Archive for the 'Slices of Life as a SHIFTer' Category



Inside the SHIFT Studio: Jen Burns


  1. Name: Jennifer Burns
  2. Hometown: Sterling, MA
  3. Where did you go to college: Syracuse University
  4. How long have you worked at SHIFT: Almost 5 years
  5. Use four words to describe yourself: Sarcastic, confident, caring and efficient (according to my husband.
  6. What made you enter the PR industry: I loved writing, but didn’t want to be a journalist. I did some research and thought PR was a good fit for my skill set.
  7. When you Google yourself, what’s the first thing that pops up: Jennifer Burns is an author and Assistant Professor of History at the University of Virginia – her Website pops up.
  8. What blogs or Web sites do you read every day: CNN, MSN, People.com, Slate magazine, I scan a lot of different sites throughout the day.
  9. If there was a cocktail created just for you, what would you name it: The best glass of wine in the world.
  10. Tell us something unexpected/surprising about you: I wrote an 80-page story in the 3rd grade called The Space Race, but my babysitter borrowed it to read it and lost it on the bus. I have had writer’s block ever since.
  11. What do you feel is your greatest personal success in PR thus far? Happy clients you can use as references for new clients! It means all the work you do, from press hits, to plans to counsel is appreciated and effective.

 

Inside the SHIFT Studio: Amanda Grinavich

  1. Name:  Amanda Grinavich (@agrinavich)
  2. Hometown:  Born in Houston, raised right outside of Scranton, PA
  3. Where did you go to college?  Boston University
  4. How long have you worked at SHIFT?  I did two tours as an intern (Summer of ’09 and spring of ’10) before being hired in the beginning of April 2010!
  5. Use four words to describe yourself:  Red-headed (an adjective in itself, trust me), independent, ambitious, loyal
  6. What made you enter the PR industry?  The ability to write, be creative and build relationships with people. It combined everything I was looking for in a career.
  7. When you Google yourself, what’s the first thing that pops up?  My Twitter page!
  8. What blogs or Web sites do you read every day?  I have over 200 RSS feeds, so I read quite a bit. My favorites are: the New York Times, Politico, Seth Godin’s blog, Lifehacker, Mashable, Deadspin, Puck Daddy and, TechCrunch.
  9. If there was a cocktail created just for you, what would you name it?  The Firecracker
  10. Tell us something unexpected/surprising about you.  I geek out on hockey like no other.

The SHIFT Commute

by Cathy Filbin @catfilbin

Getting there

Whether you roll out of bed and walk to your computer, coffee in hand, or wakeup at 5:30 and are out the door by 7, somehow you get to work.  I’ve always found the commute to be a bit of a pain – it’s time, sometimes hours, you don’t get back in your day.  But I’ve learned to try and use this time to my advantage.

When I first started working at SHIFT we were in the Brighton office.  Commuting from Porter Square I realized I could take the bus and sit for 50 minutes, or I could walk and get there in an hour.  Most days I chose the walk because it gave me time to think, exercise and take in everything happening around me.  It was me time for my body and mind.  During this time I even conducted a sort of social experiment if you will.

As I walked through Harvard Square every morning I noticed a homeless man sitting outside of the CVS asking each passerby to spare a dollar.  While I wasn’t ready to spare a dollar every day, I thought what if I just say “Hi” to him?  It would show that I see him and respect him as a person; better than ignoring him every day, right?

Well I started saying “Hi” to this man every day.  At first he responded with the same phrase, “Can you spare a dollar for the homeless?”  Then after a while he grew to know me and started saying “Morning” in return.  I was happy with this – two people acknowledging each other, becoming a part of each other’s day.

After about a month or so he began asking me to “spare a dollar” again.  I felt let down – all this time he had been working to build a relationship with me just to get money out of me.  But then I thought about it and realized we’re really both doing the same thing – saying “Hi” to each other to add some value to our life.  I said “Hi” to him because I wanted to acknowledge his presence, but without having to give him a dollar every time I passed.  He said “Hi” to me in an effort to make his quota for the day.

Our relationship came to an end when SHIFT moved offices to Newton Corner.  Now our paths don’t cross every morning.  Now I walk though side streets, hop on the bus at Mount Auburn Hospital and read my latest book, Chango’s Fire, as I ride the 71 bus to the end-stop in Watertown Square.  While I am no longer conducting a social experiment of sorts, I find great personal value in the quiet of the Cambridge side streets and the ability to read undisturbed for 30 minutes.  In other words, my commute is an opportunity for me to do something just for me.

