A record number of angels must have received their wings on Saturday. The din of ringing bells filled Spokane's Riverfront Park as runners jingle-jangled their way through the five kilometers of the Jingle Bell Run. The collective hullabaloo signaled the support of nearly 1,800 runners and walkers for the Arthritis Foundation, which was the beneficiary of a $63,000 fundraising effort by participants. PEMCO's own team was the top fundraiser for the corporate category.
Steven and I mingled with participants and met several of the people whose grassroots fundraising contributed to the event's windfall. Family support was a common theme amongst many of the attendees. Katie, a student at Eastern Washington University, volunteered at the race in honor of her mom, who has battled arthritis her entire life. Katie confided: "I always see her stretching her hands. I never know what to say, but I knew I could act."
The warm hearted east-siders didn't seem to the biting cold either; NW Profile #45 "50 Degrees Shirt's Off Guy" was raised to a new echelon by three teens who bounded through the 5K baring chests stung rosy red by the cold.
Even Santa and Mrs. Claus flew south for the cause. Before the race Santa was seen holding his arms up to the sky and declaring the 27__ weather "a bit balmy".
Three cleverly costumed "Missile-Toes" placed runner-up to a fleet of "Arthritis Angels" in the costume contest.
Wally and the PEMCO Team will be lending a hand in the battle against arthritis again at Seattle's Jingle Bell Run on December 12th. Look for our green van and come share your stories and costumes.