We’ve booty’d, we’ve skated, and now we’re singing

Every time we turn on the TV, it seems like there’s another singing competition on, doesn’t it? First there was American Idol, then the Voice, and America’s Got Talent (filled with singers!) Have you been totally turned off by singing?

Well, we hope not.  Because an amazing singer is performing in Charlotte this month and you need to hear her.  Her name is Ann Hampton Callaway and she’ll be performing Sing For the Cure with a 100-voice chorus and orchestra.  We repeat.  A 100-voice chorus and orchestra. You certainly don’t get THAT on American Idol!

Anne Hampton Callaway is a Tony-nominated singer with a four-octave range.  Not only that, but she’s also a pianist, composer, lyracist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host, and producer. You want to know how good she is?  Her songs are featured on SEVEN of Barbra Streisand’s CDs.  Barbra.  Streisand.  Are you paying attention now?

This evening is going to be special for many reasons.  First and foremost, Go Jen Go is one of the beneficiaries, along with Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center and Carolina Breast Friends.  But this is going to be a seriously powerful concert, people. Anne Hampton Callaway will first blow us away with her solo talent and then in the second part, she’ll sing with the chorus to perform the work called Sing for the Cure, A Proclamation of Hope.  This piece was commissioned by the Komen Foundation and it uses stories from survivors to take us through the experience of living through cancer.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you won’t believe you only spent $25 for such an enjoyable evening.

Yep, you heard right.  Only $25.  For 101 performers.  And an orchestra.  And wait!  There’s more!  Free parking!  Shouldn’t that just seal the deal??

You can buy tickets here: http://tix.cpcc.edu/events/ann-hampton-callaway-guests-stars-in-sing-for-the-cure.  Don’t wait too long!

The concert will take place at the Dale F. Halton Theater (1206 Elizabeth Avenue) on Saturday, August 23.  Trust us when we say it will be an amazing event.  If you’ve had a personal experience with cancer or have traveled the emotionally-wrought path alongside someone who’s had cancer, this performance will touch your soul.

You can’t say that about Idol, can you??

Beat the heat. And support Go Jen Go.

Gabrielle next to the event banner

Summer in the South is hot.  And sticky.  Most days when you walk outside, it feels like getting hit with a too-warm, wet blanket.  You know what the remedy is?  Ice.  Lots of it.  However you can get it.

We know one way you can get your ice fix that is not only fun, but will benefit Go Jen Go (a win-win, right?)  Come out to the Brighter Than The Sun Ice Show this Saturday, August 2, at the Extreme Ice Center (4705 Indian Trail – Fairview Road in Indian Trail) from 6 until 7:30pm.  If the heat’s not enough to bring you indoors to an ice rink, let us tell you how the event got started in the first place.  We guarantee you won’t want to miss it then!

Gabrielle Gorman is a rising senior in high school and is a terrific figure skater as well as a certfied junior coach.  Gabrielle and her mom, Jodi, closely followed Jen’s blog and kept up with Jen as she detailed her journey through life with breast cancer.  They wanted to do something to honor Jen’s memory and to support her cause so they came up with the idea for the Brighter Than The Sun Ice Show.  Gabrielle asked the Carolinas Figure Skating Club to pay for the ice time so that all the proceeds will go to Go Jen Go.  Then Gabrielle and her friend Alli Lawhon (along with a few other high school students) set about planning the event.  The performances will range from higher level students through expert coach-level skaters.  And we can pretty much surmise that Gabrielle is going to be one of those expert skaters.  You know how we know that?  Have you seen her skating picture?  Can you get YOUR leg that close to your face while standing up?  We thought not.

Gabrielle performing

Anyway, what a touching story, huh?  And how can you not admire this fantastic group of high school students!  They’re worked hard to organize this event and, at the end of it all, they are donating the proceeds to the memory of a woman who inspired them.  A women who inspired us all.

Tickets for the show are $5 for kids ten and under, and $8 dollars for adults. That’s cheap family entertainment for a Saturday night, folks!

So you have to go.  You need to get out of the heat and it’s an excuse to wear jeans and a long-sleeved shirt (and pretend that fall is coming).  But you’re going to have to refrain from actually laying yourself down on the ice.  Those skate blades are sharp!



A Booty-ful weekend!

Team GoJenGo rode over 500 miles and raised $6,000 for 24 Hours of Booty.  And we will be back!  We found ourselves among thousands of like minded, passionate people who moved their booty in a show of solidarity AGAINST CANCER.  We rode, we sweated, we cried, we laughed, and we celebrated the memories of friends and family and the fight of those who survive in our midst!  This city is filled with good causes and good stewards of our cancer community.  GoJenGo is proud to be one many organizations who work day in and day out to provide, to uplift, to inspire, and FIGHT for the well being of survivors.  Congratulations to 24 HOB on a fabulous event!

