First of all guys, I have some belated "Thank Yous" to get out of the way.
Fraser: thanks, again. I know how this desease has taken a very personal toll on your family, and I appreciate your support of our efforts year after year.
Secondly: "Anon" from TTP. Basically, a mystery sponsor, because I don't know you. That said, thaks so much. My footballing bretherin from TTP have been my biggest source of sponsors over the years. It's humbling.
It's a pretty amazing effort, and I am honestly humbled, and overwhelmingly proud of this kid.
Personally, I need to get off my arse and start raising some funds.
Yesterday the R2S group threw down a 123 KM of hills through the Fort Langley and White Rock area. Good fun, great people, great day of training. Michael and I were both pretty cooked after. He recovered and went on a date after, I had a nap on the couch.
...and another. @kurgan , I know you want to be anonymous, but this year you haven't specifically told me to keep you anonymous, so fcuk off with that and thank you very much.
Besides, you haven't pulled funing for me outing you yet, so I'll take my chances with public thanks and recognition.
Kurgan is another yearly contributor, but this year he donated twice...a nice donation earlier in my campaign, plus he just won the TTP Champions pool, and donated the winnings from that. Very cool my friend, and thanks very much.
@kurgan is responsible for a portion of that donation as he wanted his TTP Champions League winnings to go this way. I tried to tell him that becoming a Lifetime Better Bastard was a better use of his funds but I guess Political Correctness won out in the end.
Today is blog day, so this is a modified TTP special version of my blog I will post up on FB and the Canadian Cancer Society website.
First, thanks to Regs for giving me some nice visibility on the front page. BTW, the camera makes my ass look bigger. Really, it does.
Secondly, thanks to Bronco for another donation this year. I’ll get your dedication this year…your gran if I remember correctly?
Mini Dude and I spent our Friday afternoon and Saturday out at Scottsdale Mall in Delta riding our bikes on trainers in front of the Save On Foods. We were there from 4-9 Friday, and 3-8:30 Saturday. Us along w/ two other R2Sers. Shaking our cans, etc.
Why? Well, it was Mini Dude who volunteered us, given he feels guilty about his poor fundraising efforts. If it’s one thing 15 year olds don’t have, is money. This way he could at least ride and actually talk w/ people, and ask for money.
Let me tell you, asking people for money, face-to-face, is bloody hard! Not hard to figure out why. Some don’t have the spare change. Some do, but don’t want to for a variety of reasons. One, too cheap. We all are guilty of that. Second, people feel inundated w/ charity requests, and have had enough. I am one. Third, they may not agree with either our endeavor, or our vehicle (CCS). Fourth, other: one guy said, “I hate bikes, that’s all.”
That being said, it was also increadibly rewarding, and time did go by fast.
We had all sort of people just walk by and drop $20 bills in, no words, no questions, nothing. Many folks, especially in that area of Surrey, were English Second Language, but were still dropping green bills. We had people come up and chat w/ us, and tell us about their loved ones whom have passed. Grown ladies talking to my son, all of a sudden bursting into tears. One guy came back 3 or 4 times over 2 days with pockets full of change. Sketchy looking dude, finally on the last one I said, “Hey, this is like the 4th time I’ve seen you empty your pockets of change, what gives?” “Yeah, my dad died of cancer, and these are just recyclables I’m turning in, you guys get it all, and I’ll keep coming back as long as you guys are here this weekend.”
One old fellow, an ex-firefighter who wondered into the liguor store a few times then stopped to chat told us about his experiences shaking a book, and in the army, we talked about some of the local soccer leagues…never had spare change till Saturday, before he finally said, “OK, I feel guilty, I have to give you something”. I bet I talked w/ him for over 90 minutes in two days, never did we talk about Cancer. He was about 80, obviously at the point in life where his daily trip to buy a 6 pack was one of the more important parts of his day. His kids were now living in Nova Scotia and Austrialia, wife long since passed, and rarely gets to see them or his grandkids. Real nice guy- Bob. Michael made a point of chassing him down after he started getting on his way to shake his hand. Michael is facinated w/ army stories, and the CAF is a very real career choice right now.
