The key to many things, including raising money, is leverage. There's only so much you can do with your own hands and I therefore hope to enlist others to bike with me (for the whole trip, for a week or two, or for even a few days) and help me raise money. I’ve I sent out my first letters, to roughly 25 people who I think might be willing to help and thus far the reaction has been heartwarming. My intrepid kayaking partner Serge is going to drive the van, be Mr Fix-it, and bike to boot! My good friend and client, Wes from Toronto has committed to bike with me for at least the last 2 weeks of May (when I will be in Austria then Hungary!) and will help me raise money. Claude, Raynold, Garry, Jean-François and Wayne have all told me that they will do their best to bike with me for at least a period of time and I hope they will all help me raise money as well. Others have replied that they will do what they can to help, and Lenny, my friend and the owner of Montreal’s famous Moishes steakhouse (http://www.moishes.ca/ - the best steak in town!), has even agreed to send letters to his biking friends. I want to raise at least $250,000 between now and my trip and, obviously, the more people helping the better.
Over the next couple of weeks I am going to continue to send letters to people who I think might be interested in biking or helping me actively raise funds, and early in the New Year I expect to start soliciting donations from everyone I know. If anyone reading this wants to help, please let me know.
I am also looking for equipment sponsors for the trip (I would love to have two spare bikes for people who come), the more the merrier.
Every day I realize how lucky I am. Last week my son Phil had his braces removed (hence the above photo) and my daughter Julianne received the proofs of her high school graduation photos. For other people, these might be everyday events, flashing by without recognition. For me, and other survivors, it's different. These are days and events which we didn't expect to see, they are gifts to be savored.