And, most importantly, a special thanks to our supporters who step up time after time when GoJenGo calls.  We would be nowhere without your passion and belief in our mission.  We are honored you choose to invest your valuable resources of both time and money with us!


Free Beer @ GoJenGo Happy Booty Hour!

We hope you will join us!  On Friday night at the start of 24 Hours of Booty (7pm), GoJenGo will be camped out in the median near the interesection of Queens Rd W, Kings Dr, and East Blvd for a HAPPY HOUR.  WEAR YOUR GOJENGO GEAR (you can buy it in Bootyville!) AND YOU WILL GET A FREE BEVERAGE! The location is less than a half mile from Bootyville, the Expo and the start of the race.  There is parking nearby that puts you close to the action.

24 Hours of Booty is one of the more fun and happening events in Charlotte!  The riders are decked out in team colors and the route is lined with cheering friends, family, and neighbors.  It is one of those nights that affirms your pride in the Charlotte community and how we are united in our fight against cancer!

So join the fun!   Let’s remind Charlotte we are a force in this fight!

See the map below for our location.  Just look for the pink and green balloons!





Booty call

Brace yourself.  Because we’re going to ask you a very personal question.  Here goes: How’s your booty?

If your booty is just fine (thank you very much!), then you probably haven’t been sitting on a bike lately, preparing for the epic 24 Hours of Booty ride here in Charlotte, NC.  And you know what, that’s totally fine with us!  Because you don’t have to sit on a bike to support a fantastic cause.

If you knew Jen Pagani, then you know that there were three places where she felt completely at home: in the water, on a bike, and on the road (running ridiculously fast).  It comes as no suprise, then, that 24 Hours of Booty (a 24-hour cycling event named for the 3-mile “booty loop” in Myers Park) was near and dear to Jen’s heart.  The event raises money for local and national cancer-fighting initiatives and because Jen was so well known for her amazing Go Jen Go Foundation, she was invited to kick off the ceremonial starting lap at last year’s event.  And if you saw her on her trusty red bike, you saw a smile that was wider than all of the booties on that lap combined!  Just look at her in this picture.  She was joy in motion.  She was luminous.

Sadly, Jen won’t be with us this year as a loyal team of Go Jen Go participants lines up to ride (on July 25 and 26), but she’ll be watching, we feel fairly sure.  And we’re also fairly sure that she’d want you to support her team.  There will be ten Go Jen Go “booties” riding out there and you can support any number of them with a financial donation. Or you can come out and cheer as they ride by — they’d love that too!

So ultimately, it’s a win-win.  You can keep your booty comfy on the couch or on the sidelines and still support the ones whose booties will be in the saddles.  And after 24 hours (more or less) on a bike, you certainly won’t need to ask the “How’s your booty” question to them, huh?  Maybe you (and your booty) just keep quiet and smile.

Do you see yourself?

At our recent board retreat, the members were asked to describe in a word or two, Jen and the GoJenGo Foundation.  What you see here are our descriptions of our friend and the legacy of GJG she has left with us.  If you see yourself in these descriptions, if you have compassion, energy, a big smile, and a relentless passion to pay it forward, join us!  We need volunteers to join committees that we are forming to get ready for the upcoming year.  These include Events, RunJenRun 5k, Development/Community relations, Treasury, and Merchandising on the operations side and Grant/programs for our survivors on our giving side.  Our organization is growing by leaps and bounds and we need more of what you see above serving alongside us.

If you have interest, please email Britt (britt@gojengo.org) or Joe (joe@gojengo.org).  If you have a particular interest, let us know.  If you just want to fill in where needed, that is fine, too!  The most important factor is willingness and dedication….and don’t forget the smile!


The Good Ride is coming!

Tomorrow, the price goes up.  You will have missed an opportunity to have a discounted admission to the “goodest” ride in town on MAY 10th.



Whatever your ability, the Good Ride has a distance that is right for you.  This is a day to celebrate what you can do.  A day to celebrate fitness, family, and SURVIVORS.  You have had well over a month to recover from the RunJenRun 5k so let’s get ready to ride.   You know Jen would have been right up front – celebrating, cheering, RIDING. Her mission lives on.  Let’s GET MOVING! Click logo above for direct link to the Good Ride website!

Our final nod to sponsors (and you!)

Well, it’s the day before the race!  And we are so excited we can’t stand it!  But we have a few more organizations to thank because, without them, there would be no RunJenRun 5K!

First of all, we’d like to thank the Checkers organization.  They have been unbelievably supportive, financially and otherwise.  If you missed Pink in the Rink on February 7, then you missed the presentation of a $25,000 check to the Go Jen Go Foundation and a commitment of $5,000 per year for the next TEN years!  We can’t thank them enough!  Here’s what they have to say: “The Charlotte Checkers are extraordinarily proud to be a sponsor of RunJenRun. Jen embodied the spirit of “hockey tough” and we will be eternally grateful to have had Jen motivate each and every one of us. We are proud to be here today in her honor and look forward to supporting all Go Jen Go events in the future.”

