|Determined To Make A Difference|
Published on 9 July 2011
Riding 7,000 km (4,200 miles) across the USA to help Maison Chance continue to rebuild lives
PLEASE HELP ME RAISE $50,000 THIS YEAR
In 2009 whilst touring around Vietnam I was introduced to and had the privilege of working at Maison Chance in Vietnam. Maison Chance is a hostel for both disabled persons and orphans.
During the time that I was at Maison Chance I was inspired by the work being completed by both the permanent and volunteer helpers and also by the tremendous resilience shown by the residents. I can truly say I was inspired by them and I believe I returned home a better person. I had also gained some very close friends that I continue to care about.
When I returned to Australia determined to continue to support them and where possible to improve their situation. I helped establish the Maison Chance Association Incorporated, which is a Registered Charity. Over the past two years, with the help of many generous people, I have succeeded in raising over $34,000 for the cause.
This year, with the support of Maison Chance Australia, I am attempting a new venture by cycling solo from west to east across the USA. I am now a retiree and at the age of 66 I realize that I am extremely fortunate to have my good health and to be relatively fit but I also recognize that I can neither take this for granted nor assume my ability to take on such ventures will continue forever. I also firmly believe that whilst I still have the capacity to make a difference I have a responsibility to help the less fortunate and disadvantaged. I have therefore decided to make this journey my last major fundraising effort through cycling in the hope that you will continue to support my efforts by sponsoring my ride.
The ride will take approximately 9 weeks and will involve me averaging approximately 130 km a day. This is a huge commitment by me and I hope that you will recognize the effort involved and help me reach my target for this year of $50,000.
The journey across the USA will take approx 9 weeks and will involve 48 riding days and 11 rest days. I leave Brisbane on the 8th August and start the ride on the 14th August
I will ride from Seattle in the northwest and by the Pacific Ocean and proceed through the Rocky Mountains down past Denver, via the Yellowstone National Park. That will involve climbing steadily for 12 days with some of the time at altitudes ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 meters or 7, 000 -11,000ft). Once I reach Pueblo I will be travelling in an almost straight line due east past places like Kansas City, St Louis, Nashville and this will be flat work through the Prairies and I will be hoping for a following wind here – but no guarantees at this stage! Then more hills as I rise through the Appalachian Mountains (mores hills but not as hard this time) and then down towards Washington and finally to Yorktown on the Atlantic Ocean. I have to finish by the 13th October.
Because I will be travelling solo and need to be self supporting I will be dragging behind me a 20 kilos trailer the whole way with my supplies and necessities. This is about the weight I have lost in the last 3 years! There may be some parts of the journey where I will be lucky enough to get the help of a support vehicle but I am assuming none at the moment.
The average distance per day will be approximately 148 klms or 86 miles a day but obviously in the mountains it will be less.
Assuming everything goes well I will be riding 7 hours a day (4 hours then a 1 hour rest followed by 3 more hours riding)
A MAMMOTH EFFORT FOR GREAT CAUSE
How can you sponsor my efforts to help Maison Chance?
As I look back on my trip, I realize I was extremely lucky to have visited Vietnam and to get involved at Maison Chance. It is hard to explain, but the more you give to them, the more you receive in return. In my whole time there I never heard one whinge or complaint. Indeed their attitude is so positive and fun-loving; I believe no-one has ever told them they are disadvantaged or handicapped and if they were told they would not believe it.
I really care about these people and they really do need all the financial assistance they can get now. So I need your support and contributions towards my fundraising efforts for my journey across the States.
My target is $50,000 which can easily be achieved with lots of small contributions. I really need you to talk to you families, friends. Work colleagues and employers to help achieve this target. Over the past 2 years I have had nearly 200 people support me each year donating varying amounts. If each of those 200 people can encourage 10 other people to also support my cause with a minimum $25 donation, the target will be reached.
Therefore please pass this information on to as many of your friends and colleagues as you can and encourage them to support my efforts.
1. Maison Chance Australia has an account with Suncorp Bank that you can pay monies directly into. Please include your details in the ’Reference section’ so that your generosity can be acknowledged.
3. Or you can contact me direct on 0412 744 442 prior to me leaving on the 8th August 2011
I appreciate you taking the time to read this and thank you in anticipation of your continued support