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!