Josh Stegeman
Second Wind St. Louis
Board Member
October, 2007

The most wonderful aspect of the St. Louis Second Wind Lung Walk is generosity:

1) Generosity from all of the participants in the actual race and walk who give both of their time and money to share in a worthwhile experience; 2) Generosity from all of our sponsors and organizations that voluntarily contribute their resources, manpower, and financial commitments; 3) Generosity from all of the members of the organization and their families and friends who aid in the execution and operation of the lung walk, from the first planning meeting for this year’s Lung Walk to the cleanup; 4) Generosity from all our financial donors who are present at the Lung Walk in spirit, but are the driving component behind the Lung Walk’s success. All of these outlets of generosity mesh together to give life and success to the Lung Walk.

It was a great pleasure to serve as the emcee of the 2007 Lung Walk and to share my story with all of you. I know that each person’s and family’s story that involves being touched by someone who has experienced the lung transplant process is unique and fulfilling. It is these stories that truly generate the interest and desire of individuals to contribute to the cause because they provide a real and personal component to the whole process. I hope that you are able to share your stories with whomever you come in contact, so that it might provide inspiration in their lives.

My wife (she is a wise woman) pointed out to me what is truly amazing about the St. Louis Second Wind Association is that nearly all of the money it raises actually goes to individuals who truly need the assistance to continue living and “breathing” in this world. Very few charitable organizations are able to utilize nearly 100% of their funding to aid those who need the assistance. St. Louis Second Wind makes every effort to accomplish that goal, thereby setting it apart from other charitable organizations.

My hope is that we will continue to make the Lung Walk bigger, better, and more rewarding for all who participate, while minimizing our need to use funds other than to help those who desperately require assistance to proceed through the transplant process. The special part about St. Louis Second Wind is that it not only helps people seeking transplants, but also aids those who have had transplants, but for one reason or another experience complications that necessitate assistance. The best way to expand the Lung Walk is to encourage people to donate toward your walking or form teams to actually participate in the race. As an organization whose impact is predominantly local, our best resource is people in the community becoming aware of our purpose and donating to our cause.

One way in which we may be able to increase the contributions toward St. Louis Second Wind is by holding an auction or raffle for prizes obtained from generous local businesses, such as many of the attendance prizes this year. It would allow St. Louis Second Wind to raise that much more money, especially since the Lung Walk currently serves as our primary event for fundraising.

I look forward to working again with all who volunteered their time, money, and energy in making the 4th Annual Lung Walk a success. Let’s make breathing easier that much better as we prepare for the 5th Annual Lung Walk!