I always try – am not always successful, but try – to see my commute like this, as a journey.  So I thought it would be interesting to see what other SHIFTers’ commutes are like.  How do they spend their time?  Here’s a sampling of the answers I received (Thank you SHIFTers who contributed!).

SHIFTers’ getting there

Katie Boucher:
@kteb

During my commute I typically listen to the radio loudly to drown out the external noises of the cars on Storrow Drive. I tend to switch between NPR, WFNX and Matty in the Morning. I know drastically different – I like variety and hey, it is the spice of life.

Listening to the radio is a great mind release before starting a busy day. I’d call people, but I’m not really a morning person. I’d read a book, but that would be dangerous and I definitely do space out… equally dangerous.

Since I recently changed my commute as well, from traveling straight up 93-North to heading west on Storrow Drive, I get to watch the crew teams make their way down the Charles. Crew wasn’t a big thing in the South where I grew up, so it’s interesting to watch them as I drive… I know, just as distracting as reading a book or spacing out.

Erin Albright:
@erinealbright

My commute is a bit unpredictable, I take the 57 bus from Kenmore and that can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.  This of course makes scheduling a little difficult, though I have found getting into the office EARLY makes the commute shorter (go figure).  I ALWAYS have my iPod on and have, since the move, created numerous playlists that suit different commuting moods.  I consider it to be the most EPIC of FAILS to have a dead iPod during my commute.  I also use the time to check the news, Facebook and Twitter on my blackberry.  I like to catch-up on all the things I can’t always be on top of during the day.  Thank God for technology.

Laura Christo:
@LauraChristo

My commute is about 20 minutes in the car, but made even longer because I don’t have a parking spot near my apartment so my commute really starts when I walk my dog the half or full mile to wherever I parked my car the night before, throw her in the car, and drive us both back to my apartment so I can finish getting ready. If I’m really lucky, my boyfriend will go get the car in the morning (like today!) if he’s taking Sasha for a walk.

Then I always, always call my mom, either on the drive in or the drive out. I also listen to NPR religiously to try to get pitch ideas (nerd alert!).

Mike Fearon:
@MDFearon

When I’m not limousine ridin’ or jet flyin’, I can be found behind the wheel of a luxurious 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Every morning I tune into Toucher & Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub. It’s a sports talk show, but the guys balance a lot of pop culture, entertainment and sports that make me happy on my ride to the office. I really believe that a successful day starts with drinking a 22-ounce NOS energy drink and having a good laugh at last night’s drunken Bruins recap. I buy the NOS and T&R bring the laughs.

Afternoons also involve The Sports Hub, maybe some music from one of my favorite mix tapes and, believe it or not, creative brainstorming. Some of my most successful/off-the-wall ideas have been dreamed up during my ride home. The evening commute also serves as a decompression chamber that slowly eliminates the day’s stresses and preps me for a relaxing night – it also keeps me from succumbing to the bends.

Yeah my commute is bad, but things like T&R, 80s hair metal, 90s gangster rap and being alone with my thoughts help me survive the long and lonesome road.

Justine Massiello:
@jmassiello

Since moving to NJ and working out of the SHIFT NYC office my commute has drastically changed. I used to live in Brighton so my commute was a breeze! Now I get up at 5:30, workout, shower and I’m out the door no later than 7a.m. My fiancé drives me to the train station and I take about an hour train ride to NY Penn Station. Depending on how tired I am the commuting activities can vary. For the first 15 minutes I usually eat a granola bar and wake up. Then I’ll check everyone’s Facebook see if there is anything pressing I’ve missed since I went to sleep, then I’ll check out Twitter to see what stories people are chatting about which usually leads me to reading for about 20 minutes or so. Right now I’m reading a really good book so that takes up a lot of my time. Once I get to Penn Station it’s like a circus. People are so aggressive!  I’ll normally walk to the office which is about a 20 min walk, but I love it because I get to see all things New York!

The commute home I normally take the subway back to Penn station where I get off at 34th Street in Herald Square which is right where Macys is!  I get to walk by Macys, Sephora, Sworski, and H&M everyday, it’s dangerous!  Once I get to Penn Station is when I start my main commuting activity, people watching. These people are unreal, they act like they are NEVER going to get home, and the train they are boarding is the last train on earth. It’s hilarious.

