Monkey Brains, Tumbleweeds, a Big Truck, and an Acronym

We have said so many times that we cannot do this 5K, or run this foundation, without the extraordinary efforts of the world’s greatest volunteers. That is 100% true. It is our volunteers who do all the hard stuff: raise the money, organize the run, take care of the people, decide how to grant the proceeds, and (probably the most difficult task of all) keep Dale and Megan focused and pick us up when we are buried in our grief. Even this year, through some very profound events in our personal lives, our team has been there supporting us, working on things we just could not get to, making plans and decisions and being just spectacular as we have walked through these last few months. They are just absolutely the best volunteers in the world. No contest.

We have also enjoyed the gifts from others as well. The generosity and commitment of so many involved in our effort to make it count for veterans are unparalleled. Be sure to check out the back of our shirt to see incredible support from this community, and read here about a few of the things near and dear to our hearts:

Monkey Brain Art Project. You are going to love this year’s run shirt! Designed by a group of very artistic veterans under the leadership of veteran Gary Walker, Monkey Brain Art Project uses art creation, meditation, and mindfulness to calm the unsettled minds of warriors with PTS. Check out their website at

The Tumbleweed Grill and Bar in Gardner, KS has been a long-time friend of our local military and of Make It Count. Many reunions, celebrations, send-offs, and memorials have happened there, and the owners love on us all like we are family. When we had the idea to host some special folks for a breakfast buffet at our run this year, we immediately thought of asking The Weed (as they are known among our crowd), if they could help us out. Not only did they immediately say “YES”, they generously donated the food, delivery, and set-up. Not what we were expecting, not what we were after, but that is what they are doing. They really are just exceptional people.  And, by the way, if you are in town on a Saturday or Sunday and have a hankering for the best blueberry pancake EVER, check out The Weed. You won’t be sorry.

Big YELLOW Truck. Swamp Holly Yellow is the most visible color from the greatest distance, which is why it is used by Yellow on their trucks. On August 6th,  Yellow will use their high visibility to help us “fill the truck” for St. Michael’s Veterans Center Dignity Drive. If you are someone who has more than you need, please consider giving to those who do not have enough. A package of toilet paper, a roll of trash bags, a toothbrush or two—these are things that can make a real difference for the veteran residents at St. Michael’s. If you want to know more about this amazing community, check out  And thanks again to our friends at YELLOW.  You are certainly making it count.

SFRG. Standing for Soldiers and Families Readiness Group, the SFRG is tasked with being the link between families and Army units. Specifically, the SFRG for the Army Reserve Unit based at New Century will be our special guests the morning of August 6th.  We will be hosting them for a brunch that morning, generously donated by The Tumbleweed Grill. Please be respectful of these people who continue to sacrifice so much, keeping things moving in the right direction at home while their loved ones are serving our country. And if you happen to see some of them out on the course, please thank them.  They serve, too.

And some other details.

    • Packet Pickup is Friday, August 5 at the Olathe Hen House (13600 S Blackbob) from 4:30-7:30. We will be set up and ready at 4:30 sharp. If you come earlier, we may put you to work carrying boxes of shirts. J
    • Registration and Packet Pickup on Saturday begin at 6:00 a.m. Rumor has it there will be some great things to eat that morning, so bring that debit card!
    • The forecast looks a little warm. Plan accordingly, including for your dogs.

The folks in red shirts are our army of volunteers. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to flag down a red-shirter. They are there to help.

Thank you for traveling this journey with us. Your support is invaluable to our veterans, and it means a lot to us as well. Together, we will continue to make it count.

See you Saturday!