Meet Vann Schaffner. We’d like to adopt him, and we hope you’ll agree to co-parent.
Here’s the good news: He’s already finished college, has a job, and a roof over his head. He’s in training and favors a healthy diet and outdoor exercise. There will be no educational, basic living, or entertainment expenses.
Parental responsibilities will be limited to helping this father, grandfather, Navy veteran, and cyclist meet his goal of participating in a special 2011 edition of Ride 2 Recovery.
The 9-11 American Challenge will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks upon the United States. The ride will begin within view of the World Trade Center and travel to the United 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA, before concluding at the Pentagon Memorial. It’s an eight day, 530 mile bicycle ride that starts on September 11, 2011.
Participants will include survivors, family members, and first responders from 9-11, as well as wounded veterans from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the general public. Injured veterans ride free. Remaining cyclists are asked to actively fundraise, and will each donate at minimum $2998 to Ride 2 Recovery; that’s $1 for every victim of the 9-11 attacks. Vann’s personal goal is a $5000 donation.
Ride 2 Recovery is a non-profit organization that is making a difference in the lives of injured soldiers through cycling. In a few short years, Ride 2 Recovery has already shown that cycling can play a significant role in the rehabilitation of both physical and mental injuries, ranging from loss of limb(s) to post traumatic stress disorder. Again this year, cycles will be purchased and custom-fit to the needs of the rider. Seven challenge events are planned across the United States and abroad, including the 9-11 event.
Vann Schaffner first came to our attention in March of this year when we were introduced to Ride 2 Recovery by the involvement of musician Taylor Hicks. Taylor performed at a kick-off benefit concert for the Texas Challenge on March 28; Vann was an active advocate for the Texas event. Since that time we’ve watched Vann’s consistent promotion of the U.S. military and Ride 2 Recovery via his social media sites and blog. We’ve decided that now is the time to stop watching and start helping.
Vann has invited fans of Taylor Hicks to ride shotgun during the American Challenge. If, as a group, we are able to raise a $500 donation for Ride 2 Recovery, Vann will add a badge to the back of his cycling jersey during the 9-11 ride. The badge will read “Taylor Hicks – Soul Patrol”. This is our opportunity to help a fine organization that supports our active duty military and veterans. It’s also our opportunity to ride 530 miles with Vann, all without pedaling.
Please consider making a directed donation to Ride 2 Recovery. Follow this link: http://www.ride2recovery.com/r2r-sponsor-a-rider.html and then “Sponsor a Rider” by entering the first (Vann) and last (Schaffner) names of the rider. Donations are accepted via PayPal, bank account, or credit card. Donations in any amount are tax deductible. No amount is too small (or too large!). If 50 fans donate $10 each, or 25 give $20, we will have met goal.
To ensure that donations are credited to the group, please leave a note in the comments here OR email us at taylorhicksnews at gmail dot com to let us know you’re coming along for the ride. No need to specify the amount donated in your email; Vann will let us know when we’ve met goal.
In the meantime, we will periodically provide training and fundraising updates from Vann through THN on twitter. We are very excited to cycle in tandem with Ride 2 Recovery and look forward to sharing the experience with Vann and all of you.
For more on Ride 2 Recovery: http://www.ride2recovery.com/
For more from Vann Schaffner: http://tinyurl.com/3zdb4ru
More on Ride 2 Recovery and Taylor Hicks at the Texas Challenge from the archives: