Many readers of this blog may remember how I celebrated my 60th birthday. If not, a reminder. I decided to ride from north of Fort Lauderdale to Key West on my bicycle, a trip of about 175 miles. And I did it in three days. I invited folks to pledge support for the ride so that through my Rotary Club we could purchase wheelchairs for distribution to those in need. In the end, I was able to raise $22,000 thanks to the generosity of so many folks!
Well this year I turned 65--and it seemed an appropriate moment to ride again. This time I encouraged members of my Rotary Club to join in the effort. And so they have. Together over twenty of us will be riding on March 23 to once again raise funds for wheelchairs. We are hoping to top the $22,000 number. On the 23rd we will each ride varying distances--I am planning on riding 65 miles on that day, one for each year! Wheels for Wheels!
The first time we undertook this effort we were able to purchase 200 wheelchairs. 100 were distributed in Guatemala, and the other 100 in Trinidad. I was able to go to Trinidad, and was extremely moved by those who received the chairs. In some cases it lifted folks off the ground who had literally been crawling around their whole lives!
I undertook the first ride in memory of my Dad, the late Howard Danner, Jr. (pictured above) who spent the last seventeen years of his life in a wheelchair. It meant the difference between living an isolated life, and still being able to go to church or an occasional special event. This second ride is also undertaken in his memory.
If you'd like to support the effort, I would welcome your contributions! $100 buys a wheelchair, but any amount would be most welcome. Checks can be sent to my attention at Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club, Box 686, Sanibel, FL 33957.