Afternoon SmilesFor the last five years, I've been beyond proud to be a part of the TinyTown Relay for Life effort. Below is the letter I just sent to my nearest and dearest...if you are so inclined, I would absolutely love to have your support (and your dollars) for this cause...

Hi all!

You know, it's been kind of a whirlwind year for me.

I was promoted to director of the library (what were they thinking?!), I bought my very first house (what was *I* thinking?!), I went to places like Seattle, Chicago, Washington, DC, Philadelphia and North Carolina and even a demolition derby, Hoosier style. I dressed like a pirate, I rode a bike slow and a motorcycle fast, I saw 300 in IMAX, I dyed my hair red, went tubing on the lake, wrote a novel and cooked Thanksgiving dinner.

One thing was a constant throughout the year, though.

My mother's continual battle with cancer.

Chemotherapy is again a daily part of our lives, a litany of pills and instructions, and the pride that Mum is the first patient at the hospital to try THIS particular cocktail - kind of like being a bartender's guinea pig, but with less dancing on tables at 2am.

Mum just got a month off (for good behavior, we joke) from chemo before she has to jump back in again...just in time for this year's Relay for Life.

I know she is going to struggle to walk that track and to take on the heat of the day, feeling how she feels, but I know she's going to do it.

And so will I.

Each year, TinyTown comes together in this huge cacophony of tents, events, Relay walkers, luminarias, food, fun and, yes, the occasional sunburn or two, in a 24-hour fight to raise money for cancer research. If you haven't witnessed firsthand an entire town circling a track all day to benefit others, I really can't do the sight justice. This year, the track will be a riot of color, celebrating our theme of "Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back".

I am once again proud to be heading up the library team - gathering walkers, soliciting donations, putting together a raffle basket, digging out our team tent from the recesses of storage, and stocking up the drinks cooler with plenty o' water.

As in past years, I'm going to be spending all day, all evening, all night at the track on the weekend of June 7th - 8th, but there's only one way that can happen.

With your help.

Without your pledges, I'll never be able to walk around the track in the heat and humidity of a June day and night for 24 hours, while cheering on my team as they do the same.

This is where you come in. :-)

With your contributions, we can raise money for a great cause, help me and my team meet our goal, and give me motivation to stay awake, walk in circles for long amounts of time, and generally annoy my co-workers. I do that now, but this won't be on library time. ;-)

Here's the best part - you can donate online!

What? Online? Tell me more!

You can make a secure online contribution right from my Personal Donation Page:

If you prefer to snail mail your contribution to me, that's fine too. I just want to raise oodles of money and impress everyone in TinyTown with my flush friends. ;-) Donate early! Donate often!

If you are unable to contribute...I totally understand. Send me an email instead, saying hello. It's enough that your thoughts are with us as we walk to beat this disease that touches so many lives.

Thank you for your support (and your dollars) in an event that is so close to my heart.

You are my stars.