How do you get there?

How do you spend your commute?  Is it valuable or lost time in your day?  We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading.

SF’s SHIFTers (Holiday) Party the Night Away!

By John Cassillo, @JohnCassillo

After a year of working in the trenches together, the San Francisco SHIFT team got a well-deserved break from the action last night at our annual holiday party.  Joy and merriment were plentiful, as were the laughs, songs and slips while ice skating.

 ‘Twas the SHIFT holiday party, and all through the office

Not a creature was stirring—err, I mean talking.

Our skaters arrived, at the rink in Union Square,

In hopes that everyone knew how to get there.

The SHIFTers were nestled all snug in their skates,

While they wouldn’t fall, their style was not great.

Some off drinking cider, Coop completing a lap,

A man sang Otis Redding, then was off with a dash.

Leaving for the hotel, there arose such a clatter—

Some moaned and groaned; they knew what was the matter.

“I’m taking a cab!” Jen said in a flash,

But with no one to share with, it was way too much cash.

So walking for just 15 minutes or so,

they met up with Erin and Kris Konietzko.

When what, to my wondering eyes should appear,

But an open bar with wine, and our favorite beer.

With a gorgeous view of the bay, the wind couldn’t whip

Hard enough to get these SHIFTers inside for a bit.

More rapid than eagles our co-workers came,

They arrived in spurts, but all showed just the same.

There was Justin and Cathy, Annie, Kristine and Cara,

Daniella and Audrey, Matt, Kate and Becca.

They were out on the porch, they were out in the hall

They were in the room with apps, like mozzarella balls.

As the music, it blared into the night sky,

Someone cracked a joke about that Kid Cudi guy.

So then up to the rooftop, Jen’s favorite song flew

She insisted that we turn it off—wouldn’t you?

And then, in an instant, we saw something groove—

It was Kris, breaking out some entertaining dance moves.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Mariah Carey had replaced all other sounds.

They were singing and dancing, from their head to their feet

Champagne glasses in hand, yet the carpet stayed neat.

A chorus of noise looped over and back

The next day some cringed—but they could not take it back.

Their eyes—how they twinkled! Their dimples—how merry!

Their cheeks were like roses, more red than a cherry!

I laughed from my mouth, with the impromptu show

A fantastic performance—I would have paid to go.

As I bit through pizza, with some great sauce and cheese,

Justin insisted bleu was his preferred delicacy.

Jim arrived with a broad face, and some pride in the Celtics,

He laughed at the blow the Knicks could have dealt them.

He was humble and glad he had come to the West

Then he went on his way, and wished us the best.

A blink of my eye and a twist of my head,

Some were all partied out—I wanted to sleep in a bed.

We all exchanged words—some said “Kanye’s a jerk,”

–That was my cue, my retort well-rehearsed.

Grabbing our jackets, and all other clothes,

Most just gave a nod, before the elevator showed.

We sprang to our sleighs, to each their own whistle,

And away we all flew like the down of a thistle.

But the SHIFTers exclaimed, as they drove out of sight—

“Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night.”

 

SHIFT Globe Trotter: Alex Brooks – Tenga Un Buen Viaje!

I spent the first week of November in Spain. It was my first time there, so the natural choice would have been to visit some combination of Madrid and Barcelona. But since Gordon, my boyfriend/travel companion, had already been to both cities, we opted to go to Seville instead. It was an absolutely fantastic choice.

There are plenty of reasons to love Seville—its Mediterranean climate offers a welcome reprieve from New England falls and winters; it’s a very walk-able city and not too big, so it’s easy to master the layout and have a decent sense of where you are [even for the directionally challenged, like me]; though it feels like the dollar will never catch up to the Euro, Seville is actually quite budget-friendly: a glass of wine is one or two Euro, tapas restaurants are affordable and delicious, and some of the main attractions are actually free (there was no charge at the museum when we were there). But for a history nerd like me, the best part was exploring in-depth the things that textbooks mention in passing.

I could talk all day about what to do and see in Seville (as, I imagine, could Christina Feeney, who studied abroad there during college!), but if you ever find yourself there, here is a quick list of my favorite things to do/see.

Bon Voyage! Or as they say in Spain, ¡tenga un buen viaje!

