$1,047,514 raised for HIV/AIDS by our bicycling group!!! UPDATED with pics...

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    Nov 17, 2013 5:02 PM GMT
    The annual 2-day, 165-mile SMART Ride from Miami to Key West finished yesterday (Sat), and we earned a record $1,047,514 USD, our first million dollar ride! My own 10-man rider team raised over $50,000, the fourth highest overall total and best average rider performance for a team our small size.

    100% of that million dollars will be divided among 7 non-profit HIV/AIDS agencies in South Florida. The riders themselves get to designate how they want the money they individually raised to be apportioned among the 7 recipients.

    My iPad can't upload the pics I took to the online photo service I use, and in turn post them on RJ, so that'll have to wait until I return home next week. But they'll be here soon, like I do every year. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 17, 2013 7:57 PM GMT
    Bump! (A bit obscure in the Cycling Forum)
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    Nov 17, 2013 9:45 PM GMT
    That's fantastic Art! Congratulations on both your ride and the fundraising accomplished.
  • turtleneckjoc...

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    Nov 17, 2013 10:09 PM GMT
    Kudos to my South Florida friends for this noble effort!!

    Tonight (11/17), is a huge fundraiser for the Central Florida group I have a philanthropic interest in, The Hope and Help Center of Central Florida. Billie Jean King and Elton John are at Disney's Wide World of Sports for a tennis event where proceeds will go to Hope and Help.

    I extend a challenge to all of you in RJ Land to divert some of your holiday charitable giving to both of these organizations. This goes out to all Floridians in particular as well as those in the RJ family. I don't think Art_Deco would mind one bit if you have an interest in assisting SMART Ride, and I will not object if I am contacted regarding Hope and Help.
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    Nov 17, 2013 10:33 PM GMT
    wow! that's great, Art! i've only ever done a 35 mile bike race. did you treat yourself to a massage afterwards? a bike ride like that can certainly make you sore.
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    Nov 17, 2013 11:39 PM GMT
    Great job Art! Have fun in KWicon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 18, 2013 1:42 AM GMT
    Your work with this organization has always been impressive, Bob. But this time you've outdone yourself.
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    Nov 18, 2013 5:28 AM GMT
    Sounds good Art. Could you explain a bit more about how the money is used? I'm just curious because I see fundraising "for diseases" at the grocery checkout, at sporting events and all over the place. I've been in biomedical research my entire life, and I have never heard of any research that was funded by any of these charities. I'm not trying to be an asshole, it just sounds as if you have some idea about where the money goes, in this particular case, and I'm kind of curious about it.
    One possibility, of course, is that the money goes to pay for individual care, in which case, I'd hear nothing about it. Unless I was in the group being targeted.
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    Nov 18, 2013 12:59 PM GMT
    shortbutsweet said
    Your work with this organization has always been impressive, Bob. But this time you've outdone yourself.

    Thanks, but I give more credit to my husband. He's one of the original Ride founders, and has participated in all 10 rides, me only 6. Which at 79 years and following his heart bypass surgery earlier this year, and a double stroke he had last year, is nothing less than astonishing. We just had dinner again with Aristoshark a few weeks ago, and I think he can vouch that my husband looks & acts remarkable for a man his age and with his health history.

    My job is to help him throughout the year, with planning & conducting fundraisers, and inputting the donations to our system, which can be done from our home computer. Another reason you see me online here so much.

    And of course credit to everyone else involved, as well. There were 850 riders & crew this year.
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    Nov 18, 2013 1:51 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidSounds good Art. Could you explain a bit more about how the money is used? I'm just curious because I see fundraising "for diseases" at the grocery checkout, at sporting events and all over the place. I've been in biomedical research my entire life, and I have never heard of any research that was funded by any of these charities. I'm not trying to be an asshole, it just sounds as if you have some idea about where the money goes, in this particular case, and I'm kind of curious about it.
    One possibility, of course, is that the money goes to pay for individual care, in which case, I'd hear nothing about it. Unless I was in the group being targeted.

    I welcome the opportunity to explain about the money, because it's one of our strongest promotional points, that we mention in all our advertising.

    Every penny of what the riders & crews raise, 100%, is given to 7 non-profit HIV/AIDS agencies in South Florida. We raised $1,047,514 and that's exactly what they'll be getting. We are all volunteers who run this, not paid professionals.

    The agencies each offer slightly different services to the HIV/AIDS community, by virtue of how they were founded and the needs areas they chose to address. Some offer medical care and Assisted Living Facilities (ALF), while one focuses on pediatric HIV & AIDS (The Children's Diagnostic & Treatment Center), and another does eduction, community outreach and free testing.

    These agencies must in turn agree to spend the money we give them strictly on client services, and nothing else. No office renovations or pay raises for staff, no parties or trips. If we learn of funds misuse they are removed from our recipients and we select another agency in their place.

    Things our money has bought include ALF furniture, food, clothing and comfort items, a mobile HIV testing van, medical care, hired an HIV/AIDS counselor & tester, and similar client-oriented assistance.

    Of course moving 850 Ride participants from Miami to Key West over 2 days generates expenses, from renting porta potties and cargo trucks, to other support vehicles, radios, providing 6 meals, refreshments for 7 pit stops and 3 water points, the services of a CPA as required by the IRS, and even year-round storage rentals for all our equipment.

