Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Make it Happen :)

Hi all,

First of all, I just wanted to thank you for your support thus far. Since I first put out the idea of biking across Canada and the video about why I wanted to do it, I've been bombarded by words of support and encouragement. Your comments and desire to be involved are proof that this is a worthwhile cause to many. I'm glad the idea is becoming a reality!

It is true that we have witnessed some amazing feats this year - from Annaleise's Crossing to Learn-to-Run'ers finishing their first 5km to previous learn-to-runners doing ½ marathons and ½ Ironmans (Ironmen?) - with at least two more this summer. You can be more than a witness though. The whole idea of the Strong, Free and Happy Tour is to get people engaged so I would be honoured if you took the opportunity to challenge yourself to bike with Bianca and I or otherwise involve yourself as part of the team. With your passion and energy (and my long to-do list) in mind, I've come up with some ways you can help make the experience be the best it can be for everyone.

I'd like to form a committee with the following positions:

SFH Fundraising/Sponsorship Lead:
The SFH Fundraising/Sponsorship Lead would be in charge of fundraising events and sponsorships to cover costs of the SFH Tour itself. Remember that goals 1 and 2 are to initiate conversation re: mental health and to promote sustainable physical activity as an effective intervention for mental health. Thus, even if we don't raise any money for the CMHA, this tour is worthwhile.
I am sure that with all of our connections and various skills, many people will be helpful with fundraising. I would like the Fundraising/Sponsorship Lead to: a)give me a list of events, dates, the person in charge of the particular event, cost, expected return and what it expected of me b) keep track of who is approached for sponsorship, who they are approached by and what the response was c) report the numbers to the bookkeeper
I anticipate this role being busy ASAP and dwindling as time progresses.

CMHA Fundraising Coordinator:
The CMHA Fundraising Coordinator would be responsible for our fundraising for the Canadian Mental Health association. Responsibilities include: a) providing people with pledge forms upon request, b) referring individuals to our CMHA fundraising website to make donations c) communicating with the SFH Fundraising/Sponsorship Lead and the Media contact to make the most out of events and exposure d) organizing fundraising events en route e) totaling up off-line donations and submitting them to CMHA f) reporting fund info to our Bookkeeper

Engagement Crew
The engagement crew will work with the Fundraising/Sponsorship lead, CMHA Fundraising coordinator to use/create opportunities to engage communities in sustainable physical activity. This means helping to transform events in to habits. E.g. Help gather bike helmets or set up a bike sharing program in a community after a Bike Rodeo; set up and maintain a Facebook group where people can connect over physical activity and mental health; help me make presentations interesting for different audiences; follow-up with people/communities.

Communications Rep:
The Communications Rep's role is to inform local media of my location and of events, set up interviews etc. based on my availability, and ensure we have the equipment to do so.  (E.g. set up a phone interview while I am biking in an area where we have phone/internet reception.)

Keep track of tour costs and impact (e.g. attendance, program start-ups etc), money raised to do tour, and money raised for CMHA.

Safety Officer:
The safety officer will need to: 2x check route for hazards, help us prepare for these hazards, community emergency plans, inform local authorities, note the places where we will have phone/internet connection, give us a list of necessary safety equipment per leg of the journey (and breakdown of how to use it when necessary), drive if possible or keep the driver informed, be certified Wilderness first Aid where applicable and Standard First Aid at minimum (or make sure the driver is/someone present is).

Drivers/Pit Crew:
One driver will be needed during each leg of the journey to: drive, maintain the vehicle, get any spare parts/food/other that's needed, know locations of closest hospital and gas station, navigate, communicate with communications rep and safety officer, and be certified in Wilderness First aid where applicable - and Standard First Aid in more populated areas.
It would be very useful to have a knowledgeable pit crew member available to check over the bike after each plane ride.
Before the tour, the Pit Crew will be needed to help Bianca and I learn about how to maintain and fix our bikes

have heard of many others who would like to join the ride from week-long stints to the whole tour.  This is what I ask of you:
a) Cover your own costs and take responsibility for your own safety and nutrition
b) Have a back-up lodging plan
c) Fill out an info form/have a one-on-one conversation with me about the tour, skills, reasoning for participating, personalities etc.
d) Train and successfully complete a 3-d, 600km road trip
e) Fund raise $500 for Mental Health (speak to me if you would prefer your funds to go to an organization besides Canadian Mental Health Association) and volunteer your time (expect ~5h/wk) to help make the SFH tour the best it can be
f) Have a role during the SFH Tour

Local Representatives:
This is my call for people from all communities close to the route to band together for the cause. If I will be traveling close to you, it would be very helpful if you could get the word out in your community, help me/use me to help you engage your community in physical activity that will last.

As for myself, I will be involved in all parts of the process but would like to focus on training, inspiring sustainable physical activity while communicating its relevance to mental health (with the Engagement crew), and basic safety/logistic preparations. If you want my help with something, just ask!

Important Dates:
April 19-21: 3 Road trip 1 (3-D)
Tuned Up (Fundraising Concert): April 27
May 1-5: Road trip 2 (5-D)
Mental Health Week: May 6-12
May 17-20: Dry Run & Deadline to complete 3x200km days
May 24-27: Dry Run Back-up
June 13: Arrival in NL (morning), prep for June 13 departure
July 5-7, Aug 18 : Arrival in TP. Rest July 6, Depart July 7, Arrive home Aug 18

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