Rock ‘N Roll New Orleans Tweet up and Charity Event

This past weekend, not only did I get to run my first post baby half marathon, but I got to meet up with fellow runners and bloggers, and do some good for the city of New Orleans. For those that don’t know, I was born right outside of the city in Metairie, and I grew up about 30 miles away. I still consider it home, as all of my family is still there, so I was excited to give back and help Feed the Children last Saturday.

But first, let’s backtrack. I slept over nine glorious hours Friday night, sans-baby, and woke up to a gorgeous chilly day in the French Quarter. Bobby and I decided to leave early and walk around for a few minutes before the tweet up. We were just a couple of blocks from all the action!

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Our first stop was Jackson Square.

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Some of the paintings were so beautiful.

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We still had some time so we passed up Café du Monde and walked down to the French Market.

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After a quick walk through, it was time to head back down to meet up with some bloggers and some of the Rock ‘n Roll team!

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We saw a couple of friends who didn’t see any of the Rock ‘n Roll crew anywhere. So I went inside and spotted Dan who was trying his best to hold down tables for us (it was VERY crowded!). Soon after others began to trickle in, as well as the food!

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I knew to wear white, powdered sugar gets everywhere!

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Bloggers and beignets, so much fun!

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PR guy Dan forgot his phone charger. I of course came to the rescue with my pink charger!

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Had so much fun meeting more of the Rock ‘n blog crew and some of the Competitor group employees.

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After photos, we split up in multiple vehicles to head to the Feed the Children charity event.

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Feed the Children was the benefitting charity for this race, which I was happy to hear. We have been supporters of the charity for years, and it was really great to see them in action in the community. On this day, 400 families were going to be given food, toiletry items, haircuts, lunch, and fro yo! We arrived at the Apex youth center and a line had already formed outside.

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We arrived just in time to throw on some volunteer t-shirts and catch the end of the volunteer meeting.

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Families would go through the inside of the center and then out onto the basketball court where we had boxes of food and such. Whole Foods was there giving away fruit, and we manned the milk station.

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There was a DJ, a lot of amazing volunteers, and…..

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THOMAS MORSTEAD! He is the punter for the New Orleans Saints….and if you know ANYTHING about me, you know I love Saints football. Heck, I stalked Malcolm Jenkins in the New Orleans airport last year so I could get a picture. Thomas does a TON for the city of New Orleans. He is always in the news helping different charities, and it was so great to meet him. He actually took the time to talk to me which was super nice. He and his wife were running the 10k the next day, and he told me he wasn’t in running shape so he hoped a lot of people stopped him along the way so he could get a break! The coolest thing was not once did he “act famous”. He graciously took photos when asked, but I constantly saw him working, carrying boxes, and helping people…and it was awesome.

After my total geek out moment, it was back to work. I moved over to the boxes provided by AVON, helping hand them out to the grateful families.

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It was such an amazing experience getting to give back during a race weekend, and see where the charity money goes. Yes I could have been out on the beautiful day that is was exploring the city or enjoying my first baby free weekend with Bobby, but this was way, way more important, and I am so glad that Rock ‘n Roll made it possible for us to take part. We need to never forget while we are enjoying our racecations and running our miles, that there are families out there thankful just for a quart of milk and a free haircut. It really makes you realize how truly blessed we really are, and how great Rock ‘n Roll is for having a charity for their races!

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Thanks to Larisa for some of the photos!

QOTD: Have you ever helped out at a charity event?

Jeff Galloway meet up

 

Friday morning came very early, but I jumped out of bed when my alarm went off. I was so excited to get to be a part of the Jeff Galloway meet up/tweet up. We had to meet the vans at 6:00 to drive over, and it was still dark when we got to EPCOT.

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We waited in line, and had to sign a waiver. We were given our shirts (I was bummed I was given a large in my bag when I had ordered a medium, but oh well!) and I changed shirts on the spot. Who cares, right?

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me and Callie.

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me and Meghann

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I didn’t care that it was chilly out, I was about to run through EPOCT with no one in it, with some amazing people.

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Bob chatted to us for a bit and introduced us to Jeff as well as Rachel, the winner of the Disneyland half, Betty from Fitness magazine, and Suzy Favor Hamilton, Olympian. We split up into two groups to run. One of course being Jeff’s run/walk group, and the other group was led by Bob and Rachel, a straight running group. The plan was 2 miles around EPCOT, and we took off at a VERY quick pace. I am a warm up kind of girl so it was tough keeping up!

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We made it around the world showcase 1.5 times and then stopped in Germany for a great buffet breakfast. We each also got a princess tiara! I also took the opportunity to get a pic with Rachel. She currently lives in my hometown of Mandeville, LA, so of course we became instant BFF’s.

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I also got to chat with the super friendly Jeff Galloway.

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Rachel, Betty, Jeff, Suzy, and Bob all gave a short speech.

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aannddd then we had a dance party.

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To wrap things up, Minnie Mouse came to tell us hello and we all got a free 1 day park hopper pass!

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We were then sent outside to our own private character photo session. Minnie was very excited I was wearing her signature polka dots.

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I felt like a giant next to Rapunzel.

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The lovely Kelly Olexa. Love this lady so much!

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We had a great time at the meet up, I got to meet some great other bloggers and readers of my blog (hi guys!) The weather was great, company was awesome,  and I feel so blessed to have gotten to be a part of it. runDisney are some great folks, and I cannot thank them enough!