Friday, May 18th saw Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) host a special event to raise money for the National MS Society. It started as a conversation between me and a friend and award-winning home-brewer named Joe Edelen, and employee at DTNA. He had made a case of beer for me and put a custom label (my phoenix/scorpion) on the bottles. I drank some of them (DELICIOUS), and gave the rest to those special people who made last year’s RAW attempt happen. This year, I had the thought of potentially finding a brewer to make a special release batch which might then have proceeds go towards the National MS Society. Joe had a different idea.
He gathered a couple of his home-brewing buddies (special thanks to Jim Carter and Tyler Acevedo!) to brew up several cases of beer with the idea of auctioning them off as a fundraiser. Then he approached DTNA with the idea of hosting a fundraiser. More of his friends would make food for the event. One employee got his serving license to pour the 20 gallons of home-brew that Joe then made for drinking at the event. A suggested donation of $4 met folks at the door, with raffle prizes and special auction items donated by Castelli Cycling, Output Speedlab, Kurt Marion (massage therapist), Ian Wilkinson (acupuncturist), Seth Waterson (chiropractor), and Breakside Brewery. DTNA decided to get behind the event whole-heartedly, and matched all the donations that came in that night. An anonymous donor decided to do the same. That means every dolor raised that night became $3 to the National MS Society.
To say that I am in awe of the generosity of people and the companies where they work would be an incredible understatement. All told, people donated $5000 through the event. DTNA matched that. That special individual donor then matched that again. That means the NMSS will receive $15,000 as a result of the Brewers for MS event. Another donor decided that he would get behind me and donate a dollar for every mile I rode in RAW – potentially another $930 donation (no, it WILL be another $930!!).
This event has a special place in my heart now as I know how much effort went into making it happen. It’s another example of how this solo Race Across the West effort could not succeed without a strong team of supports all along the way. I assure you that thoughts of this night, and the unexpected kindness that came with it, will bolster me in my darker moments of RAW – be that because the moonlight will be absent (the new-moon phase greets us racers), or when my will reaches rock-bottom (and I expect it to scrape that bottom several times during the event).
Thank you. I wish better words, stronger words, existed.