Saturday, June 16, 2012

Crazy About the Fox

Michael J. Fox was in town last night for an inspirational, courageous and entertaining night at the Middlesex Community College Celebrity Forum at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.  It was truly a special honor to serve as his escort around the Mill City.  I was genuinely flattered, impressed, and inspired by his relaxed, down-to-earth style, and his optimistic and upbeat outlook on life.
The Hollywood star who's played such memorable roles as Marty McFly, Alex P. Keaton, Lewis Rothschild, Milo Thach, Stuart Little and most recently, Louis Canning, put all of those roles behind him and brought his very personal story before a sold out house.  Fox spoke about his decades-long battle with Parkinson's disease, the role which has thrust him to the forefront of research to find a cure for the disease.
Thanks to some incredible camerawork by photographer extraordinaire Kevin Harkins, he of  check out some of these pics of the extended E Streeter family from the night!
The Cook kids (and Mrs.) were rocking the red carpet
Who's the celebrity here?  The movie and tv star or the couple who shattered records at the Vermont Covered Bridges Half-Marathon?
The architect, mastermind, and all-around Kingpin of Celebrity Forum - ladies and gentlemen, Dennis Malvers (and his lovely wife, Cassie, of course)
Just a handful of the army of Team MCC volunteers
Outside the auditorium, a time-travelling Delorean awaited guests, who were all to happy to pose with it.  Sadly, this one did not come with a flux capacitor or plutonium.
Gina looks right at home in it, and she didn't need the radiation suit! Donna looks like she's ready for the model cover shoot for Car and Driver
It's not Top Gear, but Andrew and Heather definitely had their eyes fixed on this set of wheels
At show's end, Michael brought down the house - donning an MCC hockey jersey, he grabbed the nearby guitar to re-enact the Johnny B. Goode rocking finale from Back to the Future. 
 So naturally, when Michael was on his way home, some of us couldn't resist posing in front of the clock tower or breaking a few riffs on the guitar ourselves.....
  Again, a simply incredible night with a truly amazing man.  I think the crowd was touched, moved, entertained, and inspired by Michael's performance.  To find out more about helping him wage his battle against the disease, check out his Foundation at 

To wrap up, and to help keep things in perspective, always remember how lucky you are to have family, friends and your health.  There's a lot of people out there living with greater hardships, everyday battles, and crises.  When you think you're having a tough day, remember Michael's story about the woman in Mozambique: "A woman gave birth in a tree.  What do you got?"

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cycle Chickens

It was a picture perfect, simply glorious day for a pair of bike rides to help benefit the Middlesex Community College Foundation today, with more than a dozen E Streeters pedaling their wares in 40 and 10 mile rides throughout Bedford, Carlisle, and Concord today!
Under a cloudless sky and temperatures that creeped up on 80 degrees, the day was custom made for a quiet bike ride along the suburban roadways.  And the great thing about the bike ride, unlike so many of the maniacal runs that we do, is that the bike ride is truly a family event, with second generation E Streeters joining the mix, some for the first time - I'm looking at you Kayla!
Take a peek through some of the pics.  If they're clear and good, they're by Alyce O'Connell, she of If they're fuzzy, I took them with my phone.
Scott and Carlos were the brave ones.  They did the 40.  Pretty amazing for one of the two, who hadn't ridden more than 10 miles in God knows how long.
Two more 40 mile diehards, Tom and Donna Corbin!  Donna was one of the architects behind the entire ride, pulling together the routes and signage and countless other details!
Can anyone tell us what Sue and Jackie are doing behind Barry?  Anyone?
Seriously, could somebody please help Tommy with his helmet???
Heading out for the 10-mile run, the girls are looking great!
He was the poster boy for last year's ride, can Tommy do it again?
Barry manages to keep the sex behind him in the college sign as he leaves campus
Not sure, but I think Andrew might be yawning here.  10:30 IS an early start for the lad

Not everyone looks right on a bike.  Or in a helmet.

