Paul Butler - Crew # 2024
On Friday November 16th, and Saturday November 17th I will join hundreds of other individuals who will ride their bicycles or crew from Miami to Key West 165-miles. Our journey will be one filled with hope, filled with pride, and filled with the dream of a future free of AIDS. This year will mark the 15th year of The SMART Ride journey, I have set an ambitious goal to help raise more than the required $5,000 because I believe what we do makes a difference (and because 100% of the money you donate will go back to the community).
But this past year was especially sweet. The scheduled ride, as you know, was postponed from mid-November 2017 to January 2018, due to Hurricane Irma’s toll. There was NO WAY the Keys were ready for a cavalcade of bicyclists, plus our typical lodging at Hawks Cay had been taken off the grid. After US-1 assessment, the difficult decision was made to push it into January, with TSR fully aware this could result in rider/crew attrition, an emotional loss of momentum, a precipitous drop in fundraising and iffy weather. Coordinating the moving pieces of this every year is a massive infrastructure but this year’s challenges became steeper, trying to coordinate the journey of over 700 people 165-miles in less-than-ideal weather and roadway conditions.
The event guarantees that every penny that I raise (with your help) will be given to AIDS Service Organizations and directed to prevention, education and direct services. Together we can make a real difference, we can change the world, and help free future generations of living with HIV, while helping those already affected, infected or at risk today stay healthy.
We can share the words of Margaret Mead "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has".