I have to say, the best donation I got all weekend was my smallest…
Friday afternoon, at about 5:00, three people walk up to me, smilling ear-to-ear. I very quickly determined they were special needs. Not special needs as in KNVB lining a match, but a real special needs folks. Now, you have to understand something about me…as much as I TTP KNVB being the village idiot, the truth is I have a very soft spot in my heart for those suffering from mental handicaps. If I had a magic “get better” wand, it would be to waive it at the mentally handicapped community, to help them. I can’t even watch “I am Sam” without becoming a blubbering mess.
They stopped and spokme w/ me…well, one of them, they lady that was obviously the outgoing one of the three special needs friends. With a BIG smile on her face, one that would light up the darkest room, she asked me what we were doing. I explained we were raising money for Canadian Cancer Research. “Why are you guys on bikes?” I tell them about our ride. “In one day?” Well, that’s what everyone asks…yep, we’ll do it in one day. “That’s a long way!” Yes it it, really long.
Finally, all three of them reach ionto their pockets, and break out their change wallets. I mean, I don’t even carry around a change wallet anymore. It’s all credit. Change wallet? Who has that? Well, those people that either can’t get credit, and likely don’t have enough cash to worry about it. Those people whom may actually have a financially tough time donating even a dollar to CCS. They all reached in and pulled out small change…a dime, maybe a nickel, and maybe a few pennies and a nickel. All dropped it into my bucket, and the guy on the left, who I thought was not hearing a word of the conversation, said, “Helping people is good. We like helping people.” At that point I managed to choke out a thank you, and say, “Not one penny of your donation will be wasted, than you soooo much.”
They all three said, “You’re welcome!”
Again, big smiles, and a couple of thumbs-up, too.
At that point I turned to my son, who was riding beside me, and said, “We won’t receive a better and more meaningful donation that that one all weekend”. And although we spoke with a lot of people, and heard a lot of sad stories, and had many a stranger share their deepest fears, and saddest inner thoughts with us…that was my big take-away from all this. The thought that, “Man...never, ever judge a book by it’s cover…”, and, “You never know what or who is going to make your day.”
What started out as a pain-in-the-arse fundraising weekend turned into a very rewarding, if not hard earned, experience. Far from an Easy Button, but far more rewarding, too. My wife and daughters came by on Saturday evening, too, and helped us get through the last hour.
Training is otherwise going very well. Mini Dude is finding his road riding legs after having essentially not touched his- except for the Whistler Grand Fondo- once since last year’s R2S. Fundraising is going well, thanks mostly to TTP. I’m about to ramp it up w/ some e-mails, and we’ll get there.
Well, it’s actually been a light period of training for me over the past two weeks. I came down w/ a cold, which got into my lungs, and am still fighting it off. I’m 90% there, but still spitting up the odd yellow nugget (nice, eh?), so back to an easy schedule this week.
Mini Dude has actually been on the bike a fair bit more than me, since he still trains during the week with his road team and BMX. This weekend he races in a National Series BMX event in Chilliwack, and next week travels to Washington State for a multi-stage road race event.
Me, I have a leadership conference in Whistler I’m “attending” Friday, which really means I’ll go up mid-day Thursday, ride mountain Thursday evening in Squamish, ride mountain all day in Whistler on Friday (both the XC and DH Bike in the Park), and ride all day Saturday. The events I’m attending are in the evening, skipping the workshops Friday. And the riding I’m doing is not exactly road specific. Still legit, right? One has to make sacrifices when saving the world.
This weekend Mini Dude and I went to Chicago to watch Game 2 of Round 2, Blackhawks vs. Wild. Our very own Village Idiot made a witty comment on FB about us picking up blazers at a 2-fer-1 sale. Which is, actually, pretty good. It wasn’t 2-fer-1, but it was 40% off at Banana Republic.
Fundraising wise, we are stuck at 65% of our goal, but that is because I haven’t done any real fundraising outside TTP. So, I need to get off my ass and get to doing that. I’ll get there, I always do. So far, my biggest sponsors are some mysterious TTP, sounds like Curgan (2nd place), and my nephew, Shay (1st), who has collected recyclables to the tune of about $500.00! Pretty awesome, and me, feeling pretty sheepish for not being as pro-active as he is.
Time to get cracking…
But I’ve been busy…in between “business trips” to Whistler, and father-son-blazer-wearing-talking-to-strange-women trips to Chicago.