The signature fundraising event of Beyond the 11th, a non-profit dedicated to raising money and awareness for the plight of Afghan widows, is a 3 day 260 mile bike ride from Ground Zero in NYC to Boston. The ride takes place on Friday, September 6th and ends in the Boston area on Sunday, September 8th and I will be both riding and supporting the event as I have done in previous years. The ride this year is extra special because Susan’s daughter Dina, who she was pregnant with at the time her husband David perished when his plane flew into the World Trade Center, will be riding as her older siblings have done in previous years. Please click below to donate to my Beyond the Bike ride in September . . . I’ve committed to raising $4500 and appreciate your contribution to this ride.
And now, a bit about what's been happening for the Stolers. As planned, Karen retired at the end of 2018 from her lifelong career as an educator and administrator. This opened the door for our first winter escape from New England weather with a road trip to Florida. We spent time with Ari, relatives and friends on the east coast and then drove to the other coast (of FL) which was a first for us. It was great enjoying the warmth of the sun and our good friends, not to mention the flattest cycling I have ever done! Karen, with her newfound freedom, planned a wonderful trip to Italy with her childhood friend Celia and they returned from travels throughout Tuscany and Cinque Terre in early May. Recently she planted the seedlings for all the vegetables and herbs. We’ve had no shortage of rain lately so that’s good for the garden.
Not only did Adam and Annabel get married last summer, upon return from their honeymoon, they set their focus on house hunting and snagged a lovely one in Malden. They moved in just before Thanksgiving, in time to host their immediate families for a Thanksgiving weekend brunch! And Chutney (the orange tabby) is no longer the only pet in the house. They welcomed Rigby, a terrier mix rescue, just a few weeks ago. He’s been over a couple of times to visit and only escaped once under my watch . . . for which I was nearly disowned. Good news is he came back after 12 hours . . . a very long 12 hours.
Ari just wrapped up his third year teaching at St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton and he’ll be returning in the fall. I won’t be asking you (nor will he) to consider a donation to his PMC ride because he won’t be participating this summer. Instead, he’s lined up a bike trip from San Diego to San Francisco, will then fly to Indiana for the International Jugglers Association Festival and finally make his way to Boston for time to visit and a meditation retreat in late July.
My 2019 riding got a jumpstart with a weeklong cycling trip in late March to Arizona with several local friends. Much of it was a sufferfest for me due to long mileage days and lots of climbing during the week we chose--Mountain Tour! However, it paid off in strong legs and I’ve been trying to maintain the fitness including a visit to the summit of Mount Wachusett on May 19th.
If I remain on schedule, I’ll give my 500th platelet donation in September. There will be a big celebration . . . just waiting for one of you to plan it for me! Though I haven’t been hugely successful in recruiting others to give platelets, I keep reminding those on Facebook with pictures each time I donate. All good. I continue to volunteer in the Brigham and Women’s Emergency Department once or twice a month.
Fellow Temple Sinai members and I expected that our work with the Syrian refugee family that began nearly two years ago would be slowing down as they have made progress adjusting to life in America and become more independent. That would be the case but unfortunately they are facing significant medical challenges and still count on us for lots of support which we are happy to give them. Our wonderful team of volunteers, including Karen who goes to Framingham weekly to provide an ESL lesson, always answer the call and we are very proud of the work we are doing and the close relationship we have with the family.
Whenever my schedule allows, I continue to transport stem cells and skin grafts within the US and abroad. During the past year I had my first trip to Singapore and second visit to Seoul as well as trips to London, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. I was honored to be the courier to deliver this life saving product on May 23rd. Look for me at 1:04 of this two minute video:
Thanks so much for a contribution to my ride and my very best wishes for a great summer!