Jul 10, 2012
I can’t believe that it’s been over four months since I last posted an update on the Molly site!?!?! I apologize that I’ve been slack, but to be completely honest it was only this morning that I was “inspired” to pen an update. Life has been fast-n-furious lately and it seems like it was only…..yesterday that we wrapped up the Bruins vs. The Surfers hockey game and that was in March! It’s July? Really? Whoa….
I realize that I’m repeating myself but I think that it’s important to reiterate how truly blessed Meg and I feel. When Molly was first diagnosed with cancer and during her five month battle, we were blessed to be blanketed with a tremendous amount of love and support. When Molly passed away, July 12th 2009, we were blessed to have an army of folks gather us in their arms and shower us with so much love and comfort that we were able to survive the horror of Molly’s death. And when Meighan came to me last summer and asked me what were my thoughts on having another baby….I felt blessed to know that Meg and I had survived the nightmare. God has a plan and he has a sense of humor because Meighan and I were blessed with a son, Thomas James (TJ) who was born on…April Fool’s Day. Yep, we’ve been busy since the Molly hockey game…hence the four month gap in the updates. But we’ve come up for air and lil’ TJ is just epic. The dude is sleeping through the night, he’s been super easy, and Kieran is so stoked to be a big brother. We are blessed…that’s for certain.
I was inspired to post an update today because Molly spent some time with me this morning. Since TJ has been sleeping through the night, and on a pretty solid schedule, I’ve been able to slide right back into my early morning surf routine. There have been little waves all week and I’ve been getting in the water at 5 am most days, breaking out my stand up paddle board, and logging some long sessions with my pals. This morning I wasn’t thinking of Molly. I was paddling back out, after catching a wave, and Molly’s voice rang through my head. “Daddy, let’s catch another wave.” My body immediately radiated these “tingles, “full on goose bumps, and my eyes filled with tears. I could feel Molly’s presence and I had to sit down on my board to compose myself. I didn’t say anything to my pal’s; I just sat there for a moment and had a little cry, but Molly inspired me to write the update because it’s summer and summer means that August is right around the corner…which translates into The Molly Surf Celebration event is upon us!!
The Third Annual Molly Surf Celebration is going to be held at The Wall, in Hampton, on August 25th and 26th. This event is, of course, a FUNRAISER as we need to continue to drive money into The Molly Fund. There is a $20 entry fee and registration will be at 7:00 a.m. at 10th Street on both days. We are going to hold the GROM SURF CONTEST on Saturday the 25th and the Adults on the 26th. Last year all of the adults surfed the contest IN COSTUME. It was epic!!! If the grommies want to surf in costume, that’s totally cool and it’s always “kinda” mandatory that the adults get into the festive mood and surf in costume because that’s what The Molly Surf Celebration is all about! The groms can bring and surf their own boards in the event, but the grownups have to leave their boards at home because WE PROVIDE the boards that they will have to ride in their heats because that’s the magic of The Molly. Adults have to draw which board they have to ride out of my cowboy hat! Cowboy up!!
The Grom contest will have divisions from 0-10 years old and 11-14. Kia Nichols, and your lil’ band of ripper bros, have been promoted to the adult division so you all had better get your costumes in order and be ready to surf alongside the big dogs!
Please save the date and we hope to have ya’ll join us on the beach for a wonderful weekend of surfing, community, and love. We’ll have food at the event to feed the folks surfing in the Celebration, and we only ask that all of you help us pray for some awesome weather as we’ve certainly been blessed with perfect weather for the past events. It can’t hurt…..
The Molly Surf Celebration reminds us all how blessed we are for our healthy children, our families that we cherish, as well as all of the good that we’re doing with The Molly Fund and helping families that have kids battling cancer. Hope to see ya’ll on the beach in August. Get those costumes dialed!
