It was more than a race

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I had the opportunity to support the Junior Leadership of Williamsburg by participating in their fundraiser Race to the Top that will facilitate their June trip to Washington. The group of 10 high school juniors has spent the last six months visiting businesses and industry, government, and farmers in order to broaden their appreciation for the various arenas that make Williamsburg unique.

The race was my first. I had no inclination to set any personal record. I just wanted to have fun while contributing to a good cause. The morning of the race could not have been more perfect. Everybody was excited and joking around before it was time to line up. The participants included experienced athletes, youngsters and grandmas.

The route was easy to follow but what made it special was the support along the way. At nearly every turn there was a volunteer or one of the junior leadership members rooting you on. Others pitched in too. One little boy, maybe five, stood at the edge of a curb and hollered, “Good job, Good job” to each and every person that passed by. And at the last turn a group of people who had gathered on the second-story landing of a home were tossing verbal laurels as if Caesar returning from the wars defending Rome from invasion of the Huns.

Our School District Super-intendent participated. She showed up in work shoes but still completed the course. As she rounded the last corner and headed to the finish line she was met with cheers and applause. And as she crossed the finish line she was greeted with hugs from the students in her district. It’s been a long time since I was rooted on for taking on a challenge. The feeling was great. Their sincere encouragement made me felt like a real champion, even if I was only walking a 15-minute mile. I’m guessing the boys and girls of the junior leadership of Williamsburg were feeling the same.

Over the past six months many people in this county have played an integral part to see them succeed not only in their careers but also in life. Crossing the finish line on that cool Saturday morning was our goal. Helping our children cross life’s finish line should be everyone’s goal. It doesn’t take much: A loving family, positive mentors, support from the community and occasionally a pat on the back.

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