Paella Anyone?

Now that the dust has settled, I wanted to sincerely thank everyone who had a hand in making my paella fundraiser such a HUGE success.

Paella master Bill Conklin and Richard Sellman donated their time and whipped up an amazing feast for those in attendance. Good times! After all, this is Sonoma County and, if you live here, you know you can’t have an event without food and wine. In other words, my foodie friends would disown me if good chow wasn’t part of the deal. And this paella was more than just ‘good’ – it was AMAZING.

Family Wineries of Dry Creek generously donated the space for the event. Normally, having an outdoor event in late February can prove to be a bit dicey when it comes to rain, but Mother Nature cooperated and provided near-perfect weather – lots of sunshine with only a few gusts of wind in the early morning hours, making set up the only difficulty. Hey, nothing but a few rocks and a staple gun can handle, right? Thank you Shaun!

In all seriousness, your kindness and generosity continue to amaze me. Like most athletes, Paralympic hopefuls or otherwise, corporate backing is extremely rare. As a result, I can only go as far as you take me. Without community involvement and support, my efforts to make Team USA would simply not be possible. It truly does take a team of people to make this happen and what an incredible team I have. To my wife Nathalie, Ramona, Bridgette, and John, I can’t say it enough – thank you for being there for me and my family. I promised it would be an adventurous ride, no doubt with a few surprises along the way.

Not all support is financial, yet it is just as important. For me, it is often times priceless. That said, I’d like to thank Dave Townsend at Santa Rosa Physical Therapy for providing the professional bike fit included in the silent auction as well as keeping me rolling with my unique set of physical challenges (more about that in an upcoming blog).

So, how did we do? Well, with this event, you helped me raise $5,300. First of all, wow. Wow. Wow. Thank you! Now, to put it towards good use: first, the funds will go toward a set of much-needed race wheels (I found out from the Team USA coaches at the February training camp that my current wheels are not suitable for racing. The right wheels will add as much as 2mph to my average speed.); second, the remaining funds will get me to the following events:

April 8 – 12 – Redlands Bicycle Classic – Redlands, CA
April 13-18 – Talent Development Camp – Chula Vista, CA
April 27 – May 3 – Défi Sportif Altergo – Montreal, Canada

I could not do this without you. Again, thank you so much!! Stay tuned for race results…


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