Next Thursday morning I’m going to paddle out just as the sun peeks over the horizon and I hope to catch a few waves with Molly before first light. That would be rad……
Buck, Meg, Kieran, and lil’ TJ
Mar 14, 2012
My father had me playing organized hockey in Illinois when I was four years old. My only memories of that time were accompanying my dad to one of his friend’s house where he bought me some used equipment. I loved all of the cool gear. I remember my dad coming in to wake me up at 4:00 a.m., dressing me in my equipment, and driving to the rink in the wee hour of the morning. I remember the mother/son game, and my mother (always the classic jokester) wore a Chicago Bear’s football helmet and an apron during the game. I still have the photos and I always manage to laugh out loud when I show the album to Kieran. But my folks moved us to NC when I was five years old and you were hard pressed to find any ice rinks in the dirty south during the early 70’s. Needless to say, it was close to fifteen years before I ever laced up a pair of hockey skates and ventured back onto the ice.
I played college soccer at UNCW (Wilmington). If you’re familiar with that part of NC, then you know that I attended college at the beach. I majored in soccer and minored at ducking barrels at Masonboro. During my senior year, a local roller skating rink was transformed into an ice rink, The Ice House, and we organized a UNCW club hockey team. I asked my parents for CCM Custom Tacks for my 21st birthday, bought equipment from a mail order company out of Brick, NJ, and I was back playing hockey. I was so bad……(humility is a wonderful teacher).
I love playing hockey but, to be honest, hockey isn’t my thing only because I didn’t grow up playing the game. As a soccer player, I can appreciate how similar hockey is to soccer but the problem is that I can’t RUN into the spaces where I need to be in order to receive a pass – support a player – or even have a chance to score. I have to SKATE into those spaces and that’s….the problem. Skating is @#$% hard. I watch all of my pals that are playing on our Surfers Team and they make it look so easy! I try to emulate what they’re doing and, yeah, it’s not working too well for me. The Surfers have been practicing for the past four weeks and my groin hasn’t hurt this badly since I was bull riding. My groin never hurt this badly when I was playing soccer!
But all kidding aside, The Surfers vs. The Boston Bruins Alumni is a very big deal. This is the third annual game and this year we’re facing off against the legends this coming Sunday, March 18th, at 1:00 p.m. at The Rinks at Exeter. Sunday’s game is, by far, the biggest Molly Fund FUNrasing event of the year. This is our opportune time to raise a ton of money in order to make the magic happen and we need your help. Please join us this Sunday and please bring your entire family to the game. Ticket prices are only $15 for adults and kids 12 and under are FREE! Rick “Nifty” Middleton will be skating for the Bruins. Rick is a good friend of mine, I know that he’s over 40, but the guy is pure magic! Kenny Linsemen is one of our good surfing pals and Kenny is a true Bruin legend as well. I mention both of these guys because they’re Seacoast residents, they have both been in full support of The Molly Fund since day #1, and it won’t surprise me the least bit if Rick and Kenny make a few calls and rally some of the big dogs. Ray? Cam? You never know. Rick and Kenny can make some magic happen…
We have assembled an awesome Surfers team for the 2012 game. The majority of the players are from the seacoast area, most of us surf, but every single one of us is “in it to win it.” We were all tasked to FUNraise $350 in order to play in the game. Meighan, my wife, and a lot of the players have been hustling in order to sell ads for the game program. Seacoast Harley Davidson dropped in as the TITLE SPONSOR and we can’t thank them, as well as our buddy Skip Winter, enough for the awesome support. There has been a tremendous sense of urgency for us to capitalize on this Surfers/Bruins event because it means so very much as this game is our largest Molly FUNraising event of the year. The big picture; it’s all about “paying it forward” and driving money into The Molly Fund which will allow us to provide financial assistance to families that have children battling cancer. It takes an ARMY to make that happen, so we invite you to please join the Molly ARMY and come to the game this Sunday at The Rinks at Exeter where we can all make some magic happen. There are folks that need our help. Molly would have wanted to help. Let’s rally…..