Two other sponsors to which we owe a debt of gratitude are Lending Tree and Y2 Yoga.  You all know Lending Tree — an organization based in Charlotte that offers mortgages and loans as well as refinancing, debt consolidation, consultation services, and more.  And sessions with Y2 Yoga, (whose slogan is “Life is complicated. Yoga is simple.”) will help you de-stress and relax after even the most challenging day. Our sincere thanks to both organizations for supporting the RunJenRun 5K.

Well, we’re down to the final countdown!  We have so many people to thank that we don’t even know where to begin!  Of course, we appreciate our wonderful sponsors, but we are also indebted to the many volunteers who will be helping out tomorrow as well as the vendors, food trucks, and Novant (for the mammograms).  And we can’t forget YOU, our awesome registered runners and walkers.  YOU will help us build this legacy by coming out year after year to raise money to help victims of breast cancer.  YOU will walk and run for Jen because her mission is life-changing and profound.  YOU will help us help others.  And for that, we are deeply and unabashedly grateful.

Get your butt to the truck!

One of the things we loved most about Jen was her concern for others.  It’s what drove her to create the Go Jen Go Foundation.  It’s what kept her motivated even when she was tired, in pain, and feeling discouraged.  Above all, she had hope that she could change the fortunes of people who were in dire straits; that her efforts could relieve just a tiny portion of their stress.

One of the perks of the RunJenRun 5K that we haven’t really promoted (until now) is the presence of the mammography truck.  Novant Health will be there on Saturday performing mammograms during and after the race.  For you women over the age of 35 who have never had a mammogram before (or haven’t had one in a long time), we are going to be Jen’s concerned voice in your ear: “Get your butt to the truck and get it done!”

Here are the criteria:

  • You must be 35 years of age or older (as mentioned previously)
  • You must have an insurance card and a license
  • You must have a primary / OBGYN doctor’s name available
  • It’s only for women who haven’t had a mammogram in one year or over
  • You must know where your last mammogram was performed (if you’ve had one)
  • You can’t have any current breast problems

Jen would be the first person to urge you to get a mammogram.  She would support all efforts of early detection so that any woman could be kept from the trauma of breast cancer.

So on Saturday, if you meet this criteria, get your butt to the truck.  Do it for yourself.  Do it for Jen.

Sponsors who know

Some people support a cause because they can personally relate to it.  Supporters of the RunJenRun 5K are no exception. Two, in particular, had a close connection to Jen because they too have fought breast cancer and understand the emotional and financial toll that treatment brings.  Below is their “testimony”, in their own words.

From Mike Smiley of Smiley 4 C’s:

“Smiley’s 4 C’s is a charitable endeavor set up by Mike and Shari Lynn Smiley in 2007.  The 4 C’s represent the areas in which we invest our non-profit efforts: Critical Illness (primarily cancer research and services), Children, Conservation, and Christian Outreach.  The mission of the Go Jen Go Foundation is very personal to us, not only because of our friendship with Jennifer and Joe Pagani, but also because of Shari Lynn’s own breast cancer journey.  Like Jen and Joe, our family had plenty of resources – good insurance, strong connections in the medical community, and a solid family support system.  Go Jen Go is reaching those breast cancer patients with the greatest needs – those that may otherwise fall through the cracks.  Their mission resonates with Smiley’s 4 C’s mission and it’s an honor to support them. (Matthew 25: 40-45).”

And from Kelly Sherin of Legacy Landscaping, Inc.:

“Being a breast cancer survivor, I saw first-hand the physical and emotional toll the treatment took on me, my husband, and my family. I was fortunate to be accepted to the TDM-1 study and my insurance covered most of the treatment cost that the study didn’t. Also, we had the means to cover our deductible and other out of pocket expenses. I can’t imagine going through treatment wondering how we were going to pay for the treatment let alone the everyday ‘life’ cost. I had the privilege of sitting beside Jen at chemo on two different occasions. Later, a couple of the infusion nurses told me they were training for the inaugural RunJenRun 5K. Being a triathlete, it immediately piqued my interest. When I looked at the website, I realized who Jen was and remembered how nice and encouraging she was to me when I sat beside her. Also, I felt a special connection with her because we were both triathletes before our diagnosis. So not only did I want to run it, but I felt like our company should help sponsor it. My husband Steve Sherin and my brother Shaun Crooks own Legacy Landscaping, Inc.and they didn’t hesitate when I asked if we could be a part of it! This is our second year of supporting RunJenRun and it certainly won’t be our last!”

Smiley’s 4 C’s is our starting line sponsor and Legacy Landscaping, Inc. will be transforming part of Symphony Park into “Jen’s Garden”, the beautiful area where Jen will be honored and remembered.  Thank you both so much for your support of Jen and her race!

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