The Borges Girls are looking Gorgeous and ready to hit the streets!
Moe, Larry, and Curly, who apparently isn't yawning, but is just roaring a Braveheart cheer throughout the ride

At one of the water stops, dad and daughter took time to drink some water and get out of those crushing helmets
Heather agrees.  There's no way this thing can fit on my head.
The Sweep Team!
Kayla takes full advantage of the water stop.
 Two peas in a pod - Heather and Courtney!

The outing also saw a pair of Heathers pedaling side by side for most of the course, that is, when the elder Heather wasn't having f-bombs hurled at her by crotchedy old dog walkers.
I think the giant finger in the picture is trying to tell everyone which way to go to head back to campus
Finishing up, Donna and Marc Burke look like they could go out and ride the 40 all over again, no problem!  For Marc, today was the start of his warm-up for the Pan-Mass Challenge this August!  Amazing achievement!
Coming in, Ann Marie and Kayla got a security escort courtesy of dad Carlos!
The Crockett Rockets, Ruth and Jonathan, rode the whole 40 together.  Happily, unlike last year, Jonathan was still able to walk a straight line after this year's outing


No, Heather and Steve did NOT do the whole ride holding hands.  It just looked cuter to finish up that way.
See: here's proof!
Once again, the brains behind the Cook and Spence teams
 Team Cook is positively glowing in the radiant brilliance of this June Sunday
Team Spence works the colors quite nicely
Team Heathers
Finally, another MCC bike ride in the books.  Take a bow or a jump for joy, MCC team.  See you all next June!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Bosh Pit

The E Streeters took to the streets of Chelmsford today for a charity 5K (give or take) in honor of a courageous man whose cause we were happy to support by pounding the pavement
On July 2, 2011, Chris Boshar of Chelmsford suffered a spinal cord injury at the C4/5 level. This injury occurred while enjoying a Saturday afternoon with family and friends at a lake in New Hampshire. The accident was just that, an accident – he slipped off the family boat and hit the sand. This injury changed his life and that of his family and friends in one split second.

Chris spent 23 days in the SICU (surgical intensive care unit) at Mass General. While there, he fought pneumonia, infection, surgery, pressure sore, and the emotional acceptance of paralysis. On July 25th, he was air transported to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta to participate in aggressive therapy. For the next 90 days, Chris developed pneumonia, infections and endured a pressure sore that resulted in flap surgery. Despite these odds, Chris continued to push himself to participate in physical and occupational therapy to help regain function. On November 8th, Chris was transported back to Massachusetts and spent 20 days at the Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital as a transition from an acute hospital to home. He is now living in an apartment with his girl-friend, adjacent to his Mother’s home.

Chris is focused on the ultimate goal of walking. He’s participating in every type of therapy. He is a client for physical therapy at Journey Forward – a gym that specialized in spinal cord injuries. He is working with a private trainer who specializes in spinal cord injury.  He is participating in a therapeutic program at Boston Medical. He is also open to and participating in a variety of modalities including prayer, acupuncture and energy healing. In addition to out of the home therapy,
Today's race of more than 400 runners and walkers collected money to help support Chris on the road back to recovery.  Best of luck to you, Chris, we were honored to support you!
Before the race, we did a 4.5 mile warm-up, roaming Scott's old Chelmsford High Cross Country trails.  He kept getting lost, but in his defense, it HAS been quite a while.  He still leads the way, though.

Barry was positively glowing on the warm-up
You'd think John was with us today, what with us running along Route 3, and all.
Pre-race, organizers quickly glommed onto Tommy and Mike.
Mike happily boasted his Celtics Pride in advance of Game 7
In the corral waiting for the race star, father/son, doing a fashion faux pas
Out of the gate and down Graniteville Road, we formed a flying wedge for Carlos, but even his Secret Service detail couldn't prevent him from being boxed out by a pair of women. 
Photographic proof of what may be the ONLY time Barry has ever gone past Sully's Ice Cream without stopping.  Will power, that one, I tell ya.
 Murderer's row 

By the way, in case you hadn't heard it was an E Streeter's birthday today!  Which one? Why this one, hiding her mortified face behind her jacket! 
Happy birthday, Jill!  Nothing like having the E Streeters and 200 of their closest running friends sing to you!