Good Times and Gratitude

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We did it!

Over the weekend, the Hot Tatamales took to the streets of Houston to raise breast cancer awareness and show our support for the Avon Foundation’s efforts to end this vicious disease.

With flames on our shoes, tutus on our hips and shirts emblazoned with our “vulgar and/or offensive” logo across our chests, collectively we walked roughly 372 miles – the distance between Houston and New Orleans.

We did it with one bad back, several foot injuries, a couple of bum knees, road rash, heat rash, countless blisters, aches, pains and some unfortunate chafing incidents. And it was totally worth it!

Before we even crossed the finish line at the 2014 Houston Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, we raised almost $37,600 to help provide breast cancer screenings, treatments and research for prevention and a cure. Our fundraising efforts also earned the Hot Tatamales a spot as one of Houston’s top five platinum teams. Not too shabby for our first year!

Jazz hands go up and woos go out to the people who gave up their weekends to help us go the distance.

Lisa, Wayne and Melissa, we couldn’t have asked for a more amazing support crew. Thank you for following us all over the city, going on supply runs, transporting injured and exhausted Hot Tatamales, playing upbeat music, being the loudest cheerleaders, helping to put up our tents for the night and going out of your way to make sure the Avon Walk organizers didn’t close the course before we finished on Day 1.

We are grateful for all the others who joined our support crew along the 39.3-mile route, which zigzagged through beautiful Houston neighborhoods.

Robert, thank you hosting a kickass party at our first rest stop at Mile 3.5. Those amazing breakfast tacos and beverages helped fuel Saturday morning’s walk. Kristen, thanks for bringing kolaches to the party. Yum!

Jeff, Kristen, Sara, Bryan and Melissa, thank you for making the best posters on the Avon route, waving them wildly and basically making spectacles of yourselves. We were feeling the love at every cheering section. You kept us laughing. You kept us going.

Speaking of love, this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our significant others. Roy, Michael, Sean, Robert and Ron, we are grateful for everything you did to help us on this journey to end breast cancer. And thank you for the hugs and kisses along the route, even though we were hot, sweaty messes.

We’d also like to thank the Taylors, Hansons and other friends and family who came out with pompoms and tutus to encourage us to go the distance.

Retro DJ to Go, thank you for providing great, energizing tunes. Just when we thought you couldn’t take one more step, you motivated us to boogie down the road.

Arianne, you are amazing. Thank you for volunteering at the last minute to be Avon’s massage therapist for all those aching and hobbling walkers. And thank you for staying late and risking hand cramps to take care of the Hot Tatamales’ team captain, one of the last to cross the finish line on Day 1.

Jeff, thank you for capturing scenes from our two-day walk and posting our progress on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine. Friends and family who couldn’t attend the walk loved the updates and we love being able to look back on these moments. Such great mash-ups and memories!

To the staff at Under the Volcano, thank you for being our motivation to get to Mile 19.8. And thank you for the beers and cocktails that made the last 6.3 miles on Day 1 a little easier. To the staff at City Oven, thank you for hosting our celebration at the end of 39.3 miles.

Ibuprofen, we couldn’t have done it without you. Also, a special thanks to Gatorade, Nutter Butters, Pirate’s Booty, sunscreen, antibacterial wipes, Vaseline and Body Glide (not to be confused with Astroglide). Johnson & Johnson, your advanced blister bandages are AMAZING. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, thank you for making an effective remedy for one of our team members. And thank you for inspiring the juvenile jokes that we’ll no doubt be making for years to come.

Last but not least, we’d like to thank the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer organizers and volunteers who fed us, patched up our boo boos, helped us safely across every intersection, provided much-needed hot showers, inspired us and reminded us that the more of us who walk the more of us survive.

Avon, the Hot Tatamales are honored to be a part of this journey to end breast cancer. We’ll see you back out there in 2015!

With love and gratitude,

Jill, Anna, Pam, Kimberly, Kristy, Donna, Dan, Gulshan, Karen, Eric, Betsy and Meredith