MR. DIABETES® WAKE UP AND WALK® TOUR
UPDATE : June, 2008
LOCATION: Delray Beach, Florida
TOTAL MILES: 9607.1
The MR. DIABETES® Walk Watch™ has begun!! June is the second month of the Walk Watch™. There are ONLY 550+/- miles to go to reach the finish in Madeira Beach, FL. Madeira Beach is a small barrier island off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico, just outside of St. Petersburg. Madeira Beach is where THE WALK™ began, December 1, 2000 with a 450 mile “Trial Walk” through Florida and right up to Pensacola (E. Milton), at the Alabama state line.
June was a very busy month. I only walked just over 100 miles, but we expected and planned for the low mileage. By only walking 100+/- miles per month will allow me to meet the heavy and increasing requests for meetings with elected officials, business organizations and youth groups. Then, add to that the fantastic media attention and the resulting increase in the number of people coming out to meet me and Tour Managers Shirley & Russ Barriger. It’s all a matter of balancing our time.
And in order to maintain sanity during these final hectic months, or, should I say “also adding to the insanity of these final hectic months” is the keeper of the calendar, Public Outreach Director Dawn Swidorski. Dawn continues to work the major media markets, arrange for meetings with Mayors and other elected officials and is now assisting in planning the final celebration(s). At the risk of UNDER stating this effort, it’s a “monumental task”!!
Defeat Diabetes Foundation has secured the services of Judy Dean of The Finer Places in Sarasota, FL to develop two final celebrations. The first will be on December 14, 2008 in Sarasota. Judy has arranged for a huge circus tent that will seat 1700 people, a parade which will include military veterans on motorcycles, fife & drum players (bagpipes), and a variety of fun activities that will absolutely appeal to the general public.
The second event Judy is planning comes about 75 miles later in Madeira Beach, FL. This event will be a bit different, as the focus here is to mark the completion of The MR. DIABETES® WAKE UP AND WALK® TOUR. This is scheduled to be December 28, 2008. Both celebrations are still in the planning stages.
Back to June’s activities…………………….
During June I met with the Mayors of the following cities: Rockledge; Stuart; Sewall’s Point; Port St. Lucie; Fort Pierce; Jupiter Island; Palm beach Gardens; Lake Worth; Highland Beach; Hypoluxo; and the Indian River County Board of Commissioners.
Media interviews included: 8 interviews with Hometown News publications (they cover local regions beginning in Mims/Titusville to Martin County (just south of Port St. Lucy); The Press Journal; The Barefoot Tattler; Palm Beach Post; The Sun-Sentinel; and on-line with MSNBC. RADIO interviews were with Fort Pierce station WPSL–AM (1590) - “BREAKFAST WITH BURCHFIELD” Host Ed Burchfield and co-Host Clif Desmond; and Port St. Lucie station WIRA - AM (1400) with Host Jumpin’ Joe. And one TV interview with WPEC-TV (CBS) Channel 12.
Other appearances included an appearance at the Fort Pierce Kiwanis Club and a VERY special talk in Delray Beach with C. Ron Alllen’s group of disadvantaged youths of 25 girls and boys ages 9 – 15. They were/are THE BEST!!! C. Ron Allen's youth group is located in Delray Beach, Florida and is part of The Knights of Pythagoras Mentoring Network. C. Ron Allen is a retired U.S. Navy Captain and currently is a reporter for The Sun-Sentinel. And I spoke at the very beautiful Broken Sound Country Club in Boca Raton. At Broken Sound I was the guest of dear friends Nancy Hartstone Gulden and her husband, Mal. Before the talk Mal & Nancy took me and Tour Manager Russ Barriger out to dinner at The Big City Tavern – very fine dining. Thanks guys.
And, of course, the many hundreds of people I continue to meet as I walk through the many
communities along Route 1, as I head towards Miami and Key West before walking back up the Gulf Coast to Madeira Beach. One such chance meeting – in Delray Beach I met John Allen, Sean Connery’s stunt double.
Identical twins couldn’t look more alike than John Allen and Sean Connery. John’s home is right along the route I’m walking; he invited me into his home. There I took pictures, talked about what he does as a stunt double and the celebrity that goes with it, and I talked about diabetes issues. John offered his support to help fight diabetes. So, when time allows, I plan to get together with him to that purpose.
Friends I got together with during June include Jim Morningstar, a friend of 50 years and the man I was brainstorming with when It was determined to do THE WALK™. Also, I got to see my friend Allen Colton. I’ve known Allen since 1954. I walked with Allen’s brother, Lanny, when I walked through Lanny’s adopted home town of Tucson, Arizona. I walked through Tucson in June, 2002 (at 2100 miles of THE WALK™).
I am thrilled that the media continues to see value in THE WALK™, and am enjoying more national (and international) attention: CNN world-wide radio, MSNBC interviews, Diabetes Positive (the Cover), Health.com, and more………
As mentioned above, events are being planned to acknowledge THE WALK™ and Defeat Diabetes Foundation. If you are interested in sponsoring it please contact Dawn Swidorski at dswidorski@DefeatDiabetes.org
. Stay tuned for more information on the “where & when”.
Meanwhile, the past seven years are available for viewing at our offices in Madeira Beach. To arrange for an appointment to view: www.DefeatDiabetes.org
Then, click on the Tab: “CONTACT US
”. OR, e-mail me and I will co-ordinate a time for you: MrDiabetes@DefeatDiabetes.org
This UPDATE has focused on my progress of THE WALK™ and the various activities taking place during it. But, don’t ignore our many valuable programs: E-Lerts™ newsletter; Defeat Diabetes® News Service; MADDCAP™; DefeatDiabetes® CareGiverHelper; Acsia Insurance; B-CLEAR energy drink; and several others, which can be found on the side rails of our over 3000 pages on this website. And, we will soon be adding other products & services helpful to diabetics and those interested in achieving and/or maintaining their good health.
If you are interested in a sponsorship and/or advertising on our website: www.DefeatDiabetes.org and click on Products & Services to learn our policy(ies).
And, now that I have effectively walked the perimeter of the United States (I’m now walking in the 34th and final state – 9600+ miles), you must realize how serious I am about “defeating diabetes®”. A lot has been accomplished and a lot more has been learned about the REAL state of affairs of diabetes and how it dramatically affects each and every one of us. Defeat Diabetes Foundation is uniquely positioned to take this information and actually impact diabetes in new and innovative ways. We NEED your continuing support in order to keep this
momentum going. So, please dig deep and make your next tax deductible donation to: Defeat Diabetes Foundation.
When you designate a program for your support 100% of that donation (less bank processing fees if you use a Major Credit Card) will go to that program. Defeat Diabetes Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, which allows for your donation to be tax deductible. Donate to Defeat Diabetes Foundation with our GroundSpring.com secure online donation form. You may donate to any of our programs with either VISA, MASTER CARD or AMERICAN EXPRESS.
Remember, What’s worse than finding out you have diabetes? …….. NOT finding out!!!!
To reach me personally with your questions and comments:
AWARENESS + ACTION = PREVENTION®