Thursday, August 28, 2008

What A Team!

Perhaps you navigated to our ARI Breakthrough Riders team page in the past and noticed the picture didn't quite match the names listed to the right. There's a good reason for that.

Being the most geographically diverse team on the Empire State AIDS Ride, our members typically don't have an opportunity to meet in one place until we gather at Niagara Falls. Even then, the hustle and bustle of ride out and various crew responsibilities make it somewhat challenging to herd the cats so to speak causing it to take a little while for us to put faces to the names.

To keep the archives in order, our first ESAR team (the Puget Sound Riders) chose "Washington Wednesday" as our team picture day and we've kept that tradition now for 3 ESARs running. Unfortunately, my camera didn't show up to the event so I had to rely on others for a web-worthy shot. That photo is now finally posted to our ARI Breakthrough Rider team page.

I'm incredibly proud of the team we put together this year. We had 5 new riders to ESAR, 2 more that endured a very scary bike/car accident this spring but stuck it out to join us on the crew which included a large cast of returnees including all 5 second generation ESAR teammates (Mike, Liz, Kyle, Caitlin & Carson)! Our riders were in the front, middle and back of the pack but always made sure no rider was left alone or behind. Our crew is the envy of ESAR and begged to come back year after year. The returnees OWN their jobs and take pride in giving their best effort.

Of the fully participating beneficiary teams, ours was the smallest at 18 members. While only the 7 riders are required to fundraise ($3500 minimum), our entire team considers ending AIDS as its most vital ESAR job and the numbers prove it. The ARI Breakthrough Riders brought in more money per member OR rider than any other team. None were afraid to ask and YOU generously responded. Thanks to that commitment, persistence and generosity, we will deliver approximately $75,000 to the Breakthrough Fund, generating seed grants for the innovative work of researchers of the AIDS Research Institute at UCSF. What a team!

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