Carlsbad Marathon By:Strib Stribling

The last two months in Atlanta have been cold, wet, and dreary.  I generally consider myself a fair weather runner, but, thanks to my experience with the Carlsbad Half Marathon last year, I have been running a great deal.  I did not want a repeat of last year’s performance where as soon as I crossed the finish line, my body locked up and did not unlock itself for the next 10 days.  My training regimen has, therefore, changed from ice cream and In-N-Out Burgers to actually running multiple times a week, rain or shine.

This year was going to be different.  I was prepared, in shape, and it turns out, the weather I had been training in was exactly what we had the day of the race…cold and wet.  The one thing I was not counting on was my three-year old son, Win.

Win is a wonderful child and a delight for our entire family, but he is also a carrier of terrible viruses that can ruin your day, or potentially your race.  So, imagine my consternation when I gave him a hug as I was heading out for the airport, and he planted a large, virus-laden kiss on my lips.  There were simply not enough anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer immediately available to prevent whatever plague-like disease he had just given me.  I scrubbed the offended area until it was raw, but to no avail.

I was staying with a lovely family the first half of my trip.  For those of you not familiar with the Howards, get to know them because they rock!  There are tons of them, most of who have traveled to Swaziland with us.  They also have a heart for abandoned animals, and have a house full of rescues to prove it.  They have a giant lizard, two mice, a guinea pig, two lovebirds, and four dogs.  One dog is completely deaf, one is half blind, and one had just four teeth.  The birds do NOT love each other, and the lizard only comes out when it is 110 degrees in its cage.  The mice and guinea pig, it turns out, are “normal”.  It was like the island of misfit toys!

I was hoping my runny nose and cough was nothing more than allergies.  Turns out, I don’t have any.  But by Saturday I wanted to do nothing but stay in bed, which I knew would not happen.  I had meetings to attend, a dinner where I was the speaker, and a huge race to run the following day.

I thanked them for hosting me, and have been ardently praying since then that I did not pass on any germs.  I then went from the Howard’s house to the home of Matt and Lori Marschall.  They essentially plan and organize everything race related for our Heart for Africa runners and without them, none of it would work.  It turns out that Matt was just getting over a cold and had more pills, potions, and apothecary-like concoctions than Lance Armstrong.   I wasn’t sure how I would perform under the influence of so many drugs, but I really didn’t care.   I had run too far in foul weather to miss this race.

The Lord was good to me on the morning of the race.  He answered a lot of prayers by clearing up my sinuses, getting rid of my cough, and allowing me to run a race that was right in line with my training.  He also taught me a few things to remember for next year.  One, wear a hazmat suit when dealing with your children the week prior to an event that demands you be on top of things.  Two, In-N-Out Burgers and milk shakes are a better post race tradition than a pre race regimen.  And three, it is better to show up for a race sick than it is unprepared.  I managed to cross the finish line a little under 1:55, which is 8 minutes faster than my previous time.  I was sore, but my body did not go into lockdown.

Thank you to Marc and Melissa Howard and Matt and Lori Marschall for hosting me and taking care of me all weekend.  You were great hosts.  I would also like to thank the Marschalls, Munes, Goyettes, Heidemans, Jamie Albert, Sarah Daoust, and our countless donors, volunteers and runners who made the race possible.  Because of you and your efforts, we were able to raise a little over $25,000 for water projects in Swaziland, Africa.

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An Auction Fundraiser By: Britta Jarvie

My friend Burgess had the brilliant idea to do an online charity auction to raise money for my internship with Heart for Africa this summer. She had done an auction previously and offered to help me put one together. It was such a great idea and has been a very rewarding and fun experience. If you are in need of fundraising ideas, I highly suggest an auction! We hosted our auction through a blog online. But you could also do an auction event on location instead of doing it online.

Although it was a lot of work to organize and prepare for the auction, it has been very worth it. Here are a couple of things that we learned along the way that may help you with your charity auction:

First – Give yourself time and plan ahead. We had about two months to ask for donations, take pictures, write descriptions and get them posted. It took a lot longer than I thought to do everything but luckily we planned ahead and did a little at a time. It didn’t feel as overwhelming because we did a little bit each day.

Second – Don’t be afraid to ask for donations. I know it can be very intimidating to ask others for help so if you feel scared just think of those perfect little babies and children who need us and are counting on us. I think you will be very surprised by the generosity of others. People love to help…you just need to ask! We had all sorts of donations from family, friends and even local businesses. Our auction also had a variety of items from baked goods to headphones to photos shoots…even laser hair removal! The more variety the better…it gives everyone a choice and people are sure to find something they like. Remember to thank the people who donated and give them a tax receipt if possible. Burgess and I made sure to mention the people who donated on our Facebook pages. We also included a link on the auction site to all of our wonderful sponsors. We thought it was important to give credit where credit was due – the auction would not have been possible without them!

Third – Have faith! There were many times during the auction that I was worried that no one would bid or that we wouldn’t make very much money. But it was a total success and we were able to raise a large amount. It’s important to work really hard to have a successful auction, but then stand back and let God work his magic. He will make sure things work out just the way they need to. As we serve Him, our lives will be blessed – even if it’s just through a charity auction.

