Total is up more than $40,000 from 2008; organizers preparing for 10th anniversary fundraising ride in 2010
Officials with the 2009 Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS distributed a total of $100,000 to its three beneficiary organizations on Sunday, Oct. 25, topping the previous year’s distribution total by $43,000.
Event chair Laura Kerr presented the check to Resource Center Dallas Executive Director Mike McKay, AIDS Services of Dallas President and CEO Don Maison and Tarrant County AIDS Outreach Center Executive Director Alan Gould during a LSR wrap-up party at Salum restaurant.
Kerr had tears in her eyes as she thanked participants for helping make LSR’s first year as an independent nonprofit organization so successful, especially considering the state of the economy over the last year.
In a statement released Tuesday, Oct. 27, Kerr said that total donations for the 2009 Ride were $177,000, up from the 2008 total of $144,000.
“We are thrilled to be able to show such an increase in our first full year as an independent nonprofit corporation,” Kerr said in the statement. “It was a very scary feeling at the end of last year when we had already started the process of applying for our own 501(c)3 status as the economy started falling apart around us.”
Despite the dicey economy, though, “Everything just fell into place for us,” Kerr said. “From our first steering committee retreat last February, it was clear that we had assembled an incredibly cohesive group. Everyone just pulled together and worked to make this happen. And we all had a lot of fun in the process.”
Kerr also said that the number of riders and crewmembers participating as part of a team increased significantly this year. She said the team concept was introduced in 2007 as a way to increase the “friendly spirit of competition” and as a result, bring in more donations.
“It appears to be working,” Kerr said. “In 2007, we had just seven teams. In 2008, we had 17 teams, and this year we had 21 separate teams registered. Our top fundraising team this year raised more than $27,000, shattering the prior team fundraising record of $18,000.”
The event chair also credited the Ride’s new venue in helping increase the financial return for the beneficiaries. This year the ride started and ended both days at the American Airlines Training and Conference Center near DFW International Airport, with American Airlines as one of the Ride’s major sponsors.
“Being able to configure the Ride as a figure-8 route, with a central location for rideout, camp night and closing ceremonies greatly simplified our logistics and increased our efficiency,” said Event Manager David Minehart.
Originally, Kerr’s co-chair for the 2009 Ride was Arlen Miller. But at the first of the summer, Miller stepped down from the co-chair position to accept the job of development manager for LSR. Miller’s part-time position is one of the Ride’s only two paid positions. Minehart is the only fulltime paid employee.
John Tripp, a longtime LSR participant who was chair of rider orientation and retention for 2009, was introduced Sunday as Kerr’s co-chair for the 2010 event, which will mark Lone Star Ride’s 10th anniversary.
Tripp said Sunday organizers hope to have about 250 riders and about 180 crewmembers registered for the anniversary event next September. Registration has already begun, and riders and crewmembers can register online at LoneStarRide.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 30, 2009.