Friday, July 3, 2015

My Hero Goes By Grace

Several months ago, some of the organizers of this year's Raymond Independence Day celebration asked us if they could host this year's 5K event for Grace and another little boy named Cooper.  Each year, they sponsor the event, which also include a one-mile run, a half-mile run and a five-mile bike ride, in honor of a family with some kind of medical needs.

SuperGrace and her family!
We were so honored that they picked Grace for this year's event on Saturday, June 27.  The theme of this year's celebration was "Everyday Heroes," and participants were encouraged to dress up as their favorite everyday heroes.

After it was announced that the race would benefit Grace and Cooper, several members of the Lincolnwood High School class of 1999, which is Kyle's graduating class, decided they were going to do the run together.

Grace and her fans from the Armour family
Just a few weeks ago, one of those alumni, Megan Beeler, texted me a picture of some special shirts they ordered and asked if we would like some.  And of course we said, yes! On the front of the shirts, it had a Superman logo with a big G in the middle, and on the back they said, "My Hero Goes By Grace." Except that Grace's shirt, just says "Grace" on the back.  How cute is that!

SuperGrace and her SuperFans
On the morning of the event, we had to get up extra early.  The race started at 7:30 in the morning to beat the heat, and that's a little earlier than this Herschelman clan usually gets up.  But somehow or other, we managed to get there before the race started.

It was really neat to see Kyle's classmates in their SuperGrace shirts.  There were also several of his family members wearing their "Grace-Filled Journey" shirts.  I'm getting close to having enough Grace shirts to wear one every day of the week, and I love it!  It seems like mine are always in the wash.

Cooper and his brother Carter crossing the finish line dressed as firefighters.
We got Grace set up in her stroller, and the three of us walked with Kyle's mom, his aunt Angie and cousin Katelyn for most of the course.  We ended up taking a modified 5K route, since Grace was getting a little tired of sitting, but it gave us the chance to cheer on some of the participants as they crossed the finish line.

Our family with Cooper and his family.
Grace and Cooper!
About 150 people participated in the race, and they raised more than $2,500 in the fundraiser. Funds were split equally between Grace and Cooper's family. They even presented us with a BIG check on stage later that evening.

The BIG check!
One of my favorite parts of the race was after Cooper's family got done, and they brought Cooper over to talk to Grace. The two just smiled at each other, not having any idea what an inspiration they have both become to so many.  Another inspiration came after the race when one of our dear friends, Alexis Wersning, came over to the race wearing her "Grace Filled Journey" shirt. We had a good time visiting with her, and Grace even posed in an Illini hat, just for Alexis.

Grace and one of her biggest fans, Alexis Wernsing!
And while my hero does go by Grace, my heroes are also all the people that participated in the race or helped in any way to make it such a special day for our family. Each and every one of you is an everyday hero in our book!


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