HERA 2011: The heart of good

September 19, 2011

By Jessica Kinghorn, HERA Climb4Life Utah Event Coordinator

“You’re doing a good thing here,” came the heartfelt words from my father as my family and I drove away from the Sunday morning HERA Climb4Life breakfast yesterday. He went on to comment on the kindness, openness and generosity of everyone he and my mother met during the weekend. He could not have said it better.

Sure, we could elaborate on “good” and say our volunteers and participants did an incredible, fantastic, wonderful, rockin’ job. Because they did! But at the heart of it, and what I noticed again for my second time at the HERA Climb4Life event, is that what we are doing here is, indeed, deeply GOOD. It is an apropos word for describing a weekend that was about treating each other with love, pushing our limits, giving, supporting, embracing, holding and, above all, strength.

Here are just a few moments from the weekend that left a strong impression in my mind:

— The huge hugs, the belly laughs, the happy tears.
— Painfully honest presentations from survivors Sally Hill and Samantha Lockwood about their battles with ovarian cancer. We salute you for your strength and courage.
— Dr. Robert Kurman’s (from Johns Hopkins) compelling presentation on the progress of and stumbling blocks to ovarian cancer research. Indeed, Dr. Kurman, we are at the “end of the beginning” but have so far to go. HERA donations are so critical to this effort.
— The Friday night cocktail hour. Such great, intimate conversations.
— Murmurs of, “Are you sore today?” from participants as they ate breakfast on Sunday and reflected on their weekend of climbing. Way to push your limits!
— Conversations about Sean Patrick, the person she was and how she lives on through HERA and everyone involved.
— The dancing at the Saturday night party. Unmatched . . . and no one told me Curt could breakdance!
— The volunteers. Thank you for your continuous hard work and energy all weekend long.
— Everyone, for their willingness to ask for money for an extremely worthy cause. $63,000 and climbing!

Now, you realize, just because the event itself is over, our job is not “done.” Please keep working to raise funds for HERA now and throughout the year. Here’s an idea you can do soon: Do you give gifts to business clients at the holidays? Pick three worthy causes to donate to (HERA being one of them) and let your clients choose which organization to donate to. Sure, it’s your money going to HERA, but you were going to buy them that lame pen anyway, right?

Finally, thank you again to Black Diamond, Utah Mountain Adventures and all our incredible sponsors, participants and volunteers. We hope you had a weekend you’ll never forget. I know I did and I invite you to join us again next year and bring friends. It won’t be the same without you.


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One comment

  1. September 21, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Samantha says:

    Jessica, Thank you so much for all that YOU did to put this together. It was wonderful to meet your family at the event too.

    I know I had a great time and I look forward to many many more HERA events.

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