Like They Say: There is Only ONE Winner! Wheels of Justice 2009 Recap
by Bradley Scott
Iam in my second year of riding with the Wheels of Justice cycling team. It has been a life-changing experience for me.
On a training ride in July 2008, fellow team member Steve Adams and I were riding through Chatfield State Park when he started to tell me about losing his beautiful daughter Morgan to brain cancer at the age of six. My reasons for riding and my drive for fundraising changed in that one short moment.
I increased my fundraising goal from $500 to $5,000. With all of my heart, I went after friends and family for support. I exceeded my goal by $750. After experiencing the Courage Classic in 2008, this officially became a passion of mine.
This year, The Wheels of Justice team got into high gear for the 2009 ride. With our team captain Heather Purcell on lead bike, the leadership council started making phone calls to find key sponsors. Law firms and other corporations began to answer the call. It was a tough year, as firms and businesses alike are struggling in this new economy.
After many hours of calling, e-mailing and networking, the team had $45,000 in sponsorship money. While encouraging, that was $30,000 less than sponsorship totals in 2008. We did not let this dampen our spirits. The next call came from Captain Purcell, who rallied us to recruit additional riders and encourage their friends and family to join the team. We kept our eyes on one goal at the end of August — the children who are benefiting from this fundraiser.
A kick-off party on May 13 at Delaney’s pub downtown really got things rolling. Everyone celebrated with wonderful food, beverages, online training tools, apparel fitting and giveaways. Most important, we met with our team ambassador, Diana Reidy, and her family. I am always moved by the stories from our ambassador family. There is the initial shock of diagnosis, the grueling treatment, and hopefully in the end, the triumph over cancer. THAT is WHY we RIDE!!
Every year, the Wheels of Justice and all of its individual members strive to be the most successful fundraisers. Although many riders don’t know it, there is a competition between teams. I was in the competition in 2008 and didn’t even know it until I checked in at the 2009 event. I received a plaque that read No. 38, along with a Top 100 fundraiser riding jersey. I never knew a person could get such nice stuff for trying to help the winner! I started out this year with a goal of $5,000; a goal to help Wheels of Justice be the largest team in both ridership and fundraising; the goal of helping the winner.
I have been looking for a job recently and was contacted by a headhunter. To this day, I am not sure whether she really called about placing me in the job, because her first words were "I see you are on the Wheels of Justice and my team is going to kick your team’s behind." I quickly informed her that the Wheels of Justice was $50,000 ahead of her team and that I’d do my personal best to make sure the winner was not her team.
When the Courage Classic started on July 25, the Wheels of Justice was out in front on both ridership and fundraising. I monitored the fundraising page daily up at Copper Mountain from my BlackBerry, watching the Wheels of Justice stay out front. We all crossed the finish line on July 27, with the Wheels of Justice still out front. During the 30 days the fundraising continued after the ride, I watched the Wheels of Justice stay out front and sat with pride knowing who the winner was going to be.
On that last day of fundraising, the ticker went up and the Wheels of Justice team’s tally of $192,852 was not at the top of the list any longer. It had been surpassed by a team that raised $203,144. My first reaction was that the Wheels of Justice did not win, but then I remembered there is only ONE winner: the children at Children’s Hospital and the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. I sat back, smiled, and knew we had accomplished our mission. Bring on 2010!!
The Wheels of Justice is a 200-person bicycling team that "competes" every year in The Children’s Hospital Courage Classic. The Courage Classic, which raised $2.3 million in 2009, is the hospital’s largest annual fundraiser and the Wheels of Justice team rides to raise money for the hospital’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Rider Bradley Scott can be contacted at Bradley@thescotts.com.