By Jesse Carr
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous - anxious really.
As we prepared to launch our inaugural stair climb with all an all-volunteer staff, everything that could possibly go wrong crossed my mind.
I worried that we wouldn't have enough climbers. I worried that we wouldn't find enough sponsors to cover costs. I was worried that we wouldn't have enough volunteers to run the event. You get the point, I was worried.
The closer and closer we got to the event I began to question myself. I began wondering if the time I was spending away from my family was worth it. I wondered if I was spending my own money on a good cause or just a program that would be mediocre until it died.
But as the climb neared and registration numbers started increasing, we began to see the fruits of our labor, and I was reminded of why we do what we do.
It didn't really hit me at 0500 when we showed up to the tower. I was focused on setting up, killing mosquito's, and trying to make sure I was prepared to answer all the questions I knew would be asked. However, as time passed and men and women in uniforms and gear began to arrive, I was reminded why it is we do this.
It reminded me not only who I was carrying, but like Clint Bruce said, who was carrying me.
The bagpipes with their sweet sound of Amazing Grace truly emphasized the mood and the moment as I watched my brothers and sisters in uniform make their way to the tower. Firefighters, police officers, paramedics, military veterans, and thankful men and women walked side by side.
In that moment no one was worried about what time they would get. In that moment we walked in silence, as the notes of that 236 year old hymn echoed off the pavement we were remembering and paying respect to those who have gone before us - we were recognizing the sacrifices made by our heroes.
Over the next week we will be crunching numbers and sorting through after action reports. Since our inception it has been our goal to be 100 percent transparent, and we aren't about to change that.
As soon as we have an exact lock on number of participants, amount of funds raised, and the amount spent on the event we will be publishing an article that will break down our operating costs for the event, as well as the money that was brought in for each charity.
Don't forget that if you still wish to donate money to either POAF, IAVA, or the Andy Allison Fund, you can still do that at http://www.goheroes.org/choose.html.
It is our intent to host this event again next year and to do that we would like your help. If you have positive or negative feedback to give us please use https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TBRMVMS.
If you have immediate concerns or requests please contact Jason@goheroes.org and Jesse@goheroes.org.
Thank you so much to our volunteers, the vendors who came out, and our sponsors who made this all possible.
And above all - thank you for joining us as we remember - respect - and recognize the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our community, state, and nation.