How cool is this? Team Youth Impact's bicycles have been blessed.
Mine too. It happened a couple of weekends ago in a glorious sunny Sunday service at Ogden's Elim Lutheran Church.
What a lovely church. The congregation liked how I'd tied my multiple sclerosis fundraising efforts into Youth Impact's inner-city youth programs, raising money to sponsor the kids in this year's MS-150 bicycle tour.
Elim has always been community-centered. It has more recycling bins than collection plates at Sunday service. I was overwhelmed that they not only wanted to give their monthly charity tithe to my fund drive, but wanted to bless the bicycles as well.
Pastor DanaLee Simon was astonishingly gracious. She wrote a fun blessing to protect us from crashes, flats and bad weather. The kids were well-behaved, the members of the congregation absolutely swell, and we haven't had a flat tire since.
That's what's fun, when all these amazing people show up and help.
For years I rode in the Multiple Sclerosis 150 bike tour on Team Rhonda. When Team Rhonda faded for a while (it's back -- Go Team Rhonda!) I joined up with Youth Impact's excellent inner-city youth bicycling program.
Youth Impact is great. It shows kids how to build their community. I also figured more of you would donate if I showed pictures of cute kids instead of my hairy mug.
And you have. You all have donated about $4,000 through me, so far, and as a team we're closing in on $10,000. Scores of donations came from readers, friends on Facebook, co-workers, neighbors and relatives. My dear friend Susan Snyder raised a bundle baking her award-winning Key lime pies. Di Allison made sure my old Team Rhonda captain, her beloved husband, Will, is riding with us despite being dead.
The Stewart Education Foundation and Jack Lampros have been astonishingly supportive but asked to remain anonymous so keep it under your hat, OK?
I'm in charge, amazingly enough. When my brother was an officer in Vietnam he said sergeants really ran things, and I've let that be my leadership guide. Ken Primbs, John Stewart, Larry Carr, Susan Snyder and Doug Murray do all the work. I stand around, say "That sounds like a good idea!" and teach the kids yo-yo tricks.
For this I get the shirt that says "Team Captain." It isn't fair, but someone has to wear it.
We'll be camping with the kids in Logan on June 26 and 27 for what has become a major event. In 1996 there were 700 riders and a dozen teams. This year there are 3,000 cyclists on 160 teams.
That mob is raising money because multiple sclerosis is a horrible, nerve-wasting disease that hits just about everyone's family. It has hit mine, it has hit several dear friends, and I guarantee it has hit someone you know. The money you donate really helps.
So, in this last week, if someone asks, slip them at least a dollar or two. Dig out that spare change. Empty the penny dish. It's for a good cause and, given how little decent weather we've had for training this spring, I guarantee everyone will suffer.
If you can't find anyone else to donate to, I'd be proud. Make the check out to National MS Society and send it to: Charles Trentelman, C/O Standard-Examiner, PO Box 12790, Ogden, UT 84412-2790.
Donate on-line at www.curemsutah.org. Search for my name or Team Youth Impact.
I think Pastor DanaLee said her blessing covers all our donors, too. It's a great blessing -- don't miss out.