I have never fundraised before. But when I heard about this, I sat down to compose a letter, ran out and bought some nice(er) paper than I normally use, and mailed it out to everyone I know. To see what I could make happen.
I appreciate everyone who reads this blog. Thanks for reading this letter.
It IS Possible to Transcend Your Limitations
Dear Blogger Friends,
I am writing to ask a favor. And yes, it involves money. Being asked to donate to a "worthy cause" I'm sure is not new to you. This request, though, is timely, relevant, and important, given that our country is at war and Veteran's Day weekend is right around the corner.
You may know a military veteran who was permanently injured while serving our country. Even if you do not personally know an injured veteran, you can imagine the anguish that suffering a permanent injury brings. It forces you to adapt to a different life.
The Silverman Triathlon, a full and half iron distance triathlon held in Henderson, Nevada every November, has partnered with Operation Rebound, a branch of the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). Operation Rebound was established by CAF to provide sports opportunities and support to permanently disabled veterans of any branch of US Military Service.
Life is challenging even when we are whole and healthy. But imagine if your life were turned upside down by a permanent disabling injury. Think of the limitations that would place on you. But what if, despite the agony of this tragedy, you could find a way to overcome? What if you could transcend your injury? Recognizing that you have a choice, you choose to train for something.
On November 9, 2008, seven permanently injured veterans who chose to transcend their injuries will race the Silverman Operation Rebound Challenge.
- Master Sergeant Gilbert Magallanes Jr. was injured in Afghanistan when a 2000 pound bomb was dropped on his position. Gilbert's injuries resulted in a partial loss of his skull, permanent brain damage, vision loss in his left eye, and loss of fingers on his left hand. Gilbert will race the swim portion of the Silverman Operation Rebound Challenge.
- Master Sergeant Kenneth Sargent was traveling in a convoy near Najaf when his vehicle was ambushed. Kenny lost most of his vision and portions of his memory and mental functioning. Kenny and his wife Tonia will race as a tandem bicycle team in the Silverman Operation Rebound Challenge.
The determination and courage it takes, every day, for these men to train are traits that you probably wish you had more of in your own life.
Well you do have these traits. We all have these traits within ourselves. These athletes are living proof that we can choose to transcend our own limitations. Even if you are healthy and whole, you have this choice in common with these veterans. By making that choice, you can inspire those around you, and you can help Gilbert and Kenny, and thousands of permanently injured veterans like them, transcend their limitations.
The coaching, mentoring, race fees, hand cycles, prosthetics, and other specialized equipment that these athletes need to train and race is prohibitively expensive. Without CAF and Operation Rebound, many of these brave and courageous veterans would not be able to train and race. Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. recognized this unique opportunity and recently became a Silverman corporate sponsor.
Harrah's became involved with the Nevada Silverman upon learning about the race's association with Operation Rebound and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
Silverman Newsletter, Volume 4, Number 9
Please make your tax deductible donation today. Any amount is appreciated and will be used by CAF and Operation Rebound to fund programs for injured veterans.
And please come to the District at Green Valley Ranch on November 9 to watch these veterans and other courageous athletes tackle the Silverman course. You will be glad you did. As you watch you will see the possibility for yourself to achieve something great – something that you may not have thought possible before.
Stefanie Shields Frank
P.S. I am racing the Silverman Half on November 9. I would love to see you out there, either at the District or at the finish line at the Henderson Multigenerational Center. The finish line is open until midnight. If you know anyone who would be inspired by the Silverman Operation Rebound Challenge, please pass this letter onto them. Thank you.
For an objective assessment of CAF, see www.charitynavigator.org/ and type in "Challenged Athletes Foundation"