Good news from Michigan

Hi guys,

This past week has been very exciting. I’ve got a lot of thank you’s to make, and I will be sending personal emails in response to each and every one of you who has contributed to this crazy project of mine, so be ready!

First off, we’ve raised, in this week, a total of $395 for the National Arthritis Research Foundation (or NARF, as I like to think of them). I am so grateful, and so amazed, by this sudden outpouring of support. I wasn’t sure what kind of a response I would get with this project, so I tried not to get my hopes up too high — I was originally thinking around $500-1000 and I would feel that I had raised an acceptable donation. But in less than a week, you fabulous subscribers and supporters have nearly brought us to that goal. Suddenly it seems that I may be able to help fundraise much more, and I am now very much inspired to delve back into the quest for sponsors and awareness.

It was a pretty great moment when I discovered just how much support I’d suddenly received: I was halfway through a 42 mile bike tour of some of our favorite towns in Michigan — from Holland, to Saugatuck, hopping over a bridge 2 miles to Douglas, and back through Saugatuck to Holland again — and I was sitting down with my family for some lunch at a cute restaurant in Saugatuck called Pumpernickel’s. First off, I have a definite affinity for all things small business and unique, so the restaurant was making me happy because it screamed, “We understand you, small business artisan soy candlemaker.” I was also engaged in an intense telepathic conversation with my older sister Charissa as we simultaneously noticed and delighted in the fact that the two ladies sipping tea at the table next to us were undeniably speaking in British accents. Finally, I briefly checked my phone to pause my Strava app, and lo and behold Bethanywhere was blowing up before my eyes. 

It was a pretty good day.

But beyond the generous donations, I’d also like all of you to know that your kind words of encouragement were just as important. Yes, I’d love to raise a nice pile of cash for NARF, but getting through that ride is going to be one of the biggest challenges I’ve tackled yet in my very long life of a full 17 years. It’s not the money, or the colleges, or the bragging rights that are going to give me that push I need at the end of those long 100 mile days, it’s going to be the fact that I’ve got all these people behind me that want this too. So I’d like to throw out a thank you to the Wabash River Cycle Club for your warm welcomes and willingness to come out and ride with me — I will definitely make this a part of my journey. And I would like to thank each and every family member, friend, friend of a friend, and internet supporter for your thoughtful encouragement and your shared excitement for the journey. I’ll be thinking of you when the training gets tough!

Thanks to all, more updates to come!


P.S. My sister took some nifty photographs during the bike ride: we’ve got mom and dad looking fancy in bike gear on their 25th wedding anniversary and various other photos of varying loveliness of locations we saw on our ride yesterday. Enjoy!

Mom & Dad on the Saugatuck, MI Boardwalk halfway through a 42 mile 25th Anniversary Bike Ride

Saugatuck duck = Saugaduck?

Saugatuck duck = Saugaduck?

Old Style Chain Ferry across Kalamazoo Lake

Rose Arbor at City Park

Sunset Sky at Lake Michigan