Wow!  How many analogies or cliches  can I use:   I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Time to show ’em what you’re made of…Do or die….  Or from the runners: I can see the finish line! Okay that’s it.  But the analogy I like most is that planning our 8th Annual Making Tracks for Celiacs event in the Twin Cities has been a bit like planning a wedding — but the focus is on a community not the bride and groom.

This year, in order to preserve volunteers, or organization decided to pay someone (me) to coordinate the event and basically take on the brunt of the work.  I was happy to do it.  As a volunteer for this event for seven years and a mom now staying home, I liked the idea of getting even more involved.

So I did.  Now, unless you’ve organized a big fundraiser, you just don’t know all the work that goes into it:  writing letters and news releases; asking for donations; organizing donations; asking for publicity; getting the celiac community revved up; getting, organizing and inspiring volunteers; receiving boxes of generous donations; getting them to the venue; getting food licensure from the state; and several meetings.  This doesn’t even count the things other people did — tshirt ordering and organizing, door prize and raffle organization, registration prep, brochure and poster creation, day-of volunteer coordinating, table and canopy rentals, insurance, and more!  It’s crazy.

This is where the wedding analogy comes in.  The day of the celiac fundraiser is coming whether we like it or not.  We do the best we can to be as ready as we can be and let it all unfold.  We try to enjoy it as much as we can — despite running around like crazy.  And just like your wedding day, there’s nothing much more you can do to make it perfect — just let it happen.

When the Making Tracks for Celiacs event happens it’s like a celebration.  The celiac kids are so fun to watch!  They are crazy for the food!  They safely run around and try whatever they want, play games and just have a day that’s about them. For adults it’s different.  It’s about awareness, education, trying new foods and finding out if you like them, and creating a community.

Next thing you know six hours of going strong and pulling the event off — is over.  You’re exhausted, need to sit down and you know you’ve done your best job.  And you have a revelation — I’ve got to do this again next year!

Maybe it is more like a running race after all.  There’s no other sport I know of where as soon as you’ve finished your most grueling race — you’re so high on the excitement of it all — you’re ready to do it again.

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