This is the last year I’ll be asking you for money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Historic New Bern Bicycle Tour. Did that get your attention? If you’re reading this letter you probably know that I’ve been raising money for the NMSS for the last 5 years through this unique method of “I ride my bicycle 150 to 200 miles over 2 days, you donate money to the MS Society”. Why do we do this? Well, I love riding my bicycle long distances through beautiful countryside AND I’ve lost several good friends to this terrible disease we call multiple sclerosis and have several friends living with the disease right now and through this bicycle tour have met dozens of other people living with the disease and praying for a cure. I don’t have money to donate myself to this organization which has helped so many people in Eastern North Carolina who have the disease so I do what I can to help raise money. If you’re reading this now it is probably because you’ve donated to my ride in the past and, as I’ve discovered, it’s probably because you’ve lost a friend or loved one to MS or know someone currently living with MS. Over the last 5 years almost every person who has donated has told me of someone close to them with MS.
So that’s the game we’ve been playing. When I started doing this I had no idea I could ride a bike 100 miles in a day. I’d never come close to doing that before. And I had never asked anyone for money for any kind of cause and really did not expect to succeed at that, either. But I discovered physical strengths I didn’t know I had and, most importantly, discovered the generosity of my friends. The first year I raised almost $2000. It’s been a little less than that in the following years but always over $1000 thanks to you and many others.
So why will this be my last year? Well, I’ll be 60 next year and feel a need for some change. I think it’s time to find other ways to “make good” in the world – maybe something on a more one-to-one basis. And I’m acutely aware of the concept of “donor burn-out” and want to head that off at the pass. I know everyone is bombarded with requests for help from all kinds of worthy causes and also most people I know are struggling financially themselves. I know I’ll keep riding and doing the small group fund raising rides. We did one this morning where there is a small entry fee that goes directly to the organization so I do the riding and the paying myself.
So, if you can help, great. If not, that’s fine. No amount is too small and here’s the drill:
1.) Easiest: Go to my personal page on the MS Society website and click the “donate” link. http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/robbielink2012
2.) Or mail a check made out to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to my address: 2512 Mount Sinai Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Do NOT make the check to me!
We ride out of New Bern September 8th and 9th. We’ll be doing at least 75 miles each day and hopefully 100 on at least one of them. It’s exhilarating, exhausting, fun (well, mostly fun) and challenging. I can accept donations up until October 1st. And, yes, Karen is riding again this year!