UPDATE: Super-duper extra thanks go to Specialized, which — in addition to donating two of the grand prizes for this fundraiser (an S-Works Roubaix SL4 and a S-Works Stumpjumper FSR Carbon 29) — just donated $13,000.00 to the fundraiser as a “congrats on hitting your goal” gift.
This catapulted us right into the $140,000+ range, and makes me wonder: what if we raised $150,000 by the end of this fundraiser, which — after matching — would bring us to $300,000? That would be unbelievable in the very best way.
To everyone at Specialized who worked on promoting and donating to this project: thank you for your generosity and passion to make this ambitious fundraising project succeed. I was already a fan of your bikes; now I’m a fan of your company.
This is it: the last day before the end of the contest that I’ll be posting about Grand Slam 2 for Zambia (although you can continue to donate right up through midnight on Christmas eve to be eligible for any of the prizes in the contest).
For this post, I really just want to say thank you.
And I’m not the only one who wants to thank you, either.
The Hammer, my 1617-year-old son, and I made a slide show of our trip to Zambia last night as a reminder of what we’ve seen and the good you have done (and continue to do!) by helping us with this Bicycle Relief project.
I recommend watching it all the way through (by the way, it looks best if you watch it nice and big over on Vimeo) — the last minute is a video of a really fantastic speech made by one of the students at the Nanswisa Basic School, expressing gratitude for these bikes.
Note that the beautiful singing in the soundtrack for this video also came from the children at the Nanswisa Basic School during the bike distribution ceremony.
A Thank You Poem
For those of you who were wondering whether there would ever be another “Free Verse Friday,” well, today there is. But this isn’t the normal self-consciously horribly bad poem in the style I write.
This is a poem that was written by the children of Nanswisa Basic School and performed by them during the bike distribution ceremony, and is titled “Bicycle Relief, We Thank You.”
Never believe that a few caring people
Cannot change the world
They are the only who ever have
We thank you
The real measure of our wealth
Is how much we would be worth
If we get educated
Through this educational offer
We thank you
We are never given a wish
Without also being given the power
To make it come true
We indeed wished for better education
And we have been empowered
Through the education materials
These white horses
We thank you
Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life
It turns what we have
Into enough and more
Oh we thank you!
Help is like snow
The softer it falls
The longer it dwells
And the deeper it sinks into our mind!
We will now write
Our long sufferings of long distance
And less educational materials
On the sand
And write you good will
Of making our education simple
On a piece of marble
We thank you
Less Eloquent Thanks
I want to thank you, as well. First, thanks for donating. We have reached and surpassed We’re down to the last $1000 before we hit our $125,000 goal, which means — thanks to a generous matching promise — our money will double to $250,000. A quarter million dollars.
UPDATE: Even though we’ve crossed the goal, additional donations continue to get matched, dollar-for-dollar, through the end of the contest! Also, donations continue to count toward the contest right through December 24.
The generosity of you people is astonishing. And shows of generosity like this — more than a thousand people coming together to improve thousands of strangers’ lives in permanent, powerful ways — are especially wonderful to see in times like these, where the news is often too ugly to contemplate.
So thank you.
I also want to thank the incredible people and companies who have made this the most extraordinarily prize-ladened fundraising contest I could ever imagine. Specialized. Levi Leipheimer and Levi’s Gran Fondo. Patrick Dempsey and Tom Danielson. Rebecca Rusch. Twin Six. Miir. Chris Horner. Honey Stinger. Ted King. Greg Herbold and Western Spirit Cycling Adventures.
Your generosity has gone so far beyond what I would expect of anyone. So, although it’s beginning to sound like I’m a broken record, I’m going to say it again:
Thank you. Thank you so much.