Sunday, June 24, 2012

LIVESTRONG Davis Volunteer

Diablo Daughter and I staffed PowerStop #2 at a fire station next to an airport somewhere west of town.

It's an important event for the health club team but I wasn't confident I could collect the rather hefty minimum sponsorship amount, so I figured it was a good time to do some payback.  Club coaches gave me some promotional car magnets and a banner to display.

The team had 45 riders and collected over $30k in donations so they did a great job.  The whole event was also very successful - over $900 thousand - almost a million dollars for cancer research from one charty bike ride... and they do dozens of these kind of events all over the world.

The on-line sponsorship pages had personal stories of people who were riding and how cancer had affected their lives... some incredibly touching stories.

So we got to the PowerStop at 7:15 and helped set up the tables, bike racks, food trays, etc.  There were four people making PBJ sandwiches non-stop for hours.

The rest stop was mile 10 for the 20-mile ride, and mile 24 for the 65 and 100 mile options.  The first rider rolled in to great fanfare at about 8:15.  Then gradually larger groups, then huge packs of riders. 

The volunteer organizer had plenty of help at the food tables so he asked us to help direct traffic at the entrance to the parking lot - people would ride in and stop, blocking the way for others to get in so we had to cheerfully tell them to get out of the way. 

After a while, I noticed the volunteer bike mechanic was overwhelmed, so I helped him change some flat tires and lube squeaky drivetrain parts.  He told me he didn't get any recompense for all the tubes and stuff that he gave away, but he frequently got thank you cards with checks in the mail afterwards.  One time he had a pizza delivered to his shop with a note of gratitude.  One rider told me he fixed his own flat tire on the road, but wanted me to check that he'd replaced the wheel properly - well he got it in straight and got the brakes reconnected just fine, but I think he had help from King Kong to get his skewer so tight.

By 9:30 the place was completely packed and by 10:00 it was almost empty.  The last rider in had her own CHP escort vehicle!  Then we packed everything up and by 10:30 it was all over.

We went to the finish line and watched the riders come in.  Cancer survivors got a yellow rose when they finished.  There was a big announcer stand and finish line structure to make people feel special.  Very well run event, maybe I'll risk it next year.

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