I will raise awareness and funds for the AIDS Ride South Africa and donate bikes to HIV/AIDS sufferers there.
In 2010, I helped launch AIDS Ride South Africa — a 785-mile bike ride from Johannesburg to Cape Town that takes place over 13 days. It was my son Bryan's idea to ride and raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, research and a cure. As part of the effort, we also seek out recycled and refurbished bicycles for South African riders who can't afford bikes and want to join us and for South Africans who have HIV/AIDS and need transportation. Back home in the U.S., we seek out riders, promoting the ride through local bike clubs and colleges, hoping these organizations will send teams. This past August, we also launched the first fundraiser here, an amazing experience that has changed my life.
How Winning Will Help
Encore's support will mean greater impact and publicity for the project. Our second ride is only a little over 7 months away. It's time once again to raise funds. By winning, donors and bike shops will be more likely to provide more help in repairing bikes, donating shirts, and places to stay. And the more people who help us, the more people we can help. We want to give a voice to those who will not be heard otherwise.
More About Janice Urbsaitis
To support the 2010 experience, I produced videotapes, slideshows, posters, banners, T-shirts and donated Frequent Flyer miles to some of the riders as well as money. My current entrepreneurial focus is pursuing sponsorship of the next ride from a big company. I hope to ride myself in 2011.
Seeing people's lives change because of donated bikes that enable them to ride one hour for treatment instead of walking three hours each way is exciting. HIV-positive riders, empowered by their participation in the ride, take better care of themselves. It gives them hope and pride.