Friday, February 5, 2010

Support me with my next goal... Riding 600km and Raising $2500!

Dear Family, friends, and followers....

The past 2 years have been phenomenal for me. I’ve managed to realize what is perhaps my life’s greatest accomplishment (so far) with your help and support… I know now more than ever, that even though I’m the one who sweats off over 200 pounds, I couldn’t do it without your support and encouragement.

For those of you who’ve been following my story on my blog you will know that one of my goals for this year is to participate in the 2010 Friends for Life Bike Rally. My friend Jonathan convinced and encouraged me to participate, and I am writing to you today to once again invite your support.

From July 25-30, 2010, I will join hundreds of other people in a 600-km bike ride from Toronto to Montreal to raise money for a wide range of accessible, direct and practical services that support men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. And I hope that you will consider helping me achieve my fundraising goal of $2500.00.

Since the mid- to late-80s, AIDS as a disease has completely changed the ways in which we connect and relate to one another in the world. It has brought to the fore a wide range of difficult issues that society has been forced to contemplate and reconsider, and in so doing, come to better understand the ways in which we see people living with disease. HIV/AIDS is not just a disease affecting gay men – it is a disease that affects people from all walks of life, and the ways society treats and supports people living with HIV/AIDS inevitably shapes the ways we deal with people who live with any sort of disease or illness. This is part of why I’ve chosen to take on this significant challenge.

The other reason why I’ve chosen the Friends for Life Ride as a goal this year is because over two years ago, I never imagined that I would ever be able to ride a bike – let alone ride a bike 600 km between my two favourite cities in Canada. Doing so with wonderful friends by my side will be amazing. Doing so knowing that what I’m doing isn’t just about me achieving another goal, but will allow me to make a significant financial and symbolic contribution to an important cause is phenomenal.

So how can you help? There are two ways that you can help me to make this happen…

First of all, I invite you to consider a monetary donation to this important cause. Secure online donations can be made with your credit card by clicking on the link below:

http://my.e2rm.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=2457248

Once completed, an electronic tax receipt for any donation over $20 (CDN) will be sent to you by email within a few minutes.

Secondly, if you happen to be in the Greater Toronto Area, you may want to consider joining me and my two co-riders, Jonathan Steels and Andrew Siegwart on Saturday, April 17, 2010, as we host a 3-hour spin-a-thon for Friends for Life. Bikes can be reserved for the 3-hour event for a donation of $150, and individual riders or teams of three riders ($50 each!) will have the opportunity to experience my newest fitness obsession! I discovered indoor cycling in September 2009 at Legacy Indoor Cycling Studio and have found a tremendous sense of energy, spirit, and community in this exciting activity. The event on April 17 will be fantastic – the opportunity to ride with some of the city’s best instructors (including me as a newly certified instructor!), to the most amazing music, with the chance to win a wide range of prizes… all while supporting me, Jonathan and Andrew… cannot be missed. There are only 27 bikes available, so if you’re interested in participating, email us at legacyfriendsforlife@gmail.com.

I realize that as we all come out of difficult financial times, deciding where to direct your charitable dollars is an important choice. I assure you that not only is this a worthwhile cause, but it is also one that provides direct benefit (through services like foodbanks, health support, advocacy, and income support) for thousands and thousands of women, children and men living with HIV/AIDS. More than anything, I assure you that for every dollar donated, I will work harder, strive higher, and continue to achieve goals that I once thought were unachievable.

I hope you will help me achieve this goal for myself, and help make the aspirations of thousands of other people a reality. If you have any questions about the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, please feel free to visit www.pwatoronto.org. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to email me directly at phd2011@gmail.com.

Kia kaha (Stay strong)
Chris