Update: Due to generous support I was able to meet my goal and raise over $2300 for Gear Up Florida in 2008! You can read by final blog post Gear Up Florida: Final Thoughts.

Thank you for visiting my site! My name is Tom. I recently graduated from Virginia Tech in December. This summer (summer 2008) I look forward to participating in Push America’s Gear Up Florida.

Gear Up Florida is an over 800 mile cycling event, spread over approximately two weeks, to raise funds and awareness for individuals with disabilities. We will commence our journey from the shores of Miami and travel upwards traversing the whole state and finish off in Florida’s state capital, Tallahassee. After each day of cycling, we will spend time with people with disabilities and do our best to make a positive impression on their lives.

Cycling has been the best communication vehicle for Push America, taking to the roads of America and spreading a message of acceptance and understanding for people with disabilities to millions of people through special events and the media. Push America was founded in 1977 by Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity with the purpose of instilling lifelong service in its members and enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities. Our cycling events raise over $500,000 every summer to help support our cause while developing tomorrow’s leaders.

I recently volunteered at a Push America event in March called Push Camp. During our Spring Break, I along with other Pi Kappa Phi brothers from around the country opted for a week of hard work at Camp ASCCA (Alabama Special Camp for Children and Adults). In one week we constructed an 1800 sq. ft. observation deck, pergolas, and various other projects. Most of the building materials were donated and at the end of the week on behalf of Push America we were able to present a check of $5,000 to Camp ASCCA! This work was truly inspiring and when I heard that there were a few spots open to participate in Gear Up Florida I decided to jump onboard. Everyone of my friends who have done either Gear Up Florida or any other Push America cycling event in the past told me that it was the most rewarding thing that they have ever done.

This is just one example of where your money will go. Every penny will be used to it’s full potential. The gift you will be giving and the dreams you will help achieve is immeasurable.

I am committed to raising at least $2000 for Gear Up Florida. I have to meet my goal in a limited time and I need your help to achieve it. It is my hope that you will consider making a tax deductible contribution to support my efforts. If you have any questions at all please contact me. I would be more than happy to meet with you. My email address is tgertin@vt.edu. I thank you in advance for your support!

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