Comfort Zones

zipWe all have comfort zones. Places we feel safe. Mine are at work or at home with my family.

For the past three years, I have put on a good face while family and friends have gathered to put on ZipperQ. Let me tell you, this is way outside my comfort zone.

When Zip was diagnosed in 2011, I was in my comfort zone. My happy little family was whole. I had volunteered in the community, done leadership class, and been on several boards. When Zip was born, I kind of took a break from that. Family was my focus and my safe spot.

When we learned about FOP, we learned we would be fundraisers.

Way outside my zone!

I had never fundraised before. Ever. It scared me to death.

We built the ZipperQ model to be a family-friendly BBQ throwdown. What does this mean? It means our family and friends wanted everyone to feel welcome. Everyone could be a part of it in some way or another, whether it was by time donations, money donations, or just attending the event. Our arms are open to spread awareness about FOP.

Mind you, we had never done this before. We had no idea what to expect. The event has grown year after year with the support of our family, friends, and community.

I have to say in the three years of doing ZipperQ, this was a feeling like I have never felt before. Seeing our community come together for a cause, for something bigger than all of us, is mind-blowing.

zipIt took 10 months to plan and when the time came, the weather gods shone upon us. Three years and this was the first good weather. Everyone took action and this year was an event for our community and ZipperQ/K team to be proud of.

21 BBQ teams, a band, the high school band, a 5K volunteer team, a dunk tank team and volunteers, a photo booth team, the auction donors, an auction team, an event t-shirt team, a taster kit team, a BBQ judging team and judges, the ticket sales team, Pelco, the lemonade family, photographer, the website designers, the banner makers, the emcee, the trophy shop, the shirt makers, the shirt designers, the snow cone volunteers, the hot dog team, the Claremore City Special Events Committee, the Expo event staff, Claremore Police Department, Claremore Fire Department, the tent guy, the electricians, the NTC volunteers, the high school volunteers, the jr. high volunteers, the Westside first-grade water team, the Westside fifth-grade ticket sales team, the Melton Sales team, the team, the sponsors, Daylight Donuts, and then there is my friends and family. Phew. I sincerely hope I didn’t miss anybody.

So many great people coming together for the cause and the day was fantastic.

comfort zonesOur family stepped outside our comfort zone and great things happened. The famous Pinterest pin “Great things never came from comfort zones” rings true.

Our eternal thanks to everyone who was a part of ZipperK or ZipperQ. The final numbers won’t be in for a couple of weeks, but it looks like we will be in the $140,000 range. FOP research will benefit as well as the IFOPA.

We will take a rest from fundraising for a bit and return to our comfort zone, at least for a couple of months. ZipperQ 4 will be Oct. 3rd next year, so go ahead and mark your calendars.

Thank you for all of the love and support.

Gordons out.




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