The good news is that I didn’t quit blogging after three posts. Somehow between job hunting, remodeling our basement bathroom and making time to watch three hours of Shonda Rhimes genius television every Thursday, blogging got away from me. My goal for November is to post once per week. We’ve got some fun stuff coming up in the next couple of months, so I’m going to make a real effort to put blogging into my weekly rotation. Since it’s in writing now that means it will happen, right? Anyway, moving on to actual good news.
In a time when there’s a 5K for everything, I’m always a big fan of a different kind of fundraiser. Enter: The Amy Meyer Memorial Bike Ride. After Amy’s passing in 2008, a group of her closest friends set out to honor her memory, have some fun and raise some money for a cause that was close to her heart. The following is taken from the Amy Meyer Memorial Bike Ride website:
“2008 was a year that began with great sadness with the passing of our dear friend, Amy Meyer. Amy had a giving, loving spirit that left its mark on everyone who knew her. As her close friends we wanted to keep that giving/loving spirit alive. We chose to mix a little exercise, a lot of friends, much laughter, and philanthropy in one giant pot so we created what we now call, The Amy Meyer Memorial Bike Ride.”
Instead of sending riders out on a course designed for speed and competition, the Amy Meyer Memorial Bike Ride takes riders on a cruise through Muscatine, Iowa’s local bars and restaurants to mingle, play games and remember Amy. If that doesn’t sound like the best fundraiser ever, I don’t know what does. In true Amy fashion, the event is designed to be positive, upbeat and loads of fun.
Oh, and to raise money for a cause that meant a lot to Amy, both before and after her cancer diagnosis. Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities takes on the challenge of being a free resource for those with cancer. Here, cancer fighters can attend educational sessions, support groups and more. Initially, Amy’s role with Gilda’s was as a volunteer for Noogie Night, a time for children whose parents were attending sessions at Gilda’s to forget about the disease that so rudely invaded their families lives.
“When Amy was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2004 Gilda’s Club took on a whole new meaning, it became her refuge. She wrote in an article that Gilda’s was a place to find laughter through the tears. That it wasn’t just a place to find support but a place to live, to exist in a normalcy among others suffering the same. To her it was a place to play games or just sit and enjoy the beautiful pond area overlooking the river. Amy said, “Maybe the beauty of being with others from the cancer world is that I don’t have to explain it all. I can just be me, a woman trying to blend a new diagnosis with an old life.”
In it’s first year, the Amy Meyer Bike Ride hosted 50 of Amy’s closest friends and family and raised $500. Since the, the ride has steadily grown each year. In 2015, the 230 riders raised $6,132.70. In the eight years of the ride, nearly $36,000 has been raised to support Gilda’s Club.
Even more impressively, this ride provided the funds necessary to jumpstart a Gilda’s Club branch in Muscatine. This new branch now provides services to the residents of the city Amy called home, something she would be so proud of. For those who knew her, it’s not surprising that Amy is making things happen even though she’s no longer here on earth.