In December 2011, I did a post about Melissa (Hofmann) Ayers, one of my very best friends since childhood. As I mentioned in the post, Melissa has cystic fibrosis. However, on the list of things that defines this amazing woman cystic fibrosis is at the bottom of the list. 6 years ago Mis and I teamed up to check out a charity walk that we heard about called “Great Strides.” We found out that the local Minnesota cystic fibrosis chapter had put this walk on for the past few years and we thought it would be fun to get a bunch of people together to walk around the lake and see what this whole thing was about. As an amateur at the time when it came to being involved with charity and fundraising, my goal was to raise $1,500.00 and get a few people to come to Lake Calhoun. Man, was I off with my goal! I should have known that it was Missy I was fundraising for. $20,000.00 later (in our first year) and over 50 people at the walk, Team Hofmann was born. Our mutual good friend, Kevin Buth designed our team’s t-shirts for the day and everyone that came to the walk received one. It was an amazing experience. Although the walk has changed over the years from Team Hofmann to Team Missy several things have stayed consistent; seeing old friends that come to support Missy each year, spending time with Missy during the planning process of the walk which I cherish, seeing the outpouring of love and support for Missy and of course the Team Missy t-shirts, those adorable t’s that have become a staple piece in most of our friends wardrobes. Above all of that, knowing that the money we raise for Team Missy is going to fund vital research to help in finding a cure for cystic fibrosis is what this experience is all about. This year was an especially wonderful year. The weather was perfect and as of this morning, Team Missy has raised $26,000 (and growing) for 2011, making the grand total of fundraising efforts for Team Missy over the past 6 years over $120,000. Go Team Missy! Can’t wait to do 100 more Great Strides walks for Team Missy, with Missy! Love you Mis!