It is always around this time of the year I feel extra compelled to give back, find ways to get involved in the community, and set goals for the upcoming new year. I mainly associate this with the reality that I am often surrounded by people who go above and beyond to provide a happy holiday season to those in need, and I am uplifted by this compassionate attitude. In any case, as I was thinking about how I'd like to give back for the holidays, I committed to attending an informational networking meeting for the 2012 American Cancer Society Pan Ohio Hope Ride.
For those who are unfamiliar, the event is a four day, 328-mile bike ride from Cleveland to Cincinnati. It is the only multi-day cycling event of its kind benefiting the American Cancer Society and since its beginning six years ago, has raised over $1 million for Ohio's Hope Lodges and other critical programs to fight against cancer.
The event was this evening and in the short 90 minutes that I was there, something significant happened. As a brief background, earlier in the day I received news that a friend was recently diagnosed with cancer. It is never easy news to digest and more often than not, it seems that we are invincible to these sort of happenings until we are faced with them. I digress. In any case, I was feeling more compelled than ever to get involved with the ride after hearing the news and had high hopes for the event. Immediately upon entering the room everyone was immersed in conversation sharing stories, laughs, tears and training tips. It was like walking into a family room on a Sunday evening. Everyone was supportive, uplifting and passionate about the cause. It was a truly phenomenal occurrence to witness.
It was evident after speaking with participants, team captains and cancer survivors that I not only want to ride the 328 miles, but I want to share their stories with anyone and everyone who will listen.
I am reinstating the Cookies for a Cause initiative this month to start raising donations and awareness for the ride. I have a few holiday favorites (Hershey Kiss Cookies, Peanut Butter Cup Blossoms, and Chocolate Graham Cracker Toffee, to name a few) and will send an assortment to anyone who would like to donate $25 to the 2012 American Cancer Society Pan Ohio Hope Ride.
Send any questions to TheDailyChallengeBlog@gmail.com or send me a tweet. Keep spreading the holiday cheer!
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