  • Real Alcazar – Seville’s royal palaces, which the king and queen still use when they visit the city. This is an example of a complex that has been built and added to over centuries, and incorporates old Moorish structures. They don’t offer tours with an actual guide, so definitely read up on the palace before you go so you understand what you’re seeing.
  • Cathedral – The largest cathedral in Europe. It was built on the foundations of a mosque, and aspects of the mosque, the courtyard in particular, are still part of the cathedral. Columbus’ tomb is here.
  • Museo de Bellas Artes – The museum is actually an old convent which is architecturally lovely. There is lots of Renaissance, Baroque and Medieval Christian art, but there’s also more modern work on display. The chapel of the convent is unbelievably gorgeous and is now covered in fabulous Murillo paintings—he was a native of Seville.
  • Archive of the Indies – Columbus’ journey was Spain’s foray into New World exploration, and for years Seville was the hub of New World trade because its river was a protected port. In the late 1700s it was decided that Spain needed to archive every text, letter and decree concerning New World trade and exploration, and they made the old merchant exchange the Archive of the Indies. Letters from all those explorers you learn about in grade school – Magellan, Cortes, Cabeza de Vaca, Ponce de Leon – are on display.
  • Parque Maria Luisa – Seville’s version of Central Park. One of the things we didn’t get a chance to do was rent bikes, which would be a great way to see the city, but I also think that it would be a great way to explore the park’s enchanting gardens, pathways and buildings. Absolutely spend a few hours here, picnicking and unwinding after a morning of sightseeing.
  • The Alhambra – You have to see it to believe it. The Alhambra is in Granada, which is about a three hour train from Seville, but it’s a doable day trip and completely worth it. A highlight is seeing the exact spot where Isabel gave Columbus the funds for his voyage to America, about a week after the Alhambra fell to her and Ferdinand. Our guide told us that it’s Europe’s second most frequented tourist site, after the Vatican. Just be careful of the overly-aggressive, fortune-telling gypsies who basically tackle you when you leave. Apparently Gordon and I will be blessed with only sons.

SHIFT Takes Field Trip to ABC’s “7Live”

By: Daisy Kong

At the San Francisco office this week, a few lucky SHIFTers went on a cool field trip to check out the local ABC affiliate’s new TV show, “7Live.” Unlike most afternoon talk shows, it’s broadcasted live in front of a studio audience and covers breaking news, technology and popular culture. Hosted by Brian Copeland, the show also features on-air correspondents, Jennifer Jolly and Lizzie Bermudez.

What was especially neat and refreshing about 7Live was how social media was used throughout the show. Brian, the host, kicks off the show by introducing the big stories of the day and immediately asks viewers at home to share their thoughts on Facebook (see show’s FB fan page here) and Twitter (see handle here). As the comments and tweets start to roll in, Jennifer and Lizzie share and discuss the most interesting ones on the show.

Additionally, the show makes it a point to ask for commentary from their Voice Box aka their live studio audience.  Our very own Jessica was selected to sound off on whether it should be legal to deny employment to the overweight and obese.

Speaking for myself, this was a great opportunity for SHIFTers (especially the junior staff) to see first-hand how a news show is produced and taped for TV. More often than not, most PR folks won’t get this kind of exposure to broadcast until they need to staff a studio interview for their clients. SHIFT – thanks for letting us get this experience under our belts!

From Bollywood to Boston – One Globe Trotter’s Adventures in PR

By Puneet Sandhu (@puneet86)

At the beginning of 2008, I was on the other side of the world, pretty content with my life at home in Delhi, India. By fall, I was on a plane that would get me to Boston—my first international flight, and one that would kick off my new life here in the United States. And it all revolved around one thing: public relations.

A large part of my experience with PR in India involved growing up under a father who practiced it—and got it right. But when I started doing internships, I saw that, for the most part, the Indian PR industry was years behind U.S. PR. And my judgment was based on what I had seen my father do, and any books on the subject that I found only in the one bookstore that was known for selling rare books.

