Friday, January 22, 2016

Freezin' for a Reason

Every once in awhile, you do something absolutely ridiculous. And sometimes, it's even for a really great cause!

These crazy people jumped into a freezing Lake Lou Yaeger!
We were excited to learn that our friends Eric and Stacy Lamb were participating in this year's Stamp Out Cancer fundraiser in memory of their daughter, Faith, who died last spring after a second round of cancer. As a fundraiser for Team Lamb, they hosted a "Freezin for a Reason" polar plunge on Jan. 16.  And I was thrilled.

Before the BIG plunge!
Okay, so I was thrilled because I knew it was something Kyle would be up for doing. I'm a big chicken, and it would take me weeks to warm up after jumping in the ice cold lake in January.  But, Kyle had already done one before, so I knew he would be up for the challenge.

On your mark, get set, GO!
And they're off!
With a little encouragement from Eric, Kyle signed up, and I graciously offered to go and take photos for the paper.  After all, someone had to be there to document the craziness for posterity!  And Kyle's mom offered to go along with us and help with Grace.  Kyle really wanted Grace to be able to come and see him, but I couldn't take photos for the paper and keep her warm, so we were glad Kim came.  When Kyle asked her she agreed and said she'd always told him to go jump in the lake!

I think the water might have been cold . . . 
Heading back to shore.
We arrived at the lake just before it started with about 50 participants signed up. Eric and Stacy welcomed everyone and said how much they appreciated everyone who came out to honor Faith. Some wore crazy costumes, lots wore Keeping the Faith shirts, and Kyle wore one of his Grace shirts, along with bright orange knickers and argyle socks. At one point he had on a hat, but it didn't make it out of the van.

The polar plunge itself was very well run, and safety was their main concern. Plungers headed into the lake in groups of four, ran out to a boat and collected a commemorative T-shirt from the event.  I stood on the beach taking photos of all the teams, and Kyle waited with his mom and Grace atop the hill.  As they called his name, Kyle made his way down the hill, slipping only slightly as he landed on the beach. Thankfully, he was okay, and made his way to the starting line, braving the cold water with three other participants.  

All smiles after the plunge!
It was only afterward he realized the only casualty of the day; he had forgotten that his cell phone was in his pocket when he ran into the lake. But, other than that, he said the plunge wasn't even too cold.

Grace had a BIG smile for Stacy and Sicily.
When he got changed into warmer, less soggy clothes, we enjoyed some cookies and other snacks as well as some music in the Fireman's Clubhouse.  Grace was a big fan of the cookies, and she enjoyed visiting with Stacy and Faith's younger sister, Sicily. She had such a big smile for them before we left.

Grace has her very own Super Faith shirt. "Because some heroes wear glitter and bows."
It was such a touching way to remember a little girl, whose bright smile inspired an entire community. Yes, Faith is gone way too soon. But we will always be Keeping the Faith on this Grace Filled Journey.


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