Last year I was pretty quiet until late in the game....this year, I'm trying to do a little more with the charity and with school and work, so I figure I'll start earlier...
This is year 10 for me, and it's been a wild, crazy ride. You guys have been instrumental in us raising more than $80,000.00 for the cause. I think we're somewhere around $82.5 now, but I'll have to double check on that...
This year marks a decade that I've been doing this and it also marks the 5th anniversary of the passing of Ann Hartline, who was the reason I started participating in the first place. To mark the occasion, I've signed up to ride for the Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreat team this year.
Wind River offers totally free retreats for cancer patients in the scenic and idyllic North Carolina Mountains. My friend Ann was in the inaugural class at Wind River, and often went back to talk to other patients and help to counsel them on some of the issues they face during treatment, convalescence and - unfortunately - when they have to deal with end of life issues.
Wind River is one of the 24HOB beneficiaries, along side LiveSTRONG and others, and I felt compelled to ride with them this year.
The 24 Foundation is also doing something a little different to accomodate my fundraising. They're going to apportion up to 25% of what I raise to go toward a qualifying charity that's in my area. Right now, we're working with Feist-Weiller Cancer Center which is part of the LSU Medical Center/LSU Medical School here in Shreveport. Oschner's, a non-profit hosptial out of New Orleans, is now administering LSU Medical Center and between the two of them, they see about 80% of the cancer patients in Louisiana, at least initially, and they see about 95% of the cancer patients who are in Louisiana's Charity Hospital System.
This helps open some more local fundraising options for me, so I can go door to door at businesses in my area and try to raise more money. Meanwhile, I can still do social media to raise money for LiveSTRONG and the other national beneficiaires, which is where you guys come in!
Last year was our best year ever, with nearly $12,000 raised. The year before we rasied about $15,000, but nearly $4,000 of that went to young Buck Ransom's ride, which was freakin awesome!
So...our two best back to back years were 2017 and 2018.
TheRevSFA was last year's largest donor, with well over $1600.00 donated, through direct donations and corporate match....He, Southern Bison and perpetual Northwestern donor HoustonDemon were all right around the $500.00 mark in direct donations.
Just those three guys were responsible for about $2700 in donations to the cause, but they were also indirectly responsible for much more because everytime they donated, it enabled me to spread the word, prompting more donations.
And, as a lot of us jockeyed for the top 10 toward the end of the campaign, those donations spurred 25 or 30 other fundraisers to push for more money.....I ended up in the top 10 by the slimmmest of margins, so you guys were ALL instrumental in helping us have our best year ever.
It was a pretty cool event and it was made even better by DerbyCityDuke's appearance. That was a real treat, as was getting fed and put up in lavish accomodations by SouthernBison.
This year, I'm going to try to get as close to $20K in funds raised as I can get. I'm back in school working on another degree, and that's about to get more intense, so I may not be able to participate at this level next year, so I'm going to try to make hay while the sun shines....If we could get to $20K or even close to it, that'll put us over $100K, in 10 years...which freaking rocks...
You guys have been awesome in your support, despite our difference in fan affiliation and even despite politics. Bison Tru, for instance, has taken time out from our spats in the Political threads to donate each of the last three years, which is pretty cool!
I hope you guys will consider supporting the ride again this year!
No donation is too small and they're all desperately needed AND Tax Deductible!