Even a girl with sisu needs a little help from her friends…

Awesomeness is the theme of the week. My appearance in GOOD’s People are Awesome feature got me thinking about some awesome School Food Tour ‘volunteer staffers’ (aka friends who believe in the cause) that deserve recognition and thanks.

Learning to ask for help has been a challenge for me. I am independent, perhaps to a fault, and I pride myself on my “sisu” – a Finnish word that describes “strength of will, determination, perseverance ” (Wikipedia). So when I started developing the School Food Tour concept last fall, I was determined to go it alone. However I soon realized that I had neither the time, energy or diverse expertise to carry out such an ambitious initiative completely by myself.

Now, although I am still ultimately one lone girl on a solo mission, this project has brought together a team of unbelievable people who together have put countless hours of energy into the Tour. I am pleased to introduce…

The SFT Team:

Dustin Fletcher, Graphic Illustrator Extraordinaire

  • It was a serendipitous afternoon – I ran downtown for a quick errand at the kayak shop where Fletch just happened to be filling in for one day. We bonded over our shared love for windsurfing and bikes, and he agreed to help me with my branding. Fletch is the one who really pressured me to refine the Tour concept, create a mission statement and ultimately define where I wanted to go with this project. He also created the Tour’s fantastic logo.

Dr. Felice Beitzel, Brainiac

  • Felice’s invaluable contributions to the Tour are so numerous that I cannot even begin to itemize her accomplishments. She is a fabulous writer, has a creative mind and an appreciation for healthy living as an elite athlete for the cross country ski team XC Oregon. When not busy utilizing her PhD in muscle physiology in her work for Giant Bicycles race team as one of the premiere soigneurs (massage therapist + much more) in the country, she can be found enjoying mochas and strategizing with me how how to advance the Tour. She asks me, “What can I help you with?” pretty much every day. There is no better friend (or proofreader!) than she.

Erin Merz, Media Relations & Publicity Guru

  • A hometown friend and accomplished triathlete, Erin recently came on board to contribute her expertise in media relations. Her involvement has added a whole new dimension to the SFT initiative. We now have a concrete outreach plan and I feel lucky to have her help!

Mom & Dad

  • They continue to stand by me. I love you guys.

Grizwald, Doggy Ambassador

  • This fuzzy siberian husky keeps my spirits afloat with his goofy canine personality and boundless energy.

Other awesome people in my life:

  • A presenter from a cancelled conference who met with me on his own time to share lessons learned
  • The guy from the cube-next-door who offered to look into contacting Michelle Obama
  • The gal from the bakery who saw me drooling over their almond croissants through the window and chased me down the street to give me a free one.
  • Each and every person who has offered me a place to stay once I hit the road

So, thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

xo, Sara

One thought on “Even a girl with sisu needs a little help from her friends…

  1. Erin Merz says:

    YOU are awesome! Thanks for the awesome plug. Thrilled to be part of such an awesome project and team…and to support an awesome fellow Yooper!

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