But that wasn’t the only thing that was different about PR in India. Now that I have been here two years, and have a sense of the PR industry back home thanks to my family, I have more clarity on some of the essential differences. Of course, these are all generalizations but here are the major differences between India PR and American PR, in my opinion:

  • There is NO “Cision.” Yup, you read that right. Even with this very helpful tool, PR is hard enough to do, but a lot of the work I did on this front in India was done manually. I would call each publication on a list and try to figure out the most appropriate contact. Of course, that also increases your chances of hostile conversations with the outlet, of which I have had more than my fair share. More on that below!
  • Media hostility. That’s a big one. A lot of countries, including India, lack a thorough understanding of what PR does, and it seems to have earned a reputation for being “shady and deceptive” (– words spoken by none other than a senior faculty member who taught me…communications. Sad, I know). This does carry over into the media circle, which is sometimes annoyed by our kind J. The result: more media-PR friction than you witness here in the U.S.
  • Press releases. Back home, I would first email the press release to my media contact, and then I would follow up regarding whether or not they would carry it. What we do here is the reverse: we try to get them interested in a briefing, and then supply a release. This is the biggest illustrator of how PR follows a two-way communication model (remember that from school, anyone?) in the U.S., but in a lot of PR markets that are still catching up, there seems to be a one-way flow.
  • Press conferences. This is changing, but what I’ve seen a lot of agencies in India do is call press conferences, whether or not their announcement warrants it, regardless of the type/size/reputation of the client they represent. Now that 24/7 news cycles and vicious competition have become the norm in Indian media, PR pros understand that no one has time to come to a press conference for your health clinic client, launching a new cream (Yes, I attended that).

These are just some of the differences that I have come across in my time here, at school and at work. While even in the U.S., we have lots more to do to help shape the future of PR, it is safe to say that this country’s industry remains a good example to learn from for currently developing markets.

Someday, I’ll make it back home. And I’m going to take Cision with me. :)

And, because I can’t author a post on India without it, here is one of my favorite Bollywood videos, for your enjoyment!

The Balancing Act

By Jen Burns (@jlburns)

When a fellow SHIFTer asked me to write a post for the Slice blog, I told her I would be delighted to get started. And when she explained she wanted me to write about the importance of striking a harmonious balance between work and home now that I’m a new mommy, I wanted to rip my hair out.

Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe this is an important topic, regardless of whether you’re married or single, have kids or a cat. Separating church and state, your personal life from your professional life, is something that all PR practitioners struggle to manage perfectly. It’s the nature of the client services business.

The real issue was I felt type-cast because I recently had a baby – I was branded a “mommy”. There was so much more to me, so much more I could contribute, than just a post about being a mommy and balancing this new experience with my career.

But then I started to really think – was there more to me than just being a mommy? Yes, I do like to read, I love going out to dinner with friends, I like long walks on the beach, yada, yada, yada. Honestly, as my sister loves to say, let’s keep it real – with a six-month old at home, there really isn’t much going on in my life right now that doesn’t revolve around my adorable bundle of joy. It was time for me to get over myself and face the fact that, yes, I was now officially in the mommy club. Accept it and move on.

So now that I’m a card-carrying member, what does that mean for me as a PR professional? What has changed, if anything? Personally, the biggest adjustment has been my working style. I am a procrastinator by nature, but it’s never been a problem because I think I work pretty efficiently and effectively when pressed for time.  My managers would probably agree I rarely miss a deadline and my professors would never know I wrote those 15-page term papers six hours before they were due with a bottle of red wine on my desk.

But now that I have a little one to get home to, I am constantly trying to stay well ahead of my to-do list. Of course, this is near impossible in PR, when projects and emergencies and last-minute results reports suddenly pop up. But I’m getting better, and I will admit it’s a lot less stressful to stay one step ahead when I can. I won’t make the leap and say my procrastinating days are behind me (blasphemy), but I think my time management skills have improved as a result of my mommy status.

The real key, however, to balancing your personal and professional life when you have a family is to surround yourself with understanding and supportive co-workers. You know you work with some good eggs when your manager tells you she’ll sit in on the 5 pm call so you can get home to your little one, even though you know it’s really your responsibility. Or when you have to leave work early because you think your baby is going deaf and you rush him to the doctor only to have him make a fool out of you in front of your pediatrician who is convinced you are an over-protective, overreacting, helicopter parent, and your other manager just laughs at you and says, “We’ve all been there, but don’t ever hesitate to do that again – his health is priority number one.” Or when you send a thousand photos of your kid to anyone who seems the least bit interested in your stories, only to have them beg you to send them more. Are these kind SHIFTers just humoring me in all my new mommy glory? Nah, not a chance – they just can’t resist this face:

So Long South! Hello Beantown!

