I can’t believe it’s been a full year today since we lost Juli forever. I’ve been very remiss in posting here on this blog, and I’m not even sure if anyone will see this post other than those who are still subscribed to the notifications, but I’m hoping to get back to occasionally posting now that I have the guilt of having not posted recently over with.
I’ll start off with saying that the kids and I are doing really well. Our friends, family, and community have taken such good care of us. We have all settled into our “new normal”, and although we all miss Juli, we have been able to go one with our lives enjoying each other and every day while always keeping her in our hearts. Each of us has experienced the past year in our own way, and I can’t speak to each of the kids individual experiences, but I will say that they are incredible, strong children who inspire me every day. My growth this past year has encompassed getting used to being a single father, making some wonderful new friends, learning all the things you learn being a single parent, and figuring out how to fit the past into the future. It is a little bit of that last part that I want to share with you now:
Although today represents the day we lost Juli, I want to make it represent the incredible legacy that she has left behind. Therefore, today I am going to share my dream with all of you, and once again ask for your help. Today is the day that I publicly announce to people that I am forming a non-profit organization with the purpose of raising funds and awareness for cancer research, patients, survivors, and their families. The name of this organization is “Cure the Color.” I have already registered curethecolor.com and ensured that it isn’t in widespread use nationally (or trademarked). The full name will be “The Juli Shabazian Cure the Color Run.” If anyone has ever been to a color run, they will know that these are fun 5k events where people get showered in color, and end up tie dyed at the end of the day. If you don’t know what a color run is, here is a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EERSfHiqT8
In our color runs, we will have colors that represent specific cancers such as gray for brain (dedicated to Juli), pink for breast, orange for melanoma, etc. I would like to use lavender (caregiver color) to start the run, and purple (survivor color) to end the run. I think this will be a great way to have fun, honor those who we love that are battling
cancer or have been lost, and to engage the younger generation in the battle against cancer.
I already have access to dozens of locations around the US with volunteers to staff a color run, but they don’t have the logistical knowledge or experience to put it on. Things such as permits, where to get the paint, suppliers for T-Shirts, logistics for putting on the run,
website for registration, etc. That is where my organization will come in. We will have the website that will completely handle their registration, suppliers for paint, T-Shirts, etc., a playbook for how to successfully put the run on, help with the permit process, etc.
My hope is to put on our first run next year (maybe 2 or 3 more), 17 the following year, and 35 the year after that. From there, the sky is the limit.
I have already gotten folks with the City of San Ramon to say they will help with whatever we need to figure out the logistics of permits, etc., and I have a large group of folks that have been helping to put on a number of successful run events locally for many years that I plan to call on for run knowledge and experience, but I still need a number
Help with marketing: I need a logo, and it would be nice to have a video similar to the one above that could be used. Other marketing collateral (brochures, T-Shirt design, ????) would also be great.
Suppliers: Connections to procure large amounts (eventually) of T-Shirts and the paint used.
Ideas: If you have been to a color run, what did you like, what could be done better, etc.
Website development: I need a website that both communicates the organization goals, and has the back end required to support multiple runs in disparate locations.
Accounting: I need someone who is familiar with the accounting intricacies of a non-profit to help setup and keep our books.
Advice: Let’s face it, there are things that I just don’t know that I don’t know! Although I have significant experience in the non-profit arena, the collective experience and intelligence is one I have learned to embrace in my career and I call upon it here.
Sponsors/Donors: I’m funding all of the formation of the 501(c)3 out of pocket right now, but as we start to ramp up, it would be nice to have as much financial support as we could. I’m sure we can get large corporations like Chevron (local here in San Ramon) once we have the marketing materials, but a list of organizations and contacts would be great. This is going to be a national campaign/event, so don’t limit your ideas to organizations where we will have a run.
Anything else you have or know that you think would be helpful!
So there you have it. You all are among the first to publicly hear about what I hope will become a well known national organization that puts on hundreds of “cure the color” runs every year. Any and all advice you have for me would be very welcome and appreciated. Please email me directly with ideas or if you would like to get involved.
Finally, for those of you who are local, there will be a small “celebration” at Hopyard to toast Juli starting at 7:30 tonight. If anyone would like to come help us celebrate the incredible woman and legacy of Juli, I would love to see you.