See ya’ll Sunday!
Feb 11, 2012
I popped into a convenience store the other day and the girl behind the counter must have recognized me and she told me that when her mother was visiting her from Mississippi this summer they were walking the beach when we were having The Molly Surf Celebration in August. Her mother bought a Molly sticker which is pretty cool. The girl told me that her mother pulled into the parking lot of her local grocery store, not too long ago, and her mother parked beside a car that had two Molly stickers on the back window - one pink and one white. Even in Mississippi we have folks representing and showing support for The Molly Fund and that’s awesome.
That little story popped into my head when I was driving around Hampton checking the surf this morning because I saw Molly stickers everywhere. I was stuck behind a truck at a stop light and the guy had a Molly sticker on his back window. I pulled into the lot at Jenness Beach and there were a few cars parked with Molly stickers on their cars. Of course, many of the cars and trucks belong to pals of ours but I’m constantly surprised when I see so many Molly stickers on cars that I don’t recognize. Every once in a while I catch myself daydreaming when I see a Molly sticker and I think of her. This happened today when I was stuck behind the truck at the light in front of Cinnamon Rainbows. I could feel Molly’s presence and I looked over at the empty seat beside me and smiled. Molly is everywhere….
In a little over a month from now, we’re going to be blessed with the birth of a baby boy. Meighan is so very pregnant and absolutely beautiful. Meg and Kieran have been “wintering” in Wrightsville Beach, NC while I’m traveling so much for work. I spent a few days down there last week and I was amazed that Meg is radiant – totally glowing – and I’ve never seen her so gorgeous. I am flying down there next weekend and driving them back to NH because it’s time for them to come home. Vacation is over, baby!. The fact that Meighan and I are going to have another child is nothing short of amazing. February 14th marks the date three years ago that Molly was first diagnosed with cancer. It’s been a tough few years, I’m not going to lie, but when Meg came to me with, “Hey, what do you think about having another baby?” That is the very moment that I knew that we had survived the nightmare of Molly’s death. “ALL IN, BABY!!!!!” We conceived immediately. God has a plan, I reckon.
I am not preachin’, because that is definitely not my style, but I can’t help but be thankful that the Lord is allowing me the opportunity to be a better father to our baby boy right from the get –go. I don’t have many regrets in my life but when Molly and Kieran were born I was so wrapped up and completely consumed with my career that I totally blew it. I wasn’t getting up in the middle of the night to tend to my babies because I was getting up at 4:00 a.m. to drive to Richmond, VA. I can cite a hundred examples of @#$% that I blew off at home, when the kids were tiny, because I needed to be on the road growing my business 30%. God has a plan and I’m determined not to screw up this time. Thank you, Lord, for giving me a third chance to make things right. Meg will definitely need a wrangler with this one …..
The Molly Fund is a priority in our lives and we’re all about paying it forward with the help of an ARMY of pals that continue to go above and beyond the call of duty to help us raise money for families that have little ones battling cancer. Meg and I are fortunate to be surrounded by love and support but it breaks my heart when I learn that many of the families that The Molly Fund helps does not receive the same emotional or financial support. We all live chaotic lives. The majority of us have demanding jobs that require us to work well beyond the 40 hour work week norm. But we find time to make the Molly Fund magic happen because God forbid that the nightmare, that Meighan and I survived, could totally financially devastate another family faced with the same situation. Meg and I are blessed on so many levels that it brings tears to my eyes because it was only three short years ago that our lives were completely devastated - TOTALLY DESTROYED. But we have survived. We managed to make it safely to the other side and life is good but we have an ARMY of people that we owe our lives to because those folks embraced us and dragged us to safety, through the darkness of Molly’s death, and it’s a priority for us to…pay it forward. Thank you all for the continued love and support of the Molly Fund. God has a plan….
