2015 saw Boys and Girls Aid as the official charity of the the Grand Floral Parade and Bank of the West as the official sponsor of the Boys and Girls Aid Family Walk in the Grand Floral Parade.
When Anthony got the E-Mail invite for our family to join the walk, he signed us up on day one. He carefully entered online for the T-shirt sizes each of us needed and clicked send.
The week before the walk Anthony headed down to pick up the T-Shirts. What he came home with was; Three Red adult mediums for the 3 boys and One red XL Youth T-shirt for one of the Dad’s. A quick phone call to Joshua later and that evening Joshua arrived home with 5 matching red blank T-Shirts all in the correct sizes. Seems good old Bank of the West didn’t order any kids sizes…. for a kids charity group.
We had a good laugh about not getting any of the correct sizes, but realized on the plus side we are NOW ready for Gay Days next year at Disneyland.
The Grand Floral walk started at 9:30am and we had instructions to be in our area at 9:00am. So on the big day we loaded the van up. The night before Anthony had laid out all the outfits for everyone and loaded Gabe’s diaper bag with snacks, juice boxes and sun screen. So we had no reason to be late, but we were.
The whole area was in lock down for the parade so we had to walk down from Joshua’s work to the rally area. We arrived in perfect time, just as the parade volunteers where moving our group out to the main doors into the Memorial Colosseum. We just slide right in on the side.
From year’s of being in the Portland Pride Parade, it was clear to both of us that Boys and Girls Group was an after thought/tack on group. We walked directly behind Bank of the West who wore yellow t-shirts, ours were red. Directly behind us was the Fred Myers volunteers group also in red shirts. So our group mostly was lost during the parade. Each time we came to one of the announcing booths they would call us Bank of the West, Fred Myers or The Oregonian do to the huge Oregonian logo on our groups T-Shirts.
There were a few important places they did get it right. The best was when we entered into the Memorial Coliseum. We walked in and and straight into Governor Kate Brown. She talked and shook all of our hands and called Gabe a cutie. Jayme was a bit stunned and didn’t really understand that we just met the Governor of Oregon until it was all over but he was super excited about it.
The walk itself was a 4 mile death march in 90 degree weather and full sun. But we had a blast. Jayme walked the whole route with only a little complaining at the end. Elijah walked about 1 mile and then spent the rest of the journey in the baby stroller or being carried. Gabriel was the grand marshal of the whole event, he waved at everyone from his stroller or a Dad’s arms.
We crossed the 4 mile finish line and Joshua and Elijah stood in line for some free swag and grub that was laid out. Elijah absconded with 2 full size subs and a free backpack sling.
As all the other families headed back into the city, we walked out towards the PGE park MAX stop. While waiting for the train we all shared juice and the free sandwich in the shade of the train stop.
It was a great day and next year we hope to work with some other parents to organize Boys and Girls Aid’s own entry into the walk and get some T-shirts that fit.