Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Riding my Booty off - Again!

It's time to open up the wallets and watch Falstaff suffer!

If you were reading in this little corner of the interwebs last summer, you remember my participation in the 24 Hours of Booty charity bike ride. You may also have seen the t-shirt I wore at the Winter Gathering about the event. Well, I'm riding again, and once again I'll make the pledge to ride one lap for every $50 that is donated in my name, up to 99 miles. I have a fundraising goal of $2,000 this year, because that's what gets me a different color jersey than I got last year.

The 24 Hours of Booty is a charity bike ride in Charlotte every summer, where the streets are closed from 7PM on a Friday night until 7PM on Saturday and hundreds of cyclists take to the streets of the Myers Park neighborhood to raise money for cancer research locally and nationwide. Last year, this event raised over $750K, and I bet this year will be even bigger. I'm riding with Team Barbizon, my team from work, and we raised over $16K last year. This year I've setour team goal for $20K, and I think that's very achievable.

The Booty Loop in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte is a 3-mile loop through a neighborhood that's very popular with cyclists, and I'll do one 3-mile loop for every $50 that is donated in my name. Cancer is a bitch, and this is my way to fight the disease that has claimed the lives of some people I love. Here's a little but about some of the people I'm riding in honor and memory of.

Blair Beasley was a fixture in the Winthrop Department of Theatre & Dance for over 20 years. In that time, he shaped a lot of lives, mine included. Blair took the time to take a cocky kid and teach him a thing or two about directing. And a thing or two about living, as well. Blair and I went through some tough times together. I was with him the night before he got sober, and we were both trashed at a party for a show neither of us had anything to do with. I took classes from Blair when he was drinking, and became his friend when he got sober. He gave me a lot of perspective on theatre, and our place in the world, and I'll always owe him huge for that. He died a few years ago from complications from lung cancer, and I still hear his voice when I get up in front of a group of actors to address them when we start rehearsal.

I'm riding for Blair this summer, along with Caroline Crawford, the long time design professor at Winthrop who died of breast cancer right after I graduated. Without the sense of wonder and beauty that Caroline brought to the lighting design class I took from her, I likely would never have made this my career choice. Caroline had a beautiful way of looking at the world, and that infused the classes she taught. It's a shame that whole classes of Winthrop students had to miss out on the lessons that she and Blair had for them.

Suzy's mom died of breast cancer before we ever met, and it was just a few years ago that we both realized that if she had gotten sick now, she probably would have lived. The advances in breast cancer treatment in the past decade have been extraordinary, and that's another reason I'm doing this ride, to give money to the local organizations that work to find a cure for this disease. I have a friend that's working directly on a cure for types of cancer, and I think his work is great. I'm not in that field, but this is what I can do. I can put my ass on a bike, and raise money to support the people that directly fight this disease.

So help me. Go to my fundraising website and make a donation. Last year I signed up for the event less than three weeks before, and my friends kicked in a remarkable amount of money in a very short time. This year, we've got time, so I want more out of both of us! I rode 24 miles last year, in my first time on a bike in over 10 years. I've spent a lot more time on a bike this year, so I'll re-up my pledge to do one lap (3 miles) for every $50 you give. I'm capping it at 99 miles, because that's all I can reasonable hope to do in one 24-hour period, but don't let that stop you from donating!

I also budgeted $50/month this year to go to charitable giving, so that will all go to Booty from now until July. So whip out that plastic, come up with some great multiplier of 72 and make a difference in the fight against cancer, both in my community and nationally. The 24 Hours of Booty ride donates to cancer research and treatment in the Charlotte area and to the Lance Armstrong Foundation nationally, so you're supporting cancer patients all across the country when you do this.

1 comment:

Daddy said...

Bro, give me a call sometime.
I lost your number when I dropped my phone down a storm drain.

True story.

I'm heavily considering MerleFest this year, and want to start planning shit.