In the past, I never saw the need to combine my charitable giving with my recreational racing. I thought the two were best kept separate, and as a result, never used my various races as a way to raise money for causes I believed in.
Then, my mother-in-law got sick. Steve and I launched into a campaign to run the Bolder Boulder 10K as a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society in her honor, and found it to be one of the most fulfilling experiences of our lives. Asking our friends and family members to support us in a cause we felt so passionate about lit a new kind of fire under us. It didn’t result in stellar times for either of us, thanks to such factors as high altitudes and new ACLs, but it did result in us raising $3,000 for the American Cancer Society.
A side note: It also resulted in what might be the most amazing, pained race photo of all time (see above). On so many levels, it actually hurts to look at that picture.
I still don’t totally feel comfortable asking others to lend financial support to my personal causes. But I’m OK with making exceptions in some very special cases. Today, in this season of giving, I’m bringing another very special case to your attention.
On Jan. 9, Steve and I (along with 23 other crazies) will be participating in an endurance event at Whitetail Resort called the 100K Vertical Challenge, in which we will attempt to ski 100,000 vertical feet in one day—roughly 107 runs at Whitetail. The event aims to raise funds for and awareness of the Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation, a nonprofit adaptive sports program for people with disabilities. This rapidly growing program services wounded troops in the nearby Baltimore/Washington region, as well as civilian athletes with a wide range of disabilities.
I feel a personal connection to this cause on many levels, but at the core, I’m taking part in this event because I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the wounded warriors who receive lessons through Two Top, who have taken the burden of war upon their own shoulders so the rest of us can continue living our lives unscathed. I’m grateful that my own husband, and many of our dear friends, have returned from their deployments healthy and safe. I’m grateful that my own injuries have been the minor, fixable sort, and grateful I’m able to experience the freedom, joy and exhilaration of skiing at all. Given all that I have, participating in this challenge, and thereby helping others experience the same sense of freedom, joy and exhilaration, seems like the least I can do.
If you’re looking for opportunities to give this holiday season, please consider donating to this incredible cause. There are two ways you can donate to my campaign: by pledging a certain amount for each run I complete (I will let you know that number after the race), or by donating a fixed amount ahead of time via Two Top’s website (be sure to let me know via comment or via email at amy.reinink (at) gmail.com, so I can thank you—and brag to my fellow participants). Donations can also be made via check to: Two Top Mountain Adaptive Sports Foundation, Inc., 10914 Claylick Rd. Mercersburg, PA 17236
Thanks for any support you can offer, either financial or emotional. This will be my last post before Christmas; I will return to regular posting in 2012. Until then, may your holiday season be full of family and love, and may your new year be full of fun and adventure!