Today was the last “gathering” of the Ride to Alaska for Juvenile Arthritis. I visited the Hopwood School of Lansdale, where my daughter attends day-care and camp to meet with the kids and accept a check from the proceeds of the Hopwood fundraising efforts. The kids had lots of great questions about the ride and were intrigued with the motorcycle (Sally) – was hard to keep them away from the hot engine of the bike.
About a month ago, the kids at the Hopwood School and Camp participated in some competitive fundraising games described in my Post of May 29, 2012. Between the Penny Wars and the Tread-a-thon the kids raised about $850 and donated the funds to the Ride to Alaska for Juvenile Arthritis. Heidi Geverd, the school/camp director, presented me with a check for the Arthritis Foundation and the kids seemed truly excited to give to kids living with the disease. I know that all of the kids dealing with juvenile arthritis would want me to pass along heart-felt thanks to Heidi, The Hopwood School and especially to all of the kids and families who participated in the event!
This was the last scheduled event for the Ride – and what a great way to wrap-up an unbelievable fun and rewarding experience. The mix of adventure, physical endurance, planning and giving a little back to the community made this one of the neatest things that I have ever done – surely life-changing.
I know I have been negligent in acknowledging the support I received, but 1st and foremost I need to thank my wife Andrea for supporting me in this event – living a month with a 4-yr old with no support is in itself a test of endurance… And of course, my daughter Azhar, who never really figured out why Daddy had to ride all the way to Alaska when there are plenty of planes flying there…
The ride would never have been possible without the support of those at home and enroute- all giving without any expectation of compensation. A special thanks to Mark in Fargo, Tom in Bismark and all the riders there, Dennis and Fite from the Team Pterodactyl in Dawson City and Anchorage, Rich and Stef in Fairbanks; Kristin, Mark and all the folks at the Alaska Native Medical Center and the riders who joined us to ride to the picnic, and of course the Arthritis Foundation in Phila, Fargo and Anchorage.
Finally, a warm thanks to all who contributed to the ride. I believe we are going to end up at a little over $8200 in total contributions resulting from the ride. Some large donations may not appear on the Kintera site for administrative reasons. I know times are tough and each dollar donated is a dollar you could have spent on yourself or family. I am going to try to add a page listing all who contributed, so check back in a day or so. The donation site will be open for at least another 6 months so feel free to add to the pot if you haven’t already.
The blog has had a little over 9,000 hits since the idea was conceived in July of 2011, so I think we did well in raising awareness for the kids and their challenges. Thanks for following, commenting and keeping me aware that you were all out there and watching – maybe living a bit of adventure through the ride I was doing.
Tomorrow night I will do a post on some personal reflections on the ride, the people I met and all of that. Getting late tonight and the fingers are getting fatter each minute…