Reflections on Epic Bike Ride to End AIDS
On Saturday June 12th, I completed the experience of a lifetime. I participated in Aids/LifeCycle 9, a week – long, more than 500 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles organized to raise awareness and funds to help put an end to HIV/AIDs.
The ride was much more than an endurance test. It was, quite simply, an amazing journey. Over 2,000 cyclists and 500 volunteers participated in this challenging, daunting – yet tremendously rewarding and hilariously entertaining journey. We laughed, we cried and we remembered those that have lost the battle to HIV/AIDs. We felt accomplishment in collectively raising over $10 Million to help fight HIV/AIDs. However, we know it’s a still a drop in the bucket compared to the funds needed for prevention, support of those with the disease and research to find a cure.
I signed up for this ride before ever knowing FedEx was a presenting sponsor. Being new to the Bay area, I was looking for a way to get involved in the community and do my part in contributing to a worthy cause. What a pleasant surprise to see the outstanding FedEx support already in place!
What I find incredible is how FedEx support for the Aids/LifeCycle ride has grown organically through the motivation of 1 FedEx employee and the generous spirit and community involvement that our company encourages and supports. A few years ago, Louie Butler, HR Advisor with FedEx Express signed up to do ALC ride on his own. The following year a couple of his colleagues signed up. Following, Stephen Seymour, MD Districts Ops with FedEx Express, gained support for FedEx Sponsorship.
This year, thanks to the tireless efforts of Louie and his team FedEx had an incredible presence on this ride. We had 25 riders on the FedEx team, 5 of us wearing SenseAware tracking devices to demonstrate the capabilities of our new product; we were a presenting sponsor with Banners provided by FedEx Office, some shipping services provided by FedEx Freight, and Debi Carrubba of FedEx Express dedicated her time to taking pictures of all the riders each day and posting them in camp for participants to see. It was wonderful to see riders across almost all of our OpCos participate including Ari Spitzer, MD with FedEx Office, John Hinckley MD with FedEx Freight, Louie, Steve, Debi an many more from Express, as well as Nicole Heckman and myself from FedEx Services. Collectively, between FedEx sponsorship, gifts in kind and our individual fundraising efforts (of which many contributions came from our generous work colleagues and friends) we contributed over $177,000 towards the fight against HIV/AIDs. It makes me proud to be a part of a company such as FedEx.
Next year, ALC10 will be an extra special event as it is the 30th year anniversary since the discovery of HIV/AIDS. I’ve already signed up and hope to see an even bigger FedEx team. To learn more about our ride go to: www.senseaware.com/alc9. If you’re interested in participating, don’t hesitate – you can do anything you put your mind to with the support of your friends and family!