If you are interested in hosting a charity auction and have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I would love to help in any way that I can. You can email me at You can also check out our charity auction site for more ideas and information at

Good luck and happy fundraising!

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Singing Valentine Goat Fundraiser By:Julie McKone

Heritage Hall’s motto, To Learn, To Lead, To Serve, shapes our curriculum and school attitude each day.  Our school truly believes in inspiring in each child the curiosity to learn, the self-confidence to lead, and the compassion to serve.  These ideals are taught at every grade level, from the pre-school program through the twelfth grade.

Our kindergarten students attend a Community Service class once a week.  This year, our kindergarteners have made Braille flags for disabled veterans, collected band-aids for children’s hospitals, collected canned goods for a food pantry, and, most recently, collected money to buy goats for the organization, Heart for Africa.

The Kindergarten students at Heritage Hall, along with the sixth grade chorus, learned three Valentines songs with motions.

They, then, sold “Singing Valentines” throughout our Lower School for $5 each.  Students, faculty, and parents were able to buy the valentines and have them delivered on Valentine’s Day.  The sixth graders and Kindergarteners delivered valentines all day across the campus.

Even though we charged only $5 per valentine, we were able to raise $1820.00 and sold almost 300 valentines.  We chose to donate our money to Heart for Africa.  The children were interested in donating enough money to buy at least one goat for Project Canaan Farm.  We were thrilled to know that we raised enough money to buy more than 30 goats.  This turned out to be a wonderful learning experience for our entire school, and we hope to make it a tradition each year.

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The Carlsbad Marathon By: Strib Stribling

I am a fair weather runner.  I love running, unless it is cold and rainy outside.  In which case, I absolutely do not like to run, and will not do it even on a treadmill.  Unless you have a weapon, or are a bear, I am not running.  So, I hate to admit it, but my “training” for the Carlsbad Half Marathon took a nose-dive around the end of November.
Ian, Chrisy, Ian, and Strib on race day
I am sure you are saying to yourself, “But Strib, I thought your body was a temple!  I am shocked!”  Well, don’t be.  And quit gawking.   The week of the race, I did get on the treadmill.  Twice.  Before I open up the door so you can watch the Hindenburg go down, let me brag on the weekend itself, which was simply amazing.

Not only did Matt and Lori Marschall build a great bonfire at the beach on Friday evening, but they also hosted a wonderful carb-loading pasta party at their house on Saturday evening, and put together a great tent at the marathon.  They, along with the Munes and Goyettes, organized an amazing event for Heart for Africa, and the entire weekend was incredibly fun.  The conversation and fellowship with friends, both old and new, was unmatched.  We had the pleasure of spending a great deal of time around campfires, and I am fairly confident after listening to some of the surfing stories, that I missed my calling in life.  The weekend was wonderful, and then the race started.  So, let me back up just a little so that you, the reader, feel like you were there…

I do not get to spend a lot of time in California.  So, whenever I get the opportunity, I enjoy frequenting the local establishments.  In-N-Out Burger is one of my favorites.  I hit that place twice this past weekend.  Nothing spells a blue ribbon race like special sauce, fries, and cheese burgers.  Then, I managed to go out for a few “frothy beverages” Friday night with Ian Maxwell, Jimmy and Chrisy Wilferth just to make sure I had plenty of fuel to burn for the big race.  Finally, to cap off the strict training regimen, we went to bed around midnight Saturday, because 5 hours of sleep is more than enough preparation to get the body in top form.  Have I mentioned that I have never run 13.1 miles before, and had no idea what to expect other than tremendous pain and suffering?  I was not to be disappointed.  Next time, I am going to have to switch to the ice cream diet to make sure I maintain elite athletic performance.
The actual day of the race was awesome.  It had warmed up a little so that it was no longer freezing or raining.  And, I am proud to say, that I ran a great first 9 miles or so.  Then, the holes in my training began to shine through and I could to feel myself slow down with each passing step.  Choking on water at various rehydration stations did not help my time much, but there is no way I was going to stop for a few sips of water.  At this point, I knew that if I slowed down to drink, I would not be able to get things moving again.  All the people that I had hitherto passed, began passing me.  I just had no more gas in the tank.  There was nothing I could do to slow them down, other than to take out the group of 50-year old ladies who passed me in mid conversation.  I am not sure how they talked the whole time, or had enough words to cover that distance, but they outpaced me.
So, I finished the race, it just was not very pretty.  And I have not been able to get out of bed since.  My lovely wife has been mocking me, threatening to get me a cane so that I can go up and down the stairs.  I am confident that in a week or two I will be fine, and that my toe nails will eventually grow back.  I have a good feeling about next year, and am confident that my new ice cream training regimen will be superior to this one.  Who wants to join me?!

My issues aside, thank you to all of our runners, supporters, donors, volunteers, fundraisers, and hosts for making this weekend so much fun, and so successful.  We could not have done this without your leadership and generosity, and are grateful for the sacrifices you made for this to happen.  We cannot wait to join you again next year!

To view more pictures of the Carlsbad Marathon and Californian fun please CLICK HERE.

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