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Archive for May, 2012

What A Ride: A Recap from Julieann Maciag

Monday, May 21st, 2012

by Julieann Maciag
I was in awe the entire day. I couldn’t believe how much this ride meant to the kids and the community.  I was completely moved by the experience. The tributes were so poignant, and the speakers were inspiring. I was riding for Monica, a 13 yr old girl that went missing.  She was last seen carrying a bible. So I carried my own personal bible with me the whole time I did the ride.  I recall going through the Sara Anne Wood Legacy Tribute; When passing by the wreath, I found myself putting my hand on her button in her memory, and thanked her for keeping me going.

The hills were a bear, but I never stopped climbing them. No matter how tired, how worn down I was, I kept pushing. I felt so happy and relieved riding into New Hartford Rec Center and seeing my son standing there cheering me on. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me! I wanted to show him that no matter how hard a challenge can be, you can succeed if you don’t give up and you keep pushing through.  He is truly my inspiration. I just wish my parents were still alive to be there. But I know they were in spirit.

The entire day was great and I appreciate my teammates at First Source for cheering me on and coaching me all through the process.  When we presented the big check at the final prep meeting, I realized in that moment just how much our community appreciates what we do.  And I was proud to be a part of it. I am looking forward to doing the ride again next year as a member of Team First Source!


The Riders Speak: Julieann Maciag

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Julieann Maciag, one of our Financial Services Representatives, shares with us what the Ride For Missing Children means to her , as well as the emotions that she feels as she has trained for this 100 mile event.

The ride means a few things to me…  One, a way to start healing after my father’s passing in January.  Secondly, being a Mom, it would devastate me if something happened to MY son.  I can only imagine what these parents and abducted children are going through.  And lastly, I never forgot when Sara Ann Wood was taken.  I was devastated for her and her family.  I remember buying a button with her face on it.  I wore that button every day for the longest time.  A couple weeks ago I found it while cleaning out my storage unit.  Of all the years to rediscover it, I find it THIS year, the year I am a first time rider.  Since then, it’s been with me each time I get on my bike and will wear it the day of the ride in her honor.  So this year, I ride for Sara, My Son, and my Dad.

The words that describes my feelings about the big day, Anxious, Impressed, & Emotional.  I’m anxious about making the whole way.  I am really impressed by the experience, and camaraderie of the other riders, and the precision the Shepard’s work in effort to help you train.  And I am emotional as I remember each time I get on my bike, the real reason we are all doing this.  For the abducted children and their parents.

The Riders Speak: Liz Crane

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Our Executive Administrative Assistant Liz Crane, had this to say about participating in this year’s Ride For Missing Children.

“It’s been great meeting up again with Ride friends at training rides and meetings, but I am most looking forward to May 18th when we all come together to focus on our purpose of spreading awareness of the missing and child safety.”

“Seeing the excitement of the school children is truly amazing; and meeting and riding with the families of missing children and even recovered children fills my heart with a type of compassion that is unlike any other.”

The Riders Speak: Lori Nichols

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Lori Nichols, our HR Manager will participating in her 2nd Ride For Missing Children. We asked what the most important part of the ride is for her.

“This is my 2nd year participating in the Ride for Missing Children and I am really looking forward to seeing all of the kids cheering us on at the schools.  Their smiles and excitement are so motivating and encouraging.  I want children to truly understand how important they are and that our mission is to keep them safe and protected from harm.

This day raises awareness in our communities and our schools and if we can help spread the word about our children’s safety, it makes it all worth it.  I look forward to the school stops where we can interact with the kids and have some great conversations! The entire day is such an inspiring and moving experience!”

The Riders Speak: Lisa Stuttard

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Lisa Stuttard is a member of Team First Source and will be participating in her first Ride for Missing Children this week. We spoke with her about what her training and experience has been like so far.

“As I First Time Rider, I am honored to be part of such a tremendous event.  Throughout all meetings and training rides, one thing has always stood out in my mind.  “No matter how difficult the training ride is, how cold or how windy it is, or how stressful it may be to fit in meetings, nothing compares to what the children and families go through, whether the child is missing, or exploited. ”

“This has been a tremendous growing and learning experience for me. I am very humbled by the strength and encouragement I have received from the individuals involved with “The Ride”.  Sharing the events of the day will be exciting and I’m glad to be able to participate with such a great group of co-workers.”

The Riders Speak: Jasmine Davis

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Mortgage Originator Jasmine Davis will be participating in this year’s Ride For Missing Children as a first time rider, and sat down to give us some of her thoughts about her experience so far.

What does this 100 mile Ride mean to you?
This ride means that I have an opportunity to be a part of a team who are contributing to the possibility of saving a child- that is the definition of AWESOME! This ride means offering support of our local NCMEC agency to provide funding to educate our children, supporting families who have suffered a loss, or are waiting for the return of their child. To be a part of the ride puts a purpose into my life that connects me to people that I could have never had the honor of meeting.

As a first time rider, what words describe how you are feeling about the big day?
As a first year rider – I am feeling excited & honored to be a part of this great purpose. Seeing the outpouring of volunteers and riders makes me feel inspired to see all the good in people in our community. It has encouraged me to spread the word and get as many people involved- I hope to be able to continue throughout the years to support these children and families-to giving some comfort and most of all recovery of all missing children. I have meet many different people during the practice rides, but the core of us all is our commitment to providing support for these families who have suffered a loss and to continue giving HOPE.

How are you doing on the training rides?
The training rides have been great. The support has been overflowing-you never feel less than equal-then the 16 yr veterans. The rides have been a true test of endurance. The Sheppard’s words of encouragement of the families and children that have suffered always pulls me through to the end. A very exhilarating experience. Thank you!

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