Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Just wanted to update everyone on the final tally, and to post a letter from Mr. Tim. I'm having fun at camp right now, and will try to keep you all posted on what's what in the future. As for my final total at the end of the project period, June 30, donations totaled over $25,000, with an anonymous matching donation!!! WOOHOO!!! THANK YOU ONE AND ALL!!!!

MTV has taken a look at my project, and might even cover it in a series they are creating.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gene Signing in

HEY EVERYBODY!!! I just wanted to say thank you for all the support you've given. I'm at Bay Cliff right now and I'm having loads of fun. I don't know if I'll be able to post anymore while I'm here at camp but my mom will keep you updated on me.

Again, Thank You.

Gene from BC

Some pictures of my arrival at camp.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I did it !

Gene made it safety to camp on Saturday after the last leg of his trip. Many many people were lined up with cameras, hugs, smiles & tears to greet Gene as he came through the gates of camp.

He was able to sign over and present a check for $20,801.00 to the camp director. Amazing.

Gene's family would like to let everyone know there is still time to donate and make this number even bigger still. Any funds received by June 30th will go towards this years donation. Please know, donations will still be accepted after the June 30 deadline and will go toward next years fund-raising event, whatever idea Gene comes up with for that has not yet been discovered.

We will have more pictures and information for you all soon and we (the Fletcher & Bay Cliff families) truly appreciate all of you who have helped out in anyway. From each and every one who submitted a monetary donation, to all of the clubs and individuals who helped with rest stops and pre-trek fund-raising efforts, to all of those who helped with equipment and advertising, news and so much more.

Thank you all.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Trek Pictures

Just up-loading some pictures from the trek.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 2 - Keepin' on Trekkin'

Just a short update to let you all know that Gene's Trek is going well. We're pretty much on schedule, with few snafus. We were joined today by his twin cousins, Adam and Sean Kell, from Iowa, on their bicycles. They rode about 15 miles of the route with Gene. Later in the day we were joined by elementary students Crystal, age 10, and Douglas, age 6, from Gladstone area schools. These two children rode about 5 miles, the final leg, into Marquette. The three wheelchairs Gene owns have been faring well. The greatest distance so far for one chair has been 20 miles.

A big shout-out to the Curtis Area 4-H Fishing Club (KEN-Kids Enjoying Nature). They manned the Harvey rest-stop for us, providing outstanding cookies and home-made trail mix. They had just returned from visiting Bay Cliff with a personal tour of the camp. Their leader, Sue Pann, had four members with her, Bridget, Hannah, Kris and Paige.

Drivers on the highway have been very courteous giving us wide berth. Several stopped along the way to drop a donation. Really cool was a loaded log hauler stopping on a narrow shoulder to run across the busy highway to donate $100. A big HONK to him! Overall today we raised $200 along the route, including folks who visited the various rest stops.

We're overnighting at Tourist Park in Marquette Thursday and Friday. Friday is rest day; however, SAIL (Superior Alliance for Independent Living) is sponsoring an Ability Fair where Gene will display ability art created by students of Big Bay de Noc Schools. He will also be on hand to "blog", updating with pictures from the last two days. The fair will run from 10-2, with brats and dogs provided by the Marquette Lions and Wright and Fillipis. Bink's Coca-Cola has provided an assortment of Dr Pepper and Coke products for the Trek. Dr Pepper is the "official drink of the Trek".

A few other tidbits: one couple stopped by the Harvey rest stop to drop off mardi-gras beads and a $25.00 donation for Bay Cliff. They were headed to Alabama, and usually give the beads direct to camp, but saw us along the way.

My Aunt Del and cousin Lauri, mother of the twins, are both crazy. They were in our convoy, honking, waving, making cars honk back. It was crazy!! But we had lots of fun, and it made the day a lot faster.

Well, it's 10:00 pm, and dark at the campground, so photos will be loaded up tomorrow when I'm at the Ability Fair. If you can make it down, you'll see some of the equipment and products of the labors of people with disabilities, have some fun, and visit. Soo Bakh Do will be there to make their presentation of pledges, along with Channel 10 and Channel 6.

I really want to thank the media for the great coverage they've provided this Trek. Your support has made my job so much easier, and the trip safer by keeping drivers informed of our progress. There have been some rude drivers, but the safe drivers make it all worthwhile.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 1-What a day!!!

Wow!!! What a beautiful day today. Sunshine and light breeze all the way. I have bugs in my teeth, though. :) I'll try to upload a few pictures, but our signal here in Kiva is pretty weak.

We started out pretty much on time, leaving from the Rapid River Lions Club. But first, Frank from the Escanaba Elks Club presented me with a giant check for $1500!!! THANK YOU!!! Elks!!! And, the Red Hatters from Rapid River donated $40, the Lions donated $100, and are manning phones for the radio-thon. They've been a great help with everything. Some of my friends were on-hand to wish me well, and Channel 6 News followed me through my first rest stop, filming along the way.

The first rest stop was manned by about a dozen or so members of the GFWC of Manistique, Escanaba and Kingsford-Iron Mountain. Thank you, Miss Dorothy Hoholik, for helping organize this great group of ladies. They had enough food for an army!!! And they even gave me bunches of hugs, and sang "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" when I came into the rest top. Too cute!!

Mom took lots of pictures, so if we don't have a continuous signal, then the pictures will have to wait 'til tomorrow, sorry, guys.

Big thanks to the radio stations today for their regular updates. I hear there's lots of folks who want to help out some way. The stations have been a great help in keeping everyone informed about how they can contribute to my Trek project. If you're on the blog now, you already know how to do that!! And I thank you.

The second stop was manned by members of Boy Scout Troop 400 from Manistique. They helped Dad change out my batteries so I could continue on the rest of the way. They also walked our dogs for us. Thanks, guys!!! Thanks Linda Mason for rounding up the guys to help. One of the boys gathered $40 in pledges. Thank you! And to the troop for their contributions, too.

Our third stop was at the Trenary BP Station. We had ice cream, rested a little while inside the store (Thank you!!!), and Mom loaned her cell phone to a Belgian couple on their way to Marquette to visit their daughter. They were traveling through the midwest and their cell phone didn't work in the area. Neither does the modem I'm using, but, hey, you can't hear me now!!! :) Thank you Tim and Joy Nerius (owners of Trenary BP) for your $25 donation.

We made the Kiva Rest Area at about 4:15, about 30 minutes behind schedule. Technical difficulties earlier in the day kind of threw the time schedule off, so we're backing our schedule down by about 30 minutes tomorrow, if you're wanting to catch up with us. We're only going about 7 miles an hour, so it isn't going to be hard to find us...

We met a few nice folks at the Rest Stop who heard about me and wanted to donate. Chris from Escanaba, working on his Master's degree in developmentally challenged education, Kathy from UPCAP services, and Mrs. Thill and Mr. Van Damme from my school, stopped by. Thank you!!

We're resting for the night at one of Mom's friends who lives near the rest stop. The dogs are chasing the cats, and we're watching a kid movie marathon!!! Off to bed in a few hours, then up and at 'em in the morning.

We'll leave the Kiva Rest Stop at 10:00, and head north from there. My cousins from Iowa will meet up with us tomorrow, and continue to Marquette with me. If you'd like to jump in any time, we'd love to have you!!! Hope to see you tomorrow!!!