Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Walk

This past Saturday, I participated in this fund raising and awareness walk.  This was the fourth consecutive year that a Walk was held.  The Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) is open to anyone seeking a bone marrow transplant.  The shortage of available Armenian donors spurred its formation but it's not exclusive to Armenians.  Read More Here.  We raised a little more than $18K on Saturday.  It was a very young crowd as many school groups participated.  (The road marshals were adults...and you know how adults can be...)

Anyone who has known me for a while knows I'm not an Armenian Armenian.  I'm very proud of my heritage, but I didn't participate in the usual Armenian groups and schools growing up.  That's a mixed blessing as I know I missed out on significant opportunities to learn more about my heritage then (in addition to missing out on an opportunity to learn to speak and write Armenian as a child.)  Living so close to Watertown, I frequent Armenian grocery stores, and I get to as many Armenian social and cultural events as I can.  OK, back to the Walk.

The Walk started at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center (ACEC) in Watertown on Nichols Avenue.  It's an impressive place.

Everyone congregated in the main hall and waited for the start at 11AM.  

A few minutes before 11, several speakers reviewed the route with us in addition to how the road marshals would work.  Road marshals had yellow t-shirts, and we walkers had green t-shirts.  The road marshals blocked every cross street (no easy feat in Watertown on a  Saturday afternoon.)

Once we set off walking, it was pretty residential all the way.  We did pass St. James, so I had to make note of the forthcoming Bazaar: October 16-17.

We made it to the park just outside Watertown Square next to the firehouse on Main Street.  It turned out there was a major fair in progress: live band, food, crafts and more.

We streamed through the crowd to an open space at the far corner of the park.  Organizers had placed ABMDR markers there for us to circle around while we waited for closing remarks and several drawings.

We received water and bananas while we waited, and then the raffles began.

There were some impressive prizes...I walked home with a new t-shirt, some hummus from an Armenian food booth, and a good feeling for having spent some time helping to improve life for someone else.  

My donors: Thank you for sponsoring me.  This was a local walk that helps people world wide.  Now that you've had to wade through my writing...here's a professional review from The Armenian Weekly.



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