Exceeding Expectations has been busy kicking off 2019.
We started the new year with our annual Swimathon/Runathon. As some of you old-timers might remember, in the early years, we used this event as a fundraiser. The kids made calls asking you to donate for every lap they swam. But as the group got larger, that became less manageable, so we now use the event to focus on personal goals. Each kid sets his or her goal for the number of laps he’ll swim or loops she’ll run. The awards at the end of the day are medals for achievement and pizza as a reward!
Our next event was a new one for EE this year, the Ontario Mills 5K/10K. It was put on by the Christian Okoye Foundation which “helps underprivileged children assume their role in society through education and sports”. Sounded like a nice fit for EE, so we went racing with Christian Okoye, which was a real treat for the kids. He is a former All-Pro running back for the Kansas City Chiefs and he was happy to pose for pictures with the kids.
Then it was a trek out to the desert to race in the Palm Desert 5K/Half Marathon. Our group of 62 EE kids and parents represented well, many with podium finishes in both the 5K and Half Marathon. Following those races, the “10 and under” kids took to the streets for the Kids’ 1K run. Several of EE’s little speedsters also took top honors there, although this race is all about fun and a shiny medal for every participant.
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Coming up next month is the Desert Triathlon where we have thirty-six racers entered. Again this year we have some wonderful volunteers who will be acting as Race Angels for a dozen of our younger kids. The Angels will ride along with the kids on the bike, offering them encouragement and protection. Stay tuned for pictures.
Of course, the biggest news is always our EE Scholars. The college kids continue to do well and our six graduating from high school this June are in the exciting process of planning their next steps. Three have received college acceptances and are waiting for others before making their final decision. Another has made the decision to join the Army. He’s currently studying for a test which will get him into the Army STEM program. Our goal is to make sure each of these six graduates selects an educational opportunity that best suits him/her.
That means we’ll have close to 20 Exceeding Expectations kids in college starting next September. From the inception of EE, higher education was the goal. But, in the early days, I didn’t plan how we would financially accommodate that level of achievement because I didn’t dare to imagine that many kids in school at one time. But I couldn’t be happier and I know that, with your help, together we’ll make it happen for all our EE kids.
Thanks for all you’ve done for us in the past and I thank you for your support going forward as we give these deserving kids the help they need.