Last Thursday was a busy day. I started out by flying into Chicago O’Hare, and giving a program for Chicago area home schooled high school girls. This program was made possible by the annual fundraiser for the Girls Fight Back Foundation, which grants programs to groups who do not have the funding for it. It’s really great to give this life saving information to those who need it.
After the program for home schooled girls, I headed to Lake Forest College. I gave two programs to these enthusiastic students, and ended the night learning how to whoop some ass in the campus chapel. (Always an interesting, yet slightly sacrilegious experience…) I had the privilege to hang out with a fairly new Alpha Phi chapter on campus, who were all awesome and had great ideas for more merchandise for the GFB online store. (more details to come) See Charlie’s Angels-esqe photo above of myself, scary bad guy Jarod and the Alpha Phi girls.
On Saturday I headed to the Chicago ‘burbs for dinner with the McNamara family (Shannon’s parents and the extended clan) After dinner, a fundraiser took place for Shannon’s Memorial Scholarship Fund at the pub, and the Charelston Sound Machine performed. (Both my and Shannon’s fave band from college, and our good friends as well.) As usual, they rocked.
And for the grand finale of my Chi-Town Extravaganza, this morning was the annual 5k Run to benefit the Scholarship Fund as well. I decided to run it, and my lungs were simply hating me for it. (Still adjusting to running in the brisk cold) But it was good, and a great turnout as always. It’s amazing to me how people just refuse to forget our Shannon Mac, even after more than four years after her untimely death. It actually reminds me of the moment I decided to pursue GFB. It was the day of Shannon’s wake, back in June 2001. At the time I didn’t know Shannon’s mom, Cindy. (But now she’s like a second mother to me.) Anyway, I overheard her talking to another woman, and she said, “I am just so afraid that Shannon will be forgotten.” I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “Oh no, I don’t think so…”
On a daily basis, the McNamara’s struggle with ever present feelings of loss and tragedy. But knowing Shannon’s legacy is very much remembered and celebrated…I guess that’s all those who have lost a loved one could ask for.