In 2009, spurred on by my 60th birthday, a very unfit me committed to participate in the 11th Annual Friends For Life Bike Rally. Along with 400 other riders and crew, I biked 660 km from Toronto to Montreal in 6 days. At the end of each day, tired, dirty, hungry and thirsty, we pitched our tents, laid out our sleeping bags, and adapted to using port-a-potties.
With the support & pledges of friends, family, associates and complete strangers, I crossed the finish line, an emotional heap feeling the bitter sweet emotion of having achieved a physical and emotional challenge never considered by me before, having successfully raised $28,750, the most any individual rider has raised in the 11 year history of the rally.
Believe me, there were moments that I wanted to give up, but I rode fueled with thoughts and memories of the hundreds of people that I have known over the years who have been infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and other life threatening illnesses, many who have died and many who are still fighting the battle.
But mostly, I rode for the future of my two grand children, Noah & Nathan and my thoughts for their future and the future of thier children.
My fundraising achievements for 2009 ($27,850) 2010 ($31,170) and 2011 ($42,470) have provided in excess of $100,000 for this most worthwhile cause.
One of the most rewarding and meaningful aspects of my involvement was hearing from so many riders and the volunteer crew is that my fundraising success has motivated them to return in 2012 with a renewed and increased commitment to increase their fund raising commitments.
Well I too have a renewed my commitment to return in 2012 and do what I can do. I have been encouraged to TRY to attain the $50,000 mark, but I am not sure how attainable that is. So, one step at a time. My first goal is $20,000, which I would like to achieve by the end of March, 2012. If I can attain that level, I will leave it up to those of you who would like to partner with me to see just how far we can go together. I have already planned some of my fundraising events which you can view on the home page of our website www.HomesWithUs.com
I will ride with pride knowing that I have partners who care and are determined to help me meet the continued challenges faced by those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.