Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Book Launch of "Dream Big"

I am so blessed and grateful to be part of a village that believes in doing good and making this world a better place--who create light out of the darkness of tragedy and who live their lives with Truth, integrity and Love. I'm still feeling the glow of last night's book launch for "Dream Big" a true story of courage and determination written by Dave McGillivray and Nancy Feehrer.

Tom and I walked into Tresca's Restaurant in the North End and were greeted by Scott Middlemiss, founder of The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation, Inc. We've been Facebook friends connected through the Gilbreths who we "just happened" to be standing next to at the starting line of the Bermuda Half Marathon. They were wearing their Big Heart Foundation t-shirts. I knew about the Middlemiss family through my friendship with Dave McGillivray. Tom offered to take their photos:

Scott remembered the connection as well as our Facebook connection. We agreed it was great to meet in person. Scott commented with humility and warmth, that there were all sorts of famous people gathered - such as Ray Bourque who was standing just over his shoulder. Tom commented, "I thought that was him but he was wearing a Tresca shirt so I was a little confused." They pulled out all the stops to make this a memorable occasion for all in attendance.

Gift bags lined the table at the entrance with a signed copy of "Dream Big", the medal that children will receive when they complete their "Big Dream" Marathon, instructions for the evening, a brochure for the Foundation, 2 promotional cards to Tresca's and cookies from Mike's Pastry:

The cookies from Mike's were consumed prior to the writing of this blog.

The spread of Italian food "appetizers" filled tables on the first and second floors of Tresca's. There were small water bottles, a cash bar for beer and wine and a full cash bar. A student jazz band from Westford Academy played in the background.

After we got our food, Tom suggested we go upstairs to sit down but we couldn't find a table. There was a table in the corner in the back that looked like we could squeeze in.

"Hey I remember you from Bermuda. We rode the shuttle together from the Airport."

It clicked in that here were Dan and Kim Ashworth of Ashworth Awards. We rode to the Fairmont Southampton Princess with them when we arrived for Bermuda Marathon Weekend. They create the medals and awards for major events all over the world. We had a delightful time chatting with them while we savored the wonderful array of meatballs, spinach pies, cheese and crackers, chicken marsala skewers, and Mediterranean antipasto. We chatted about Bermuda, Race Director Anthony Raynor and Kim's upcoming Boston Marathon run followed by Ironman Texas. We got acquainted with John Breen, an account executive for Ashworth Awards who designed the medal for the Dream Big Marathon.

Walking over to chat with Dave, I met Rachel Glazer. She ran the inaugural Fenway Park Marathon and we felt as though we knew each other because of our friendship on Facebook. We exchanged Dave McGillivray stories filled with love. She said that she would love to meet the people from the Ashworth Awards since she is an event planner. I brought her over to meet Dan and Kim.

When Dave opened his comments to the crowd assembled for this very special occasion he said it felt like it was a wedding. As we milled around the rooms people would ask how are you connected here? All I could think of was are you on the bride or the groom's side after Dave made that comment. People either knew Dave and were part of the running/Boston Marathon/DMSE community (Dave McGillvray Sports Enterprises), were connected to the Middlemiss Family or were friends and family of Nancy Feehrer.

We gathered around the book signing table to hear remarks from Ray, Scott, Nancy and of course Dave.

Scott shared the origins of his Foundation. His son Joseph was born with cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart. He died suddenly on September 23, 2013. Out of their grief, he and his wife Kate created the Foundation to keep Joe's memory and legacy alive. Here is their YouTube video explaining the mission and vision of the Foundation:

Their younger son Jack was also born with cardiomyopathy but underwent a heart transplant and is doing well. As Dave mentioned in his remarks, they have a very special relationship. The Foundation is going to be purchasing copies of "Dream Big" for schools. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the books goes to the Foundation and DMSE Children's Fitness Foundation.

Nancy, a teacher, shared the incredible story of how she was inspired to write the manuscript for the book after Dave came and spoke to children at her school. She has seen, first hand, how kids lives are changed hearing Dave's message.

Everyone wiped away tears as Dave presented Scott with his medals from the World Marathon Challenge for Jack:

"Dream Big" is available on Amazon

Have you ever had a dream? How did you make that dream come true?

Dave McGillivray is a world-renowned athlete, entrepreneur, captivating motivational speaker, and philanthropist. He’s also the director of the Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest and maybe most famous annual race! But he wasn’t always so accomplished. In Dream Big: A True Story of Courage and Determination, his nonfiction picture book for readers ages 6 to 10, Dave shares his unique, true story about reaching deep and showing extreme determination in the face of doubt, disappointment, and loss.

In Dream Big: A True Story of Courage and Determination, Dave is a small kid who wants more than anything to be a professional athlete. But there’s one problem. You have to be tall to play basketball. You have to be big to play football. And Dave? He’s little, but his dreams are BIG. He turns to running, because you don’t have to be big to be a marathon runner! But you do need to train. And Dave doesn’t do much training before he crosses his first starting line of the Boston Marathon. Which is probably why he doesn’t quite cross the finish line on his first attempt at the famous race. But his Grandpa believes in him, and that’s enough to make Dave train hard for the next Boston Marathon. But will his Grandpa be there to see him succeed?

Kids and grownups alike will be inspired by Dave’s story of passion, determination, and grit. Nomad Press’s first foray into the genre of nonfiction picture books, Dream Big delivers on all the promise you’d expect from a vibrant, real-life character paired with an award-winning fine artist. Together, Dave McGillivray and Ron Himler create a story that is heartwarming, inspiring, and beautifully presented.

And for you older kids, you can purchase "The Last Pick." Read my open letter/book review to Dave by following this link.

Please donate to The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation by following this link.

As John Breen said at the end of his Facebook post about the evening, "All you need is love and to Dream Big!"

To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours,

Proud to be a part of Friends of Blue Diamond Athletic Displays, Inc. Be sure to visit us at Booth 758 during Boston Marathon Weekend.

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.

Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life

Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:

And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):

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