Yesterday was one of those days where synchronicity takes over and everything seems to fit into a larger whole. In this case, the day turned into a tapestry of events and activities related to CCFA’s1 Team Challenge.2

Our weekly Team Challenge practice run began at 9:00 am and for one hour we ran laps along Lake Michigan in Milwaukee’s Veterans Park and past the Milwaukee Art Museum. We just managed to complete our run and were socializing3 in the parking lot when the weather shifted dramatically. Everyone jumped into their cars as a drenching, monsoon-style4 downpour started. I watched the thermometer in my car go from 69-degrees to 47-degrees  within only 1–2 minutes time. If our run had been ten minutes later, we would have had a very rude finish.

After the run, several of us5 stopped in at Café Hollander for a team breakfast. Then it was off to visit three different Team Challenge fundraisers taking place that day.

Peggy and Peggy6 held a Team Challenge “Bowl-A-Rama” at the AMF Lanes in Waukesha. In addition to bowling and a silent auction, there was a drawing for a trip (airfare included) to Disney World. You can follow the training and fundraising progress of Peggy L. and Peggy P. on their blog — Team Challenge Napa 2009.

Karen7 held a Team Challenge fundraiser at Vino 100 as part of the West Side Art Walk in Wauwatosa. The rain may have reduced the turnout for the Art Walk, but Karen’s event had some great auction items and the wine8 provided a good counterpoint to the bad weather. Karen also has a blog — Running to Sonoma — where you can follow her training.

Brianna9 and her parents held a Team Challenge fundraiser at Johnny Mo’s Bar & Grill in South Milwaukee, and by the time I arrived in midafternoon, the place was really rocking. Their event included a couple of raffles, including one for a large screen TV.

Thus Saturday turned into one of those wonderful days when I’m reminded of all the great people who work so hard to make a difference in the lives of others. The day showcased the incredible time and effort donated by all of these people in the quest to overcome Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. I feel honored to be able to call them teammates and friends.

If you would like to show your support for any of the individuals mentioned in this post:


  1. CCFA is the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. []
  2. For those of you not familiar with Team Challenge, it trains people to run or walk a half marathon (13.1 miles) in order to raise both research funds and awareness for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. []
  3. See kids ... you don’t need a cell phone or computer to do social networking. []
  4. Even though I’ve been to India four times in the last decade, I can’t claim to be a monsoon expert — I’ve only visited during the Winter dry season. []
  5. Our Team Challenge Endurance Manager Tyler, CCFA Development Director (and runner) Nadine, and runners Cathy and her daughter. []
  6. Peggy P. and Peggy L. are a mother and daughter team that previously walked with Team Challenge in the San Antonio half marathon last November. []
  7. Karen was one of two people from Wisconsin to run with Team Challenge in last year’s Napa to Sonoma half marathon. []
  8. At least the pinot grigio I tried. []
  9. Bri and her dad ran in the first Team Challenge half marathon in Miami in January 2008, amazingly just two months after Bri had major surgery for her ulcerative colitis. Bri and her dad also ran alongside Team Challenge in San Antonio last November. This upcoming Team Challenge half marathon is the first time Bri’s mom will also run along with them. []

By Kevin A. Barnes

I am a writer, marketing practitioner and astronomer-in-training. My interests include science, technology and the future of just about everything. You can learn more from my Bio page.

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