Sunday, February 3, 2013


What a wonderful event held yesterday for Chris and Deanna's scholarship funds.  How do I go about thanking everyone involved in the making of such a magnificent day?  I fear I'll leave someone out and I wouldn’t want that to happen!  I continue to be dumbfounded by the pure generosity of our community at these events. 
I know people choose to get involved for many reasons, some do because they've been thru a tragic time and know first-hand how it feels.  They like to lend a helping hand just as someone once did for them.  Others just have that kind hearted nature and jump in to assist because it's who they are.  To our 518 community, I say THANK YOU!  Regardless of why you opt to assist, please know that it has meaning far beyond what you might think.  You say it's no big deal but I'll tell you it's a HUGE deal.  The impact ripples on.
I met many new friends today - Zumba teachers, vendors and many of you who introduced yourselves to me.  It was my pleasure to shake your (firm) hands and give you hugs.  I appreciate getting to know you and I get the biggest kick out of it when you tell me you love to read my blog.  Truly?  I love to read your replies as much as you enjoy my words.  I'm getting better at spending some time in the evening (before I start a new blog) seeing what you have to say.  It's cyclical you know, we help each other.  I can't wait to hear from you.

For those that I have known long before today’s event I want to thank you for coming out in support of Chris and Deanna.  How kind to spend your Saturday with us.  As I know you personally, I'm aware of your family obligations and I'm aware there are a hundred other things to do and you chose to attend, very thoughtful.  I hope you had fun, I know I did.
When I walked in to Orenda Elementary Saturday afternoon I couldn't believe the crowd. Over 300 people were in attendance! The parking lot was overflowing across the street to the middle school and the funny thing about it was that my initial thoughts upon pulling up were "wow, there must be a bunch of things going on here today"... I was definitely not of the mindset that everyone came for the Zumbathon!  
I was wrong... Zumba was ALL that was happening! People were spilling out into the hall and the cafeteria was packed. You can only imagine my shock.  Imagine if this was being done for your son or daughter?  I can't seem to believe it but I'm beyond thankful.  I wish I had new words to use to share my appreciation.
I got out there on the dance floor with Bailey, her family and a bunch of football moms.  I have never Zumba'd in my life but I have to say, Chris got his moves from me because I was doing alright!  At one point I even sandwiched myself between one of Christopher's high school friends, Stephanie and the group she was with.  I thought she'd probably be mortified but lo and behold she tweeted about me!  She liked dancing with me :-) That was pretty cool. 

I had a chance to talk with some of the vendors for a bit. I was given one of the Infinity bracelets as well as the bottlecap magnets, I bought some baked goods (yum) and had silly pictures taken in the photo booth.  
I wasn't a silent auction winner today but I did like the gift baskets that were donated. 
I also had the chance to meet Hudson, one of the pitbulls who had been abandoned on the train tracks in Albany.  He's the sweetest gentleman with soft fur and gorgeous eyes and his prosthetic paw is amazing.  He has no idea he has it!

To the Shenendehowa School District, the National Honor Society students, the Zumba instructors and all who donated time and effort toward this event for the scholarship funds please know how much this means to me and my family.  Knowing the proceeds will benefit SHEN students for years to come is one of the best feelings for me.  
I am so grateful of your support of my son and to know his name lives on and he will never be forgotten.

Thank you for reading


  1. It was an honor to be part of this special tribute for Chris and Deanna. I am thrilled that it will now be an annual event.... And the plans are already underway with our Zumba crew! Thank you for coming today and I am so happy to read that it was a positive experience for you!
    -Melissa Mace

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  3. It was so fun reading your blog today. I'm sorry to say we missed the event (yet another indoor track meet). I so enjoyed watching the short clips and seeing you let loose and have some FUN! You got the moves lady! :) Next year we'll make it for sure. Meanwhile I've ordered our infinity bracelets for me and the girls and eagerly awaiting the our symbol of solidarity with the families

  4. I so enjoyed the zumbathon and watching everyone come out from our great community! I, too, am so proud of our community! I, myself, stood on the side and did not "zumba", but as I put it to someone else, I just was making sure everyone else was doing it correctly and from what I witnessed, THEY WERE!! :) I have yet to introduce myself to you as I guess I want to give you your space, but I LOVE LOVE reading your blogs so very much. I read them each and every morning before I start my work day. I am not so sure that is the smartest idea as there are many days where my fresh makeup is destroyed before I make it to work, but this has become my routine and I am now sticking to it, so I guess what I am saying Regina can't stop writing! You are now officially a part of my daily routine! Don't feel any pressure now! haha No seriously, like I have said in my earlier posts, having a two sons myself and I can't leave out my daughter, but having a son the same age as Chris at Shen makes my heart hurt for you. My kids find me crying often and my youngest son will say, "Oh no Mom, not again!" He knows. I just feel awful. I am tearing up as I write this, because it was this whole incident that inspired me to create my facebook page entitled "Desire To Inspire All". I just felt compelled to start putting positive thoughts and random acts of kindness and even personal experiences to encourage people and to impress on people that life is short. I realize we have never met, but you truly are an inspiration and I know you have heard this over and over, but I am going to be one more name to your list of people saying this. :)

