Nothing But Gratitude!!
This past weekend was nothing short of AMAZING!! The 2018 Red Ribbon Ride is now behind me, but the experience will live on in my memory for weeks/months/years to come:) Since mid-April, I had been training for and thinking about what was about to take place, and I'm so glad I did ... the 102+ plus miles on Day 1 was no joke! And then to follow it up with a more relaxing 66+ mile ride on Day 2 alongside my teammates (The Cyclepaths) and training partner, Doug Hoskinson, was simply incredible. I am SO lucky to have such an amazing community of people in my life.
The Red Ribbon Ride is a 2-day bicycle ride that raises vital funds for five HIV/AIDS service organizations in Minnesota; providing HIV treatment, prevention and awareness. Though it rarely makes the news these days, HIV/AIDS still affects thousands of people in Minnesota and many, many more worldwide. Thankfully, there are many HIV+ folks who live full, happy lives, but there are many who still need our support. Further, the stigma surrounding this chronic illness is still very real, and so we need to continue to educate people until discriminatory practices come to an end. As a teacher of almost 25 years in different capacities, this education mission is extremely important to me. I was determined to use my 8th Ride as a mechanism to create a positive difference in the lives of my community all over Minnesota and beyond. The ripple effect of greater awareness holds endless possibilities for good.
In order to make the greatest difference possible, I rode my bicycle more miles in training -- over 1,100 -- than ever before, and, with the help of generous friends and colleagues like YOU, I raised more money than in previous years!! In fact, I surpassed my goal to raise $11,000 and ended up raising $12,853 to help fight HIV and raise awareness in Minnesota. This made me the top individual fundraiser for the Ride, which is something I could have never imagined. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for your support and boundless generosity!!!
As of this morning, 182 wonderful people and/or individual households have donated toward the Ride. If there are other people out there who still want to give, you may certainly do so. I cannot express enough how grateful I feel for those of you who have supported me on my journey of hope for the thousands of Minnesotans who are living with HIV/AIDS and those at risk of infection.
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