Tour de Cure was a challenging and emotional day this year. While this is true every year, this year Jerry’s death caused us to experience a different set of challenges and emotions. I have written a tribute to my friend and colleague in the fight to find a cure for diabetes.
This post will be about others who participated in the day’s events.
This has been a rainy spring and Saturday morning was no different. It rained throughout the night, presenting some challenges in the morning. The weather was less than perfect but riders and volunteers came anyway. The forecast predicted better weather by the time we began and it had cleared up some by the time the first group left St. Vincent’s 119. The rain ceased by the time the 37 mile and 20 mile group left an hour later. I had originally planned on riding 64 miles but then on Friday changed to 37 miles. In the end, I rode 20 miles. Because of the weather, my role as chair of the event, and wanting to be back at 119 to help with anything that needed to be done, I turned around at the first rest stop. My co-captain for Team Red, John Fullerton, also decided to turn around at that point. We rode back in together. John led the team to raise over $20,000 this year. It is an honor to work with him on this event.
I also want to recognize Michael and Angie Rosen. They were new members on the Tour de Cure committee this year. Michael’s team, Team Phoenix, raised over $16,000 with Michael raising over $10,000 of that total. He and Angie put their hearts and souls in making Tour de Cure a success and I cannot thank them enough.
We have great support from local bike shops. Bike Link was out doing pre-ride adjustments on bikes and Cahaba Cycles was on the route for SAG support.
Donna Sibley leads and organizes volunteers. This is a huge job and she is fantastic at doing it year in and year out.
We also have a fantastic group of HAM radio operators and SAG drivers who patrol the route, stop traffic at busy intersections and work to keep all of the riders safe. JVann Martin leads this dedicated group of volunteers and we appreciate them every year.
Finally, none of this would be possible without the dedicated staff at the ADA office. Aimee Johnson, executive director, leads a group of staff and interns who work for hours and hours on our events. Taylor, Virginia, Lindsey, Rachel, Katie, Angie – I know I am missing some of the interns and apologize for that.
We ride to raise money to support programs and to fund research to find a cure for diabetes. This year our goal is $170,000. So far, Tour de Cure participants and sponsors have raised $157.000 towards that goal. We still have a month to complete our fundraising efforts and, hopefully, we will reach that goal.