Happening in Kansas City
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There are thousands of stories of why people walk, volunteer or do other events to raise money in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Here are just a few.
The Frye Family
Three of the most hard-working volunteers at the AIDS Walk events are Rick and Anne Frye and their daughter, Koree Frye. The Fryes have been married for 30 years and they have seven kids. For them, AIDS Walk is a family affair — they’ve involved all their children as volunteers or walkers at some point in their lives.
Anne and Koree have served as co-chairs of AIDS Walk for the last two years. Anne said they had been walking for 15 years and had been on the steering committee for four years.
Anne and Koree’s responsibilities include handing out flyers to area businesses in an effort to get donations to the Union Hill Parties Silent Auction. She said they’ve done this with the help of Claire Fitzsimmons and Katie Heschmeyer. The Silent Auction is a great success, but Anne said it’s amazing how many times they contact a business and get shunned when the person finds out the cause is HIV/AIDS.
“We’re just in awe, and they almost don’t want to take the paper. Koree is so good — she’ll lay the paper down and she says, ‘I’m going to leave the information with you, and if you want to donate we’d greatly appreciate it,” she said with a laugh.
Rick, who does house painting and construction for a living, said he had had problems with one man that he knew through work, who said to him, “Aren’t you afraid of getting AIDS by being associated with these gay guys?”
“I said, ‘You dumbass, you can’t get it by hugging them or being around them or drinking a beer with them.’ ”
Anne Frye said, “Being a straight woman having been raised in Johnson County, [I see that> there’s still a lot of people who think it’s a gay disease, and it isn’t. I was thinking last night — the reason we do it, the majority of the reason, was because Harvey [a friend who died of AIDS"> touched our souls so much. Harvey touched a core in the Fryes’ hearts that he’ll never know. It’s so sad that he’s not here.
“But the main reason why I do it is for our seven kids and our three grandbabies. If I could do anything for them to wipe it all out, that’s why I do it. Just not to see people suffer, but to educate my kids, my grandchildren, whatever. That’s why I do it.”
Rick, Anne and Koree know the routine of the AIDS Walk events well by now. Rick likes work behind the scenes, and Anne and Koree do a combination of whatever else is needed to make sure the events and the walk go smoothly. Whether it’s the BeerFest, AIDS Walk Open, Union Hill Parties, the AIDS Walk or any of the other events, the Fryes are doing tasks that range from schlepping ice and boxes, to transporting people and materials on golf carts, or monitoring the AIDS Walk Open miniature golf stands.
Rick said, “The enthusiasm at the putt-putt [AIDS Walk Open"> this year, for an example, was so good, and the organization of the core people with Michael Lintecum and Josh Strodtman and everyone that they have surrounded themselves with went off so clean that people on the steering committee and the directors all stayed and danced and had a good time at Missie B’s, where usually everybody was so worn out that they would all split and go veg out at the house. …Everybody and the people that created this organization are thrilled to death at all the people and all the enthusiasm.”
The family’s dedication to AIDS Walk means they’ve attended many fundraisers at the gay bars. It’s not uncommon for Rick to put on camp drag and do his best to lip sync as only a non-drag queen can do. It’s pure fun, and he helps raise lots of money. Rick spoke of the recent AIDS Walk retro party at Missie B’s where he did his signature bad wig/bad dress/bad makeup drag on a cold winter night with low attendance. He was amazed that they still raised $750 from the small crowd. Anne said that she’s amazed how often people come up to her and Koree in bars and think they’re a lesbian couple.
The Frye family will be setting up for AIDS Walk the day before the walk with volunteers from State Street and other AIDS Walk volunteers, and then return to Theis Park early the next morning and stay until late in the afternoon.
“It’s a long day, but a good day,” Anne said.
“We don’t do it because we want a pat on our back. We do it because of what we feel in our hearts,” Rick said.
Castro Movie Nights &
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at email@example.com.