By Ciri Haugh (@chaugh)

When I was offered a job at SHIFT, I jumped at the opportunity to work with such a great agency and group of PR professionals!  However, this required a move across the country from Texas to Boston.  The move coupled with a completely new area, job and circle of friends has been quite a transition, to say the least!  When you are establishing yourself at a new company, you don’t want to let the stress of learning a new area affect your overall experience! Here are my own personal tips for getting established in a new area:

1.   Make the city your own

Every city, especially Boston, has its own vibe and culture. It’s important to explore and find what you enjoy most! Ask for recommendations, read local publications and connect on social media to give a more well-rounded local perspective.

2.    Meet as many people as you can

I moved out to Boston without knowing anyone from Texas or Minnesota. It’s hard to believe but I don’t have family out here, either – and I have a large family!  So, my first few weeks in Boston were devoted to meeting as many people as possible. Some of my closest friends are people I work with at SHIFT or people I’ve met through SHIFT (minus my roommates, of course).

3.   Find things that connect you with your home

Although I’m not originally from Texas, I consider it one of two places I call home (Minnesota is my other home base).  When I want to feel back in Texas but not physically be in Texas, I try to attend events hosted by my college’s alumni association (the Texas Exes).  Now that it’s college football season, I’ll have a place to hang out every Saturday – and with people who can relate to what real Mexican and BBQ tastes like!

4.   Get involved at work (and with work functions)

This is not necessarily an option for everyone but one of the best decisions I made, when I got to Boston, was jumping in with SHIFT’s infamous softball team, the Benchwarmers 2.0.  I am not an athlete and would never have participated in something like this anywhere else, but it was a great way to meet other SHIFTers from outside my team who I might not work with everyday.  Additionally, I try to consistently contribute to our office’s events (i.e. making guacamole) and am assisting on 2.0 Task Force. These activities have been so helpful in my transition into a new office and professional role!

Three months in Boston has flown by for me – though if you ask some SHIFTers, they’ll swear I’ve been here longer! Obviously, every person has to figure out how to make a transition after a huge move work best for them but hopefully, the above will give you a great jumping off point.  What makes a move even better is having a lot of support also, which I can say from personal experience, has been one of the greatest things about working for SHIFT – the support from colleagues (and now friends).

Ciri in the city

The Walk of a Lifetime

 

 By Suzanne Aronowitz @suzaron

A few weekends ago I participated in the 2010 Susan G. Komen Boston 3-Day for the Cure.  What is that exactly?  Just a casual 60-mile stroll through Boston for breast cancer.  Casual it’s not, but now that it’s over and my feet have started to heal, I can say without any sarcasm that it was an amazing experience!  Picture thousands of walkers, volunteers and crew members dressed up in a variety of pink outfits joining together to fight for a common cause.  Side by side with my best friend, @sanndeni and I met some amazing people as we powered from suburb to suburb for three days until we reached UMass Boston where our friends and family greeted us with the best possible gift….flip flops!

Having participated in the Boston 3 Day back in 2007, I recognized a bunch of walkers from three years ago.  What’s amazing is that a lot of people take on this feat year after year.  Not only is the actual walk extremely challenging, but there are months of preparation as well.  In addition to the training time people put in (note to self: next time train!), each participant is required to raise $2,300.  It really is the people that make this experience worth it.  We spoke with one walker who finished chemotherapy just three weeks ago.  Another has been a cancer survivor for 35 years and does this walk every year so that her grandchildren don’t have to suffer the way she did.  By the end, every single step becomes painful, but it’s impossible to give up when you’re surrounded by such strength.

While the walkers are predominately female, there are a bunch of men who participate.  In addition to the famous Men With Heart crew, a staple at the  Boston 3 Day for the last seven years is George.  George lost both his wife and daughter to breast cancer.  We encountered George during the first day walking through Wellesley and he became one of our favorites to spot throughout the weekend.  George had a full length walking stick, an enormous backpack and was singing Hallelujah as he trucked along.  Whenever George made it to the next pit stop, meal or the end of the day finish line, he would yell “Honey, I’m home” at the top of his lungs.  George is just one example of the inspirational people we met who will literally walk the world to find a cure for Breast Cancer.

Will I participate again?  I’ve been asked this over and over during the last week.  Sure, tent life isn’t exactly a dream come true after 20 miles of walking.  Nor are porta potties for three days straight.  But the answer is yes, I definitely will.  It might take a year or so for me to get the courage to embark on this journey again, but it’s a cause I hold dear to my heart and if George can do it, so can I!



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