Saturday, August 15, 2015

Short Plug For Beat The Heat II

As much as I would like to write a long dissertation this morning on just about anything, I am up like a normal work day because it is, for me, a work day. I will be at Lindsey Park shortly after daybreak starting to set up the main table for Beat The Heat II, and will be there most, if not all, of the day (Sabrina has to get to and from work, later in the afternoon, but otherwise I am planning on being there). The kid-friendly events and the skateboard contest will be going off as planned, and there is even going to be a dance routine/performance late in the day that I had no idea was lined up, but will be worth watching. The music/band situation has been more difficult to get right, but as of 8 PM last night we were still on, and the tentative plan is a few DJs and a few bands playing from about 11 AM till about 7 PM. I have left the music procurement and set-up to others, which accounts for the uncertainty; I'm not going to say all that I am thinking on this matter other than there's a lot of merit to the adage "if you want something done right, do it yourself."
I awoke at 3 AM to the sound of heavy rain, but it has stopped and the radar looks as if any further precipitation is many hours away and will probably pass to the north. We are not going to get a lot of sun today, and that is likely to depress attendance some, but you can't control the weather anymore than you can control someone else's kid. As is usual for major events, now that the day is actually here, I feel a lot calmer than I did earlier in the week; as Tom Petty once sang, "the waiting is the hardest part." And the part of the Easter saga that is termed "The Agony" is not any of the events of Good Friday, but when Jesus of Nazareth was alone with his thoughts in the Garden of Gethsemane on Thursday night, thinking about what was going to happen.
That insight--that thinking about matters almost always is worse than actually going through them--has sustained me through many dark periods in the last seventeen years or so, and I have gotten to the point where I realistically don't drive myself batshit crazy with projections and fears any longer. It is a lesson that I am afraid I have not imparted very well to my sixteen-year old, but that is a subject for another post in the future (that has been a source of some of the angst and tension I have been going through this week). But as I am typing this, I am blissfully aware that sixteen hours from now, I will be home again, with my vacation started and the mission accomplished, for better or worse. My hope is obviously that the event goes well, that a lot of people have fun and memorable experiences. But even if it turns out to be a fiasco--the point is that it will pass, soon enough. I have learned much in the last two years about doing events such as this, and should I be fortunate enough to have an opportunity to have this event again next year, I will apply those lessons with vigor and pleasure. But for now, there is today to get through.
And to recap for those reading for the first time and those that are still undecided about whether to come down--Beat The Heat is a community event that all are welcome to. It is designed to raise public awareness of runaway/homeless youth and the program that I run that works with them. We will be giving away--giving away, I repeat--T-shirts and promotional items such as water bottles, Post-It Notes, magnets, hairbrushes, and other knick-knacky things with our program name and number on them; the new T-Shirts this year also prominently feature my friend Judah's skateboard company logo. There will be two bounce houses up all day for the public to use, and there are some plans for events like a tug of war, touch football games, and ultimate Frisbee as well. There is a schedule of bands and DJs as well, and my latest information is that that has all fallen into place and will occur as planned. The program will be selling water for a dollar a bottle, with the proceeds going to help the program, and any and all donations will be welcomed, as well. The Belmar Food Cart is supposed to be at the park for most of the day, as well. And as I mentioned, there will some sort of dance performance in the late afternoon, as well.
So come down and spend at least part of the day with us, if you can.

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