We need to continue to help drive money into The Molly Fund and March is action packed with a few key events. The first event on the radar is February 24th in Burlington, VT. One of my previous Burton regional team riders, Jason Leuck, is now a student at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Burlington and he’s rallied a silent auction to benefit The Molly Fund and I will be making the trip up I-89 to attend the event.
The Fourth Annual Molly Rail Jam is going to happen again at Smuggler’s Notch, VT, on March 2nd and Paige, Emmett, and the entire Manning clan will be running point again this year to ensure that the event is a success. Kieran and I will be up there shreddin’ the gnar and Kieran is super stoked for the trip. I imagine that this will be the year that Kieran “Cowboys up” and hits his first rail. Epic…..
The HUGE event that we have on March 18th will be The Surfers vs The Boston Bruin Alumni, and this year we’ll be returning to The Rinks at Exeter, NH where we know that we’ll be playing in a standing room only crowd. Please mark your calendars because the game will be at 1:00 p.m. and you can score tickets at the game or by swinging by Pioneers, Cinnamon Rainbows, or Bela Rose Pizzeria. Please join us for the game where you can cheer on your favorite old time Boston Bruin stars or watch me score another epic goal. Did you see my goal last year?!?. It was epic……
Thanks again for all of the wonderful support and we hope that you join our efforts to help “pay it forward.” There are families that need our help and….it takes an ARMY to make the magic happen.
God bless hugs, and high fives!
Jan 16, 2012
The day after Christmas, I flew to KS to ride bulls for a week. Cowboy up! Bull riding has been something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, ever since I was in college, and I was finally able to break away during the Holidays and live the dream. I spent the week in Derby, KS learning not only how to ride bulls but I learned what it takes to earn a living by being a bull rider. I was a 44 year old dude that lived the life of a twenty year old for a week. I was blessed. Thank God for Crossfit, thank the Lord that I walked away injury free (sore but not broken), and there is no doubt that I rode bulls for a week with an angel on my shoulder. Molly, my guardian angel dragonfly, was keeping her eyes on me while I chased that 8 second dream….
A lot of my pals wanted me to keep them up to date while I was in KS but Facebook can only do so much. If you want to read about my week of bull riding, please hit up www.buckrowlee.blogspot.com as I penciled three entries in between bouts with ice packs and late my night yoga sessions. “You’re only as young as your spine is flexible”…….
When Molly was little, she and I would play “bull riding.” Kieran and I still play this game to this very day but with Molly it was special because she was the first child that hopped on my back for that 8 second thrill. If you take a bit of time and read the my bull riding blog, you will understand that my overall experience was spiritual in the sense that “riding bulls will certainly make you right with God,” and I did spend a lot of time praying for my safety. You cannot put yourself in a dangerous situation without having the intelligence to PLEAD to a high power to protect you. When Molly was battling cancer and then in the days leading up to her death, I feverishly prayed for hope. I asked the Lord to spare my baby girl. Molly had a very treatable form of cancer, she could beat it…she was a fighter, but God wanted Molly to return to Heaven. I didn’t hate God for taking Molly because deep in my heart, buried underneath the tremendous amount of grief, I knew that there would be some good that would surface from Molly’s death. I have witnessed that firsthand, and I’m here to tell you that Molly was spending a lot of time with me in KS keeping me safe. Molly is my guardian angel dragonfly…watching over me as I continue my quest to cover my next bull.
The 10 other cowboys, that I rode bulls with in KS, didn’t really ask me about the “Molly sticker” that I had plastered on my protective vest and I didn’t mention it until the end of the week. I was honored to have received an award, Top Student, and during my award presentation I was asked to give a speech. You know me; I’m never at a loss for words, so I felt compelled to speak a little about Molly. I was overcome with emotion, very stoked to be in one piece, and I was thrilled that I achieved my dream of riding bulls….and I was inspired to share a glimpse of Molly’s story – which is to love your babies. Life is so very precious. Sometimes life lessons come our way when we’re least expecting them. For me it happened at Maddox Arena in Derby, KS. And I returned a much better father and husband.
