Hi, my name is Mark and I am a Junior in high school. Several people have asked me why I decided to put on this charity bike ride benefitting OUR Rescue. Well, let me tell you why.
My parents had talked about OUR since it began. My family had been very good friends with the founder, Tim Ballard's sister, and we had been following what he was doing through her. My parents held a dinner to introduce Tim to several people who were interested in helping Tim and OUR. My brother and I served the dinner. From the minute Tim and one of his jump team guys walked in the door, I knew this guy was impressive. I was able to listen to him all night as he told his story, told some of his experiences saving children from the horrible child trafficking industry, and told of his frustration in not being able to save more children when heading up the Homeland Security's division of stopping child trafficking. He then decided to do the work on his own in order to save far more children from this evil. I watched clips from the movie, The Abolitionist, and read Tim's book on Abraham Lincoln. My parents continued to support Tim and I followed his progress in growing the OUR charity. But our family was always saying we wished we could do more.
One day, as we were discussing doing a big family bike ride, I realized we could combine the ride with the charity and help OUR. I come from a big biking family. My grandfather Don was a world class road cyclist. We discussed it, researched some of the details, and decided although this would be a huge undertaking, it was worth it. I agreed to do the majority of the work, and my parents would work along side me, and check what I was doing, but I knew I could chair this event and I wanted to really help OUR.
I know its ambitious, a 450-mile, 5-day ride down the coast of California, but we are well on our way to our goals, which are: To raise $250,000 for OUR, include 30 riders and reach 2,500 people with word of OUR and what we are doing. It is such a worthy cause, it is a lot of work, but it is worth it!