By Donna Minotti
In 2011, my work as a health and wellness professional brought me one to one of my greatest blessings – an opportunity to train a group of cyclists to participate in an annual event called AngelRide. A charity ride that focuses on raising dollars that will bring fun and a special kind of healing to campers of The Hole In the Wall Gang Camp who are burdened with serious illnesses.
As 2016 came to a close, like many of us do, I began looking ahead to what the new year may bring.
First taking a quick look back on the blessings I have received in my half century of life. One blessing in particular is the fact that my work is my pleasure (not too many can say that after 16 years.) Then I remembered in 2011, my work as a health and wellness professional brought me one to one of my greatest blessings. An opportunity to train a group of cyclists to participate in an annual event called AngelRide. A charity ride that focuses on raising dollars that will bring fun and a special kind of healing to campers of The Hole In the Wall Gang Camp who are burdened with serious illnesses.
Since my late teens I have always participated in philanthropy, now I had the opportunity to combine my professional skills, as well as my passion for life and others, into one event. Memorial Day weekend in 2011 became the beginning of something I had never experienced before.
Even though 2017 will mark my 7th AngelRide, each year I look more forward to the next event. More of what? More times with friends (old and new), more laughs and more tears, more aches and more smiles, more hills, more pot holes, more volunteers to help make the ride happen successfully, more Safety Talks, more fun and more dollars raised. Most of all more awareness of how lucky I am to be part of such a special group.
The comradery AngelRiders experience may pale in comparison to that of the campers. However, together we, the AngelRiders, Lynn and Fred, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Foundation and the campers all make Camp a special place filled with unlimited experiences.
For the past 6 years I have been fortunate to ride with my co-workers, fortunate to have made new friends, and fortunate to have the legs and the energy to get through each mile. However, I am grateful to have a healthy beautiful daughter, step son and now daughter in law, and twin nieces born prematurely (and now a softball dynamo duo at age 13). I have adult (and younger) nieces and nephews with children – all healthy, but I am most grateful for family and friends that have supported me in training and by contributing to AngelRide Charities. The love of my life, best friend – my husband – is my rock. The very foundation on which I thrive and draw support from to make AngelRide an annual event in my life.
So as I plan for 2017, and every year ahead that I am able to, I know exactly what I am doing on Memorial Day Weekend. What will you be doing?! Hopefully riding with us.
Before ending I must also mention someone who is not only the reason I am an AngelRider, but one of those many blessings in my life. I call him friend, colleague, IT Specialist. Warren Lieff, thank you for discovering AngelRide!