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Sacramento – A caring and generous community

NorCal AIDS Cycle: Four days, 107 riders, 100 crew, 330 miles, and $325,000 raised for HIV and AIDS awareness and treatment!

by Councilmember Jay Schenirer

When I ran for the Sacramento City Council 2 1/2 years ago, I had a lot of ideas about the kind of city and community Sacramento could be, and what I could do to move us in that direction. My vision included not only a robust economy that provided jobs for all Sacramentans, but just as important, a compassionate, caring and generous community that takes care of its own.

Two and one-half years later, I’m more confident than ever that Sacramento can be that community, and here’s one of the reasons why – I just spent last Thursday, May 16, through Sunday, May 19, with more than 200 people who chose to contribute four days of their lives (not counting the months of training, meetings and fundraising) on a bike ride to support HIV and AIDS provider and treatment organizations.

Of those 200 people, about half rode and the other half were crew for the riders – which actually looked like a lot more work than the riding. The riders got pampered with great food, rest stops (with decorated bathrooms), a medical team, a gear and support team, and the “Motos” (women on motorcycles), while other crew members stood on the side of the route cheering us on – particularly when the road was uphill or the wind was blowing against us. At the end, they were there to provide that much-needed massage and chiropractic support after a long day on the saddle.

Don’t get me wrong – it was strenuous, and it was a lot of fun. The laughter was flowing; the entertainment by the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus on Saturday night, May 18, was inspiring; and each meal was a delectable gift!

I doubt I have ever been so well taken care of in my life! I also know that for everyone involved, it was not about the ride or the food or the laughter or the massages. It was about our common cause, HIV and AIDS awareness and treatment, and it was about our community taking care of its own. It’s the Sacramento I love!

I want to express my thanks to all the riders and the crew, and everyone who supported them. It gives me strength. It gives me hope. And it reminds me of the community that we can create together.

Editor’s note: The “News Digest” goes out every Tuesday morning and highlights our best stories, photos and videos from the week prior. Sign me up.


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