We cannot thank everyone enough for coming out to support our race and to honor Christina’s spirit and memory. Your support will allow Operation Sweet Tooth to continue our mission of helping underprivileged children in our local communities. We truly feel blessed that for a first year race, we had over 43 volunteers, 21 sponsors, 3 partners and 469 participants! Wow! Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
From the feedback that we have gotten, it appears that everybody enjoyed the race, including the Huntersville Police Department and Fire Department who were on hand to keep us all safe…and dished out a few medals in the process. We cannot thank Start To Finish, and specifically Brie, enough for coordinating and organizing our race and really making it special for all those involved. It was great to see old friends and to make new ones as they came to support a little girl’s memory and a family’s mission of giving back. We were honored to have Michael’s little league baseball team sport their uniforms and walk with us. One of the biggest surprises was having Christina’s best friend at the race. It was great having her there and I know Christina! Certainly a memorable moment was seeing Holland and Nick, two beautiful children with Down Syndrome, being pushed by the men of F3 and Speed For Need. We were blessed to partner with them, and another non-profit organization, Run For Holland, to provide a racing experience to these kids, put smiles on their faces and help bring awareness to Down Syndrome.
Of course, it goes without saying that we truly have to thank the men of F3. For the past two years, they have supported our organization, and our family’s healing by being there for us in a myriad of ways. Thank you for “Carrying” us and hopefully, one day, we can return the favor.
We were grateful that Christina and Michael’s teachers were able to participate in the day’s events. You all did and do such a wonderful job in educating and molding our children and we are certainly proud parents because of your tutelage.
Lastly, I would like to thank St. Mark Catholic Church and Beth Zuhosky for allowing us to take over the grounds for a few hours. There are many activities that were going on that day with Mass, weddings, yard sales etc. Yet, you were able to fit our race in your busy schedule. Needless to say, the support of our Church is incredible and we are blessed to be parishioners.
In closing, I would like to say that this was probably one of the more difficult things my family and I have ever had to take on. Truth be told, we wish our race never existed, because that would mean Christina would still be here with us. But it was a welcome distraction as it allowed us something positive to focus on during an extremely difficult stretch of time approached with her birthday just the day before and her 2 year anniversary in Heaven on May 6th. I wasn’t even sure we could get up in front of all those who attended and say a few words without breaking down. But we did. Because we have to. We could choose to let the heartache get the best of us or we could choose to use our pain for purpose; we choose the latter. With each community outreach Operation Sweet Tooth embarks on, we know we are honoring our daughter but more importantly, helping someone, a child, that may be in even more pain than us. The success of this race will certainly allow Operation Sweet Tooth to continue its mission of helping underprivileged in much great fashion than in the past. And without all the support of the participants, donors and sponsors, that would not be possible. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
We are excited about next year already and we hope you all can be a part of the race again!
Greg and Regina Latini
Operation Sweet Tooth