Please do me a favor and save the dates for a couple of important MOLLY FUND events that we have on the calendar. Numero uno is the Molly Rail Jam at Smuggler’s Notch, VT on March 2nd and we’re also throwing down the 3rd annual SURFERS vs THE WORLD CHAMPION BOSTON BRUINS ALUMNI hockey game at The Rinks in Exeter, NH on March 18th. Please mark your calendars and we’ll keep you posted with more details as they come to light so stay tuned.
Dec 12, 2011
We just wrapped up the November Molly Mustache-A-Thon last week and the grand finale was held at Wally’s Pub in Hampton Beach. There were close to 50 dudes that didn’t “brave the shave” during the month of November and grew some pretty epic facial hair in order to raise money for The Molly Fund. All of the credit, for organizing the event, has to go to Brandon Halberstadt, because Brandon did an absolutely amazing job pulling the entire event together perfectly. From the weekly gatherings at Wally’s, to the grand prizes and raffle items, Brandon rallied and made the event spectacular. Thank you, brother!
We have to thank big Al, who owns Wally’s Pub, for allowing us the opportunity to take over his fine establishment every Tuesday throughout November. The wonderful folks at Captain Morgan’s Rum donated $1,000 to big Al, to help promote Captain Morgan’s at Wally’s, but big Al saw it in his heart to donate the $1,000 to The Molly Fund. Thank you, Al, and thanks to the folks at Captain Morgan’s for the incredible donation.
The final tally of the Molly Mustache-A –Thon has not yet been reported because Brandon is in Europe (Austria) at a sales meeting where he’s probably shredding pow while the rest of us are home in New England praying for a cold snap! I’m sure that the total will hit us next week, but the main focus is mentioning that it does take a bit of sacrifice to grow a mustache for an entire month. I should know because I participated in the month long event and every single day I was counting down the days when I could shave my face. Many of my fuzzy faced brethren felt the same way but we all sucked it up, we had to “cowboy up,” and we grew some ugly facial hair in order to raise a few dollars for The Molly Fund. There is always strength in numbers and seeing a lot of my pals, walking around Hampton last month with some epic staches, provided us all with just the right amount of motivation to continue to not brave the shave….
The grand finale went down last Tuesday night at Wally’s. Brandon magically locked down a mechanical bull for the night, Patrick Hall and his band “Dead Air Project” provided the live music, and we all got together and celebrated the final night of our mustaches. It was awesome! There were a ton of great photos flying around on Facebook and I’m sure that Brandon will post several when he returns from his trip, but when I got home from the big bash last Tuesday night I immediately hit the bathroom and broke out the razor…because it was time to shave!
But Steve O’Hara and Bryan Johnson, from Pioneers (www.surfnh.com) are continuing their Molly Mustache-A-Thon. These two are going to continue to grow their mustaches through the month of January in order to raise more money for The Molly Fund. Heroes!!! I can’t think of a better way to describe their thoughtfulness other than posting Steve O’Hara’s Facebook post from this afternoon because it exemplifies what this event is truly about and it paints a pretty good picture.
“So I'm stop at a traffic light and look in my side view mirror to see a black pick up truck w/ two young girls about to pull up next to me. Great here's this guy in a red sketchy van w/ a mustache. Looking like a dirt ball. That would be me. As the light turns green and the truck moves forward what do I see, on the side window, "a white MOLLY sticker."
I just SMILED to myself and then welled u...p thinking about how Molly has effected this community. "Her love is everywhere" I'm sure those girls wouldn't believe that the sketchy guy w/ the mustache has raised over $250 this month alone for the Molly fund for keeping the mustache for the month of December.
So if you see me or Bryan and you’re wondering what's up w/ the mustache now you know,,,,,And if you want to donate some money, we’ll take it.”So if you see me or Bryan and your wondering what's up w/ the mustache now you know. And if you want to donate some money. We'll take it.