|All smiles at the end of the LIVESTRONG Challenge Ride.|
I was lucky enough to be part of the Team LIVESTRONG Challenge Austin event again this year, and even more so, part of the "Ride for the Roses" (RftR) group of fundraisers.
For those of you who haven't been to Austin, Texas - or better yet, to a Team LIVESTRONG Challenge event - this is an incredible city to visit and event to attend.
The weekend (October 18-20, 2013) was nothing short of magical - reuniting with the LIVESTRONG Community, both staff and supporters/survivors alike, attending events both on and off the bike, touring LIVESTRONG HQ - and raising my appreciation and energy for the Foundation to another level.
|A beautiful, magical outdoor venue for the RftR Dinner|
|Jimmy Folkes delivering his speech during a RftR dinner in Austin, October 2013|
During our Team LIVESTRONG dinner Saturday evening, which was held under a tent in the parking of the LIVESTRONG Headquarters, our team - Cyclists Combatting Cancer - received the award for the team with most funds raised (thank you to everyone who contributed). Scott Joy from our team spoke eloquently about the Foundation and its mission, and the support he and his family was receiving, following the recent diagnosis of his wife. Everyone was moved by his words, which further strengthened our resolve to help survivors and their families through their fight.
[Edit: Sadly - again a sad update - Scott's wife passed the following month. We continue to hold the Joy family in our hearts and support Scott through this difficult time.]
|Dining under a large tent. Pretty awesome.|
Another highlight of the weekend was a visit to LIVESTRONG Headquarters, which I appreciate as an architect. The mood this year was sharpened with a more "we know why we're here" attitude by the staff, who have been working tirelessly to continue the mission of the Foundation in light of last year's events and media scrutiny. My hat's off to their dedication and perseverance.
|Tribute Wall within LIVESTRONG Headquarters|
|Ride for the Roses jersey - ready to suit up!|
The day started off rather chilly in downtown Austin - in the mid 40's. Luckily, for this Seattleite, it was a 'regular' walk in the park, so to speak. Within a few hours it was a beautiful, warm (by Northwest standards - in the 70s) and sunny day. Perfect for a ride in the Austin countryside!
|A cool morning start with friends Steve and Scott.|
And with that, and a few celebrations in between, I bade farewell to Austin - and my LIVESTRONG Family - for another year, ready to return home to my family, and energized to continue my volunteer work back in the Northwest!