    We get that from our corporate sponsors, who give us money, or free services, or a combo of both. But again, not drawing a penny from what the riders & crew raise, their money being fenced.

    So Macy's, Target, Progressive Insurance, Tire Kingdom, Abbott Laboratories, FedEx and others each donate thousands of dollars. Some also give gifts for each participant. AutoNation provides our SUV "sweep" vehicles free, to recover down bikes (mostly flat tires), and Progressive also gives us one of their response SUVs for that purpose. In addition to money, Target gives us gift cards to raffle off to participants.

    Olive Garden provides a free "pasta feast" (carb loading) the night before the ride-out for 850 people, under a huge tent on the starting grounds. Our ambulance & crew are donated by AMR, while our extensive medical teams are all unpaid doctors, nurses and med techs who volunteer their services & materials. At ride's end on both Fri & Sat we provide free massages from 20 licensed massage therapists who also donate their service without fee. Our safety escort of 15 motorcyclists are all unpaid volunteers who provide their personal bikes and their own gas, and most buy out of their own pockets special marker lights to help identify them, like police cycles have.

    And so in this way our expenses are covered without drawing upon the money that the riders & crew have worked to raise. We are one of the few charities of this size in the US that operates in this way, and that fact is emblazoned on all our materials, web site, clothing items, etc.
  • rnch

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    Nov 18, 2013 1:53 PM GMT
    Atta Boi icon_exclaim.gif







    icon_cool.gif
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    Nov 18, 2013 3:10 PM GMT
    Great work. Why not send the information about the ride to all the cycling clubs in Florida for next year's ride, so that more of us know about it. We have many members who do long "century" rides, who might like to participate in your event if they know in advance and can make arrangements to travel and attend.
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    Nov 18, 2013 4:55 PM GMT
    BikeJockey saidGreat work. Why not send the information about the ride to all the cycling clubs in Florida for next year's ride, so that more of us know about it. We have many members who do long "century" rides, who might like to participate in your event if they know in advance and can make arrangements to travel and attend.

    I'll look into it, especially if you or someone can provide me with a mailing lists of these clubs. We already know a few of them, and we also put our flyers and palm cards in many bicycle shops.

    But some shops decline to display our material, either because they have a special relationship with other riding events, that they may sponsor, or else because they fear they would open the door to a flood of such requests, that would wallpaper their shops with flyers.

    And likewise some clubs prefer to focus all their efforts on their own events, frequently also of a charitable nature, and to fund their club operations. They feel that promoting our SMART Ride would be contrary to their own local club interests. But it certainly doesn't hurt to ask, because as a Colonel I once worked for used to say: "The worst they can say is no."
  • Trifyre

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    Nov 18, 2013 6:14 PM GMT
    Congrats! I always enjoy the Smartride crowd when they make it down here. Several of my friends did it this year and said it was a really great group and a lot of fun icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 18, 2013 7:56 PM GMT
    Trifyre saidCongrats! I always enjoy the Smartride crowd when they make it down here. Several of my friends did it this year and said it was a really great group and a lot of fun icon_biggrin.gif

    Thanks! My husband & I remain in Key West until Wed, staying at New Orleans House. In fact, I'm typing this from the Garden Bar on my iPad. I may know some of those Key West riders.
  • Trifyre

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    Nov 18, 2013 8:10 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    Trifyre saidCongrats! I always enjoy the Smartride crowd when they make it down here. Several of my friends did it this year and said it was a really great group and a lot of fun icon_biggrin.gif

    Thanks! My husband & I remain in Key West until Wed, staying at New Orleans House. In fact, I'm typing this from the Garden Bar on my iPad. I may know some of those Key West riders.


    Hmm you probably know Charles Zalepeski who's been doing it for year, and this was Troy Feldkamp's first time doing it. Hmm enjoy the Garden Bar. It's one of my favorite spots on the island to relax!
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    Nov 18, 2013 8:25 PM GMT
    Trifyre said
    ART_DECO said
    Trifyre saidCongrats! I always enjoy the Smartride crowd when they make it down here. Several of my friends did it this year and said it was a really great group and a lot of fun icon_biggrin.gif

    Thanks! My husband & I remain in Key West until Wed, staying at New Orleans House. In fact, I'm typing this from the Garden Bar on my iPad. I may know some of those Key West riders.

    Hmm you probably know Charles Z. who's been doing it for year, and this was Troy F's first time doing it. Hmm enjoy the Garden Bar. It's one of my favorite spots on the island to relax!

    Charles moved to the Fort Lauderdale area, though he was on the Ride. Other Key West people were Karen F-N, formerly with AIDS Help and a rider, and Mindy McK, crewing. Phil A (graffitti) didn't participate this year, though we visited him at his store this morning, and we'll be having dinner with him at Martin's on Duval Tuesday evening.
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    Nov 20, 2013 11:07 PM GMT
    Some photos I was sent, more to follow:

    Our starting point near Miami:

    P1020711_zpsad2a93b1.jpg

    Our team arriving at the White Street Pier in Key West, riding past the AIDS Memorial:

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    Team pic on the pier:

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    On Sunday the next day many of us took a sunset sailing cruise in the Gulf, a couple of snapshots I took myself:

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    P1020839_zpsbd9e3c6a.jpg