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Giving Tuesday: Match Me, Gail!
On a beautiful fall day in 1997, my life was changed.
I was competing in a mountain bike race when one of my pedals hit a log and I was thrown violently from my bike.
I had broken my pelvis in three places. The physical pain was almost unbearable – but the emotional pain of the injuries was much worse. I was a single mother of two young girls, lying helpless in hospital bed with no health insurance.
I honestly didn’t know how we were going to make it.
Then something amazing happened. Every single day on the long road to recovery, members of the Houston cycling community came to visit – by bike, of course – bringing food and good company to lift my spirits. And one day, one I will always remember, a large white envelope arrived with one of my visitors. As I opened the envelope, hundreds of checks spilled into my lap – many from people I’d never even met. There were enough checks to cover every single one of my medical bills.
I was completely overwhelmed.
And, in that moment, I vowed that I would do all in my power to repay this extraordinary kindness and to make life better for cyclists however I could.
I am asking you for your help. My husband Jim and I have been League supporters for many, many years. We truly believe in the League, and in the power of the cycling community – a community that rallied around me when I needed it the most.
That’s why Jim and I will match all donations made to the League by December 31, 2013, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000.
This is an opportunity to double the impact of your gift immediately. Together, we can enable the League to deliver high-caliber programs and resources to help make bicycling better.
I have the tremendous pleasure and privilege to serve as the chairwoman of the League’s board of directors and I see first-hand how the League’s programs are making life better for cyclists in communities across the country. That’s why I stepped up to become the board chair – with the full backing of my family, of course – and that’s why we are making this financial commitment to the future of the League.
Our Bicycle Friendly America program is now well-established and our awards are highly sought after by communities, businesses and universities. This year a record number of applicants took advantage of our blueprint for success.
Education is a particular passion for me (I am proud to be League Cycling Instructor #1900!) and I am delighted to see the development and progress of our new on-line materials – such as the 19 short videos – and the revamping of our curricula and seminars.
Our national advocacy work continues to set the agenda for the bicycling community in Congress and with the federal government. We back that up with powerful training, grants and resources for state and local advocates, thanks to our Advocacy Advance partnership.
The transformative power of our Equity Initiative – engaging more women, youth and people of color in our organization and movement – is breathing new life and remarkable energy into all our work.
It has been a transformative year for the League, to be sure, and none of these things would be possible without supporters like you.
Please make your gift today and show your commitment to the League and to the bicycling community. Thank you for your support.