PW Hero Korianne Kaleikini
We were all at the Pet World 5K that day. Like, almost everyone in my day to day life. Employees, family, friends...so many people. Korianne was at the starting/finish line, checking people in, sending them on their way, medical supplies ready in her "emergency clinic" (that was really our old pop-up camper). The last runner had just head out on the course.
One of the most compassionate, fun loving people I know, Korianne and her incredible daughters were volunteering again to help with yet another of my crazy shenanigans. An amazing mother and friend, from PTA luaus to hiking the Grand Canyon to sea turtle sanctuaries in Mexico, I can always count on this gal to jump right in with no hesitation and make whatever we are doing even better. And when it comes to compassion -- well, let me just say that one time I was with her when I received frightening news and before I could even tell her, tears started flowing down her face to match mine. She didn't even know what was wrong but she felt my pain as if it were her own. She's kinda magic like that.
I was adding yet another mobile phone to the pile in the back of my car when Tim's phone started ringing. Then mine rang. Looking at all the phones, safely stored away from the muddiness of the trail run, I thought, Who could be calling us? Everyone is here. Then suddenly they all started ringing and buzzing. It was surreal. I answered my phone and then confirmed the situation. Tim's brother had already finished so I told him what happened, then looked to Korianne and just froze. She read the look on my face perfectly, like she always does. All I could think was, How am I going to tell everyone and gather them up? They're all somewhere on the course, maybe two miles away in the woods, and all their phones are here. My husband. My kids. My employees. They need to know but how was this going to work?
I was starting to panic, unable to process the logistics of the situation, and had yet to say a word to her. Korianne looked me in the eye and held my gaze until she was sure I could hear her. She knew what was in my head. "Go," she said. "I've got this." I didn't speak. "I will stay until everyone is safely off the course and informed. Sherry, listen to me. I have the list. I know who's here. I know what to do and I'll take care of it. Go."
I've lost count of how many times God has put exactly the right people in my life at exactly the right moment. I didn't need to worry about how my kids would find their way back to Lawrence, or matching all those mobile phones back up with the right people, or breaking the news to all the participants, or who might finish the event an hour later and wonder where everyone went or have no ride home. Korianne would take care of all of that. In a matter of minutes I was on my way, with not a doubt in my mind that Korianne would take care of everyone, because that's who she is and what she does best. And it's exactly what she did.
Korianne Kaleikini is a hero.