Tutu Trot turnout ‘humbling’

Fundraiser run draws nearly 400, raises $10k for Lila May

About 400 people turned out--many wearing tutus--in support of the three-year-old, who is undergoing treatment for stage 4 neuroblastoma.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
About 400 people turned out--many wearing tutus--in support of the three-year-old, who is undergoing treatment for stage 4 neuroblastoma.

There’s something oddly heartwarming about watching a crowd of grown men prance around in pink tutus. In many cases entire families, dogs included, waited patiently, and proudly, for the start of Saturday’s Lila May Tutu Trot, wreathed in flamboyancy usually reserved for 6-and-under ballerinas or Halloween costumes.

The colorful display of community casting aside insecurities in support of one of its own youngsters was overwhelming, and humbling, say organizers of the event, who were also literally overwhelmed by the nearly 400 participants who joined 3-year-old Lila May Schow in the fundraiser run/walk.

“We’re experiencing a problem; and what a great problem it is,” an announcer said about half an hour after the scheduled start time for the 3K/5K/10K run/walk at the Hood River side of the Mosier Twin Tunnels.

Once volunteers could process the happily delayed crowd, the start featured a quick kids’ race — a mad-dash to the white fence and back that included just a few tutu-trip-ups and was highlighted by Lila May finishing to the cheering of the crowd before being hoisted in the air by her stepfather, Blake. Lila and her mother, Heidi Hall, then cued the impressive mass start of the runners and walkers, who overtook the black pavement like an army of fluorescent fire ants.

“We are humbled and overwhelmed by the generosity, support, and love shown by this community,” said organizer Jenny Lorenzen, who noted the event raised roughly $10,000.

The money will help fund travel and medical expenses for treatment Lila May will receive this summer in New York. Since being diagnosed with neuroblastoma about a year and a half ago, Lila May has undergone radiation, chemotherapy and brain surgery to fight the disease. She was recently accepted into a special antibody therapy program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, which she will undergo once she recovers from another round of chemotherapy, which she will start shortly at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

Updates on her condition, treatments and how to donate can be found on her Facebook page at facebook.com/angelsforlilamay.

“Today was one of the best days of my life,” Heidi commented after the event. “There really aren’t enough words to describe how grateful, thankful and humbled I am to see so much love and support from so many. Today I saw that my daughter is loved by more people than I could have ever imagined. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough, but thank you.”

Lorenzen noted the following sponsors of the event: Rosauers, UPS Store, Gorge Dog, Doppio, Double Mountain, Judy Richardson, Laurel Oaks, Nancy Clement, Dave Mackintosh, Breakaway Promotions, Dana’s Extreme Burgers, Hood River News, State Street Bear, Hood River Valley High School Fight Club and Steve and Nan Noteboom.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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