  5. Regina,

    Looking at the pictures and video clips it looks like you had a good time. I'd say your right, Chris did get his moves from you!! So glad you there was such a big turn out and so much money was raised for such a great cause. The 518 is an awesome community!

    Hugs and peace

  6. I am so sorry that I had to miss it. I take care of my mom on weekends doing her shopping and anything else she needs. I am so happy it was such a big turnout. Chris and Deanna are looking down with great big smiles. They are feeling the love and support from the Shen community and the entire 518area. Thank you for sharing and God bless.

  7. Wish we could have been there.we will be attending the one at ABC.i def have no rhythm but it's for a great cause.i'll just stay in the back where no one can see me

  8. NO MATTER WHAT you can rest assured that Chris' name and legacy will not be forgotten. I wish I lived closer to SHEN so that I could go to the Zumbathon but unfortunately, without my license or a parent available to drive me, I couldn't get over. It looks like you had a great time (and so did everybody else!) Fun things like that are awesome. They raise money for a great cause without being too overbearingly sad. Perfect! Maybe Chris was even there, however you said that one little bump from him would send anybody stumbling? Maybe a full cafeteria wouldn't be the best place for him to do Zumba ;)


  9. Hi Regina,

    Reading this post today made me smile!! You sound so happy and you can tell that you are living in the moment. It sounds like you really had a fabulous time with some fabulous people! You continue to inspire and surround yourself with positive energy. A big hug and high five! You go girl!

  10. Regina,

    So glad it was so well attended. I was unable to get there this time, but I am hoping to be at the next one and hopefully the hockey game and fund raiser for Matt.

    The 518 continues to impress me!

    God Bless, XO

  11. Regina,
    I forgot to mention .. Will you please tell Bailey.. She looks great and Congratulations on getting her neck brace off! So nice to see that.. :)))

  12. Regina, I'm glad you enjoyed yourself yesterday, and hope the same for the Wind, Hardy, and Rivers families, but from what I see in your pictures, everyone was comforted and happy. The smile on Deanna's sister's face standing next to Bailey made my heart melt. It's nice to see that there are smiles for all of the families.

    Ally and I were able to come over to the event for about an hour because it felt like it was the right thing to do. We wanted to be witness to what was going on in our 518 community and see the outpouring of love and respect everyone so obviously has for your family and the Wind, Hardy and Rivers families. It was also nice to see the healing process Hudson is making. Little by little, day by day, the 518 is healing, even the 4 legged! And doing it together... It speaks volumes about community and respect and caring. It was so nice to see so many happy people gathered in one area spreading the smiles.

    Ally and I stayed on the outskirts of the event, participated in the raffle *didn't win :(* and Ally did a little table shopping to look at the beautiful things that were there for sale. It was so great of everyone to pull together to make you all smile and to help make some dreams come true. Specifically your dream of knowing Chris will not be forgotten, neither will Deanna. Knowing the proceeds will benefit SHEN students for years to come is just amazing. Between the memorial at the High School by the locker room and the scholarships that will be forthcoming, it's wonderful.

    With other events on the horizon, I'm sure there will be more shares equally as inspiring as this one...

    God bless...

  13. I love zumbathons!!! I had to miss this one as I had my own zumba class to teach, but I have been invited to lead a few routines at the zumbathon in Latham later this month. I can't wait!

    At my class this past Saturday, there was a new member joining in. She wore a diving for Bailey tshirt. She came along with one of my fave zumba peeps. I asked her after class who her friend was and she said it is Bailey's aunt. She scooted out of the room quickly after class, that I was not able to thank her for coming. Maybe she was driving up to Shen for the zumbathon and I was her pregame.

    I am very impressed with the money raised for Deanna and Chris' funds. amazing!! I hope we are able to do the same here in Latham.

  14. Hi Regina ! Wonderful blog ! My daughter Dominica was in Chris's gym class this year ! She was always saying how fun he was and that she's never seen anyone love gym like he did ! She actually looked forward to it ! She said he was a bundle of energy ! Clearly she was correct!
    God bless u!

  15. REGINA>>>
    When i just about to publihs the above post....
    this was the number that came up that i needed to enter to post..

    169! Hello Chris!