan for putting me on TV more than anyone should
There are hundreds of other stories I heard, I tried to write about as many as I could...looking back I wish I had written hundreds more...Buttons of Hope was ultimately about the stories, about helping people find a way to honor a loved one or support a friend to put a face on their cause...in one way it was so, so simple and yet in another way so profound and powerful.
Thank you to all until we meet again to share more stories...GodSpeed...Hallelujah indeed!