I didn't get very many great photo's but these show us volunteering at the balloon area. Marci and Jenn are part of a team of volunteers that helps organize the Davenport walk. This year Jenn volunteered our team to manage the balloon tent. Every person at the walk gets a balloon in memory of the person they are walking for. Those who have lost loved ones carry red balloons and those who are currently battling or who have survived the disease carry white balloons. Well, last year the balloon tent was a disaster. It was unorganized and the balloons got so tangled after they were blown up that not everyone got one. Jenn thought we could do a better job. And we would have if there hadn't been so many obstacles in our way. First, the gal who ordered tanks of helium ordered 2 tanks that cost the same as last year. Well, helium has about doubled in price since last year so in essence, she ordered half as much as she needed. Also, the tanks were only half full. The reason for this is still not completely clear to me. So now we are down to 1/4 of the helium that we need to fill up 500 balloons. We started filling balloons at about 4:00 pm. At around 5:30 we were out of helium and had about 175 balloons filled and no white balloons filled. Hmmmmm. 2 guys left to get more helium. They got back to the walk at about 7:00 pm. We were supposed to start handing out balloons at 7:15 pm! The other great thing about the balloons was that fact that when you put helium into them, it would activate the lighting mechanism. WRONG! This only worked in about 1/2 of the balloons. I thought maybe Jenn was going to scream at the woman who returned he balloon because it was 'defective.' We didn't have enough balloons for everyone let alone those who had defective ones!
Overall, I think most everyone got a balloon and we had a great time. The walk was a success and now it was time to party!
The last 2 years, after the walk, we have gone back to the Steeplegate (hotel) to hang out, drink beer, reminisce, and eat good food. This years crowd was not as big as last years, but we still managed to get the cops called on us!
It was about 11:30 pm or so and everyone had left except for Chris and I. Jodi and Ken (Kara's mom and step-dad) had gone back to their room (416) to clean up the food and stuff. Chris and I were just hanging out with Marci and Mike and thinking about leaving as well. That's when 400 lb man and his french bull dog decided to come out of their room (415). We didn't pay them much mind and they went outside.
Well, we were in the atrium area which was just outside Ken and Jodi's room. This area is technically closed after 11:00 pm but nobody had kicked us out yet and we didn't seem to be bothering anybody... yet.
When 400 lb man and his sidekick came back from their short walk, that all changed. He came over to us and asked us if we were staying in room 416. We said yes, we were and he went on to tell us a story. I will try to recreate it here.
'When you guys go in and out of the room and the door bangs on the metal piece on the wall, it bangs the shit out of my room and wakes up the dog and it is really annoying.'
I thought - 'Good story, but could you just have asked us to be careful with the door? It is kind of loud in my room.'
Instead Mike said - 'When your dog was barking, it really bothered the shit out of me.'
I thought - 'Oh, good. The night is getting interesting!'
400 lb man kind of turned to go to his room after Mike said this to him and then thought differently. He turns back around and says "And what time was that sir? What time was that?"
Now, Mike stayed pretty restrained. He just chuckled and said I don't know and 400 lb man walked away. I do believe that if Kara's brother had been there (they didn't come back this year - they walked in Omaha) or if Scott hadn't left already, we could have had ourselves a rumble. But instead 400 lb man walked away... to the front desk. About 3 or 4 minutes later he walks back by us, very smug looking and into his room. We basically think that the front desk is going to come and ask us to clean up and go back to our rooms, but to our surprise, hear comes the police. Now, when I say police, I do mean the cops, but I actually mean just one cop. Not a full squad of officers in riot gear. This one cop comes over to us and in the straightest face he can muster asks us what's going on. We are pretty honest with him and tell him that we have been going back and forth checking the Cubs score (LOSERS!) and cleaning up. He is fairly annoyed to be asked to come take care of this but does see some humor in that this is the first time he remembers a noise complaint on a 63 year old couple. He was expecting a large gathering of people, not a quiet group of 4. Just as he is getting ready to leave, Marci says to him - 'Now, you are going to go talk to them about this, right.' He plays along and proceeds to go knock on Ken and Jod's room and tells them to either pack up their stuff and leave or quiet down. I think the loudest we got all night was when we were laughing at the cop giving poor Ken and Jod a lecture on respecting other guests of the hotel! We think they have forgiven us!
We had a great time and can't wait for next year. Although, you know what I wish for most...