Gilda’s LaughFest FUNderwear Run


For the second official race for the 2016 Fifth Third Riverbank Road Warrior crew we got to get down and…….naked? No silly, the Gilda’s Laughfest FUNderwear Run doesn’t let people just run in that nightie you wear to bed. As explained from the Laughfest FUNderwear Run website, “This unique race invites participants to wear their finest (and funniest!) underwear over their running clothes in support of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids! So forget black tie, there is a NEW dress code in town for fundraising events-underwear! Help us bring laughter and awareness of emotional health to the streets of Grand Rapids. Hey, when else can you run (or walk!) around in your underwear and NOT have it end with a ride in the back seat of a fancy car with flashing lights?”.

So that’s right, readers, we all got our undie fun on. And lots of other people did, too. And it was a fabulous turnout given the 40 degree weather and rain. And after the run, some local animal-related organizations held an “animal fest” offering dog and cat treats, toys, information on services and even some adoptions.

So, all in all this run definitely put the FUN in FUNderwear Run!

Keep Running! Much Love!

*Note: All photos in this post courtesy of Boss Photography and LaughFestGR


Community Charity Run #2: Mental Health Foundation: be nice. Campaign

Yesterday was the second community run for the Fifth Third Riverbank Run featuring the charity partner The Mental Health Foundation: be nice. Campaign.


This campaign focuses on, “a positive anti-bullying initiative designed to spread awareness surrounding the issues of bullying and the importance of treating people with civility community-wide”. In today’s society we are overwrought with stories and news events of kids, and adults, who are bullied for their race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and so on. The list is never ending. And the results of things only seem to get worse as the years progress. With the unfortunate decision of some that feel they have no other choice than to utilize suicide or mass murder. So what does be nice. do? Well, let’s look at the importance of what be nice. really means.

  • n: Notice. Take notice what is good, what is right and what can be done to make sure that everyone is involved and included.
  • i: Invite. Invite yourself and others to make a change. No matter how small.
  • c: Challenge. Bring others into the fight to promote acceptance of all.
  • e: Empower. Empower one’s entire school and community to get on board. Bring all the principles of being nice and accepting into our lives.

While the importance of teaching diversity and acceptance begins in our schools, that does not mean that it needs to end at graduation. We have all heard of stories from Virginia Tech and Oregon Community College. Bullying and hatred expands past our schools and into our lives.

And while the be nice. campaign provides for so many opportunities to promote change and acceptance, that is not all The Mental Health Foundation provides. Programs such as Live Laugh Love, and mental health first aid programs are also provided.

With the stressors of our everyday lives, your mental health is important. You may not realize the symptoms or things that are happening to you or those around you. So educate, promote, volunteer, learn and love everything you can about yourself and those around you. No matter what the difference is. Because difference is what makes us all great!

Thank you to Crystal Saarela and Jim Bomhof for supporting such an important cause in today’s society and showing our community that diversity and acceptance of everyone only makes us better people!


Much Love. Keep Running.