Monthly Archives: December 2014

Matt Blake IS an Ironman

Congratulations to Matt Blake for accomplishing his goal of completing the 2014 Arizona Ironman competition! In doing so, Matt raised over $5000 for the Pheo Para Troopers. He successfully conquered the 2.4 mile swimming challenge and then went on to vanquish a 112 mile bike ride. Headwinds of 35-40 miles per hour along with 2 flat tires and various other mechanical issues did not discourage him. With only one gear, Matt managed to overcome all the obstacles the bike ride put in his path. For his third and final challenge, Matt completed the 26.2 miles of the full marathon. He swam, biked and ran a total of 140.6 miles! Very impressive! Matt Blake is not only a Pheo Para Trooper but an Ironman to boot!

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Trooper Family Lighting the Way

Every weekend in December the Openshaw family head outside to hand out free cocoa in front of their beautifully decorated house. Thousands of lights pull the Brewer, Maine community together and even Santa arrives each Saturday to join in the festivities. It is a great family event hosted by a Trooper family we have the honor of knowing.

Mike Openshaw, diagnosed with metastatic pheochromocytoma, is the inspiration for his wife Lisa and family to rally each year. Nicknamed the hot cocoa girls by local press, daughters Jessica (13), Torri (12),  Abby (11), and niece Jaclyn (15) brave the cold December weekends and hand out thousands of cups of cocoa to all who come to see the house. Not only are the girls great at giving out cocoa, they are all community leaders in raising funds for great causes. Despite their young age, they are all hard at work planning for more ways to help better lives around the world.

Each year more lights are added to the house, more cups of cocoa are given out, and more eyes are drawn to charity. For the past five years, they have raised over $40,000 in donations for their Relay for Life Team and awareness for pheochromocytoma.

We salute the Openshaw family and Brewer community for their rallying efforts. May your lights shine brightly and inspire many to follow in your footsteps!