Sunday, September 14, 2008
After attending a couple of Iowa Newspaper Association-related events Thursday and Friday in Des Moines, I continued heading west, to Omaha, home of my siblings and (during springs and summers) my Dad.
The visit coincided with the second annual Spokes4Folks charity bike ride. It is headed by my brother-in-law Shawn Ovenden, with an able and dedicated assist from his wife, my sister Nancy. The official sponsor is the Men's Club at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Elkhorn (formerly west of Omaha but recently annexed into the Big City.)
The event was not a race (thank goodness) but just a ride. Fortunately, Friday's rain gave way to partly cloudy by the start of the ride (after a pancake breakfast) at 9 Saturday morning.
My brother Kevin and I rode the event together as a "team." We intended to ride the 26-mile route, but out on the road Kevin talked me into following the 32-mile route instead. After all, with a strong headwind blowing at you, why not add on six miles.
Proceeds from Saturday's event will go the Siena/Francis House, Christian Outreach Program - Elkhorn, and the St. Patrick's Men's Club.
Last year's beneficiary of Spokes4Folks was Kathy Sprague, who broke her neck in an April 2007 auto accident. During her initials months of rehab, her doctors held out no hope that she would ever leave her wheelchair. Shawn organized Spokes4Folks to help raise money for her physical therapy. Well, it turns out that Kathy's doctors were wrong. Not only did she regain her ability to walk, she attended Saturday's event. Not only did she attend -- she even rode a short distance! Truly inspiring.