I’m coming to you live from my couch this morning!  We’re in the midst of the first snowstorm of the season, and most schools and businesses are closed today.  I figured it would be a good time for reflection on this year, which has seen us change tremendously as an organization.

Three things I’m proud of this year:

1. Our ability to reach out to schools in need: we were able to help five schools with the highest populations of children in need with an extra $900 for their health and fitness resources.

2. Our volunteers: we increased the number of volunteers at our events from about 80 to 130…and held twice as many events!  We have an amazing group of supportive volunteers from the community, and they are one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle.

3. Incorporation of feedback: you shared, and we listened.  I took a lot of time to solicit feedback from you after our events, and thankfully, you told me what you wanted.  Events are only able to be improved if people take the time to share their thoughts.  I’m so grateful for your constructive feedback (both positive and negative), as it allowed me to improve our events, website, registration, and race day coordination.  The result?  Safer events, happier families, and a lot of positive experiences!

Three things I want to improve upon:

1. More support with equipment: we still are in great need of bikes, shoes, helmets, and help with swimming lessons.  If you know of ways we can increase this support, I’d love to hear it!

2. Better communication of our mission: we donate 100% of the entry fees from our events to schools, which means I need to work hard to earn donations, grants, and sponsorships to pay for the events and our operating expenses.  We need to figure out a clear way to communicate to our participants’ families that we need their support in order to continue to operate, and to grow!

3. More year-round involvement: right now we are working on starting up more training clubs for kids interested in participating in our events, but it requires the help of school staff and parents to put it in practice.  I’d also like to do more classes and clinics for families to start focusing on health and family fitness, which our sponsors are on board with too!  Stay tuned for class offerings in 2013 (and they will always be free).

Thank you for your support in 2012…let’s get ready for another great year in 2013!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!