Hi, Friends and Family of Harvard Tennis:
Tomorrow, Saturday, July 17th, my wife Bonnie and I will again attempt our annual 100+ bicycle ride for our special "family" charity, an orphanage in Thailand for orphaned and/or abandoned AIDS children, run by Father Mike Shea. So many of you have kindly taken the time to read this note, and then respond to this appeal over the last four years, and we hope you will again. This will be our fifth time making the 100+ mile trek with the other Ceboriders, twice in person with the other Ceboriders in Wisconsin, or twice here in Boston on our own. This year we will do our own one-day Ceboride here in Boston (we will send Sarnelli House what we would have spent on airfare, car rental, accommodations, and meals traveling to Wisconsin in addition to our usual gift).
Tomorrow is supposed to be in the mid-90's! The trip in the Boston area in the past has not been without its challenges for us…more stop lights, more hills, and a flat tire early in each trip that put my remarkably small knowledge of bicycle maintenance to a severe test, and which made a long day longer. Nonetheless, we wouldn't exchange this experience for anything!
Here's a little recap for those who are new and for our veteran "donors" who might like a refresher.
Each year since the CeboRide was started in 2002, the treatment for AIDS infected kids has gotten better, but also has become more expensive. The ride is named after Cebo, a little girl who stole the hearts of Molly (Molly is Katie's sister. Katie is Michael Masland's wife. Michael is my wife Bonnie's youngest son) and husband Sam Mueller, who had volunteered at Sarnelli House in Thailand to help Uncle (Father) Mike. The first bike ride raised over $17,000 and gave Father Mike the ability to buy antiretroviral AIDS drugs (Father Mike has been running the orphanage for the last 30+ years). Before the ride, children were dying of TB and AIDS. Since that date, Sarnelli House has not lost another child (until last week). The strength Cebo demonstrates as she battles the complications from living with AIDS continues to be the inspiration of the ride. Due to the success of the CeboRide, Fr. Mike has been able to continue to buy the AIDS medication in addition to cover the cost of food, daily living supplies, and costly hospital trips. The successful efforts of the CeboRide have literally saved the lives of hundreds of children! Since 2002 the CeboRide has raised more then $530,000.
There are currently 145 children who live in five different homes at Sarnelli house and another 57 kids in their Outreach Program. Times are very rough and the need has never been greater. Sarnelli House receives no help from the Thai government and relies on the CeboRide and its faithful coterie of riders and sponsors (YOU!). The kids and Father Mike can only repay you with their prayers, gratitude and love.
Riders in Wisconsin will bike from dawn to dusk, riding for Cebo and all of the other children who can't bike the distance. It is a wonderful experience for all the riders, who treat one another as Cebo would… and laugh a lot as Cebo does (I do give Bonnie some good laughs…). We all bike for a better life for the children at Sarnelli House and a few more birthday parties in their lives. We already know that all of us together have literally made a difference in their lives. Please don't wait for a better world or a better day.
Wish it were easy to donate online, but every dollar goes straight to the care of the children, so all the accounting is done by Maggie Shea, Katie's mother.
Thanks for anything that you can contribute, and thanks to all of you who have given so generously in the past.
Bonnie & Dave Fish
- For additional information on Sarnelli House or on the CeboRide visit www.ceboride.com. 100% of the donations are transferred to Friends of Sarnelli House UA c/o Fr. Mike Shea. All donations are tax deductible.
- Checks should be made out to : Friends of Sarnelli House UA
E. Scott Mead Family Head Coach of Men's Tennis
Harvard University Dept of Athletics
65 N. Harvard St.
Boston, MA 02163