50th Walk for Breast Cancer--SF Avon Walk--July 9-10, 2005--1900 participants--$4.3 m--45.25 miles--95781 steps

I am feeling a little frustrated at this very minute, since I just wrote the longest journal entry and pushed a button and it all disappeared!! So, I will start all over!!

I really want to start at the end of the weekend. Bob and I were in the bus from the car rental to the airport a gentleman asked me about my pink T-shirt. In explaining it to him, he took out his wallet and handed me $20 to donate to the Avon Walk. It reminds me how generous people are (as if I don't already know that!) and I thank you Mr. Stranger.

Getting back to the weekend, I was bombarded with one surprise after another, which overwhelmed me continually. This walk was very special to me, since it was my 50th mega walk for the breast cancer cause.

On Fri afternoon, while I was selling bracelets at registration, 2 of my daughters, a son in law, our dear friends and 3 granddaughters surprised me. To say I was shocked was an understatement and from the looks of my face in my picture with my mouth wide open, I pretty much expressed that shock. We all went out to dinner and all of the family stayed for the rest of the weekend.

The next surprise came when I arrived at our room after dinner and there was a bouquet of 25 pink carnations and 25 pink roses from the Avon Foundation. I enjoyed the flowers for the 2 evenings in the hotel room and then on Sun afternoon I distributed them to other walkers. That was so much fun, so I could get some extra mileage (!) from the flowers.

The next surprise was at Opening Ceremonies on Sat a.m. when Kathleen Walas, president of the Avon Foundation, called Bob and myself to the stage to honor us for all of the walks and the amount of money I (we) have raised for the cause. I was given the new ‘Walk Around the World’ pin by Karen Borkowsky.

This was an exciting way to begin the walk on Sat morning.

The event began in Golden Gate park and we crossed the bridge and through Sausalito, etc. and then back across the bridge. My granddaughters met me and crossed the bridge with me. I was clutching their hands and was thrilled to share that with them. I remember walking across the Golden Gate when it was 50 years old. The views were quite spectacular since it was windy and very clear, and the skyline was fabulous.

The next surprise was when Kristen, a friend of my daughter's, met us on the bridge. She lives in the area and had walked in a breast cancer walk with me several years ago. Thanks Kristine.

The next surprise happened after dinner. The Warming Hut Hotties, a huge SF team of women plus Phil presented me with a gigantic decorated cake acknowledging my 50th! I could not believe that they did that. They even brought pink plates, pink forks and butterfly napkins. I cut the cake and my granddaughters passed it around. Thank you Linda for masterminding that and to all of the Hotties for your personal loving support for several years. You are all amazing.

My next surprise was being asked to speak on Sat night. I love doing that which is amazing to me because I was always petrified of speaking in public. Thank you Karen, for the honor of doing that.

Another surprise on Sun was Gail, another of my daughter's dear friends, who had also walked this walk with me several years ago. She showed up the last mile with her darling daughter. You are very special to me. Thanks for the bath salts--how appropriate!

I want to really say thanks to everyone who participated in any way. This event was the most supported walk by the community than any walk this year. The cars and honking and street support and sidewalk support was over the top and that certainly helps the walkers to keep walking. I want to say a particular thanks to all of the people who stopped to say hello.

I hope I have made it clear how special this walk turned out to be. All of the celebration was not expected but was great and so appreciated. I am very proud to have completed every step of 50 long distance walks for the breast cancer cause.

Hugs to all of you,




Barbara Jo Kirshbaum
"I walk because I can't walk away"