Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rose's Quest to Reach $80K Before Her 80th Birthday by Lori Rasmussen

Can you raise $80,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by the time you turn 80? You think so? What if you were 79? Could you do it then?

If you were Rose Rolfsen, you’d find a way!

In 2003, Rose Rolfsen of Baton Rouge traveled to Florida to watch her youngest daughter, Beth Rolfsen, compete in the St. Anthony’s Triathlon. Beth is a member of the Georgia Chapter of Team In Training and this was her first triathlon. She was learning the ropes of triathlons and was raising money to help fight blood cancer.

In the triathlon world, your age is written on your legs in large black numbers. As Rose watched the race, she was intrigued to see people of all sizes, shapes and ages! "I can do this," she said to herself.

A few years later, to celebrate her 75th birthday, she joined Beth on a triathlon relay team. Beth trained for the swimming and cycling portions and Rose trained for the running/walking portion. They have been doing this event together ever since!

Since her first triathlon, Rose has raised over $50,000 for LLS by canvassing her neighborhood on foot and tapping local business leaders in Baton Rouge. She trains for the event by walking 2 to 3 miles each week day and 5 to 6 miles on the weekend. Once each week, she walks 1 ½ miles to a gym, works out with weights, and then walks home again!

This year, she hatched a bold plan: 80 by 80! In honor of turning 80 this year, she plans to raise an additional $30,000 to make a grand total of $80,000.

Rose is mother of 7 and grandmother of 20! She is active in her community and keeps a schedule that is not for the faint of heart. Since cooking is something she enjoys, she uses that talent each month to feed the 20 residents at Boys Hope/Girls Hope and the 40 residents at the Bishop Ott shelter in Baton Rouge. Once a week, she also helps to serve lunch to 300-400 people at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall. And if that isn’t enough, on Tuesday nights her college-aged grandchildren come to her home with their friends to enjoy a home cooked meal!

When you talk to Rose about her goal, she sounds motivated and confident. According to Beth, once she makes up her mind to do something, she does it! Fortunately for LLS, Rose has made up her mind about this challenge!

Beth Rolfsen is a long time Georgia Chapter TNT alumnus and is also one of our triathlon team coaches. She is currently riding with the cycling team and heading to Lake Tahoe to ride the America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride on June 6th.

Rose Rolfsen has completed five St. Anthony relay triathlons with Beth. She will once again compete with her daughter in the 2011 St. Anthony's triathlon. Help Rose reach her goal of $80,000 by making a donation here.

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