This post has very little to do with emerging trends and technologies. It is much more about raising the awareness of a new charitable Foundation that has been set up.
Along the way, I wanted to let you know what I'll be doing July 25-31. This Saturday, I leave for RAGBRAI XXXVIII, a 7 day bike ride across Iowa that attracts 10,000 riders every year.
This year's 442 mile route is from Sioux City to Dubuque. The ride is not a race, but more of a tour. The route takes us through many small communities, whose residents come out to cheer us on as we pass through. While a truck takes my tent/gear from overnight city to overnight city each day, I still have to ride my bike from city to city. I'm riding solo, but with 10,000 other riders, I will make friends along the way.
While I will enjoy the mental and physical challenge of riding long miles for 7 days in a row, one of the main reasons I am riding is to draw attention to the The Joseph Gomoll Foundation. Joey Gomoll passed away in March of this year just shy of his 5th birthday from complications relating to epilepsy. His parents, Mike and Nory, have set up http://www.joeyssong.org/ as a charitable organization that has a mission to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation and local special education resources, in memory/honor of their son Joey.
Did you know that Epilepsy affects 50 million people worldwide – more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease combined? Almost 500 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the United States. In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown. More research is needed to understand epilepsy and help those people impacted enjoy a normal life. Read more about epilepsy at the following page: http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/about/
Because music was an important part of Joey's life, the Foundation has decided to raise money by releasing a series of CDs that will be called "Joey's Song". The Foundation is planning to release the first CD in a series in January 2011. For more on the CD series, check out http://www.joeyssong.org/artists.php and get updates on the artist's participation by friending the Foundation's Facebook page.
My Primary Objective: Create Awareness
My primary objective is to create awareness for this new foundation. If you are a Facebook user, please become a fan of the Foundation Facebook page. Please visit the Foundation's website. During my ride, I will be promoting the website and Facebook pages via a sign on my bike, a flag above my tent, and by passing out business cards (see example at the bottom of this post) to everyone I meet along the way. My goal is to at least double the size of their current friends list on Facebook. (currently about 830).
A secondary objective is to raise a little bit of money for the foundation. My goal is $1000. To provide a little incentive for those of you considering a donation, I will be 'awarding' the 7 highest donors a custom 'Joeyssong' T-shirt (one for each day of my bike ride). See pictures to the right.
If you want to make a donation in support of my bike ride (and thus the Foundation), please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your pledge amount by July 31st. I'll let you then know where to send your check for the Foundation….and I'll let you know if you win one of the 7 T-Shirts!!
Follow Me On My Ride
If you are interested in following my RAGBRAI journey, I will be providing brief updates on my Twitter page http://twitter.com/
Example of Cards I will hand out
During my ride, I hope to hand out over 1,000 cards to people I meet along the way. I am stopping in over 40 towns, so I'll have lots of opportunities to meet people and create awareness about the mission of the Foundation to help in the fight to stop seizures.
Thanks for your support!!