Dear friends, family and legislative leaders:
I don't know if you have heard by now, but I will be participating in the "Great March for Climate Action" next year. March 1, 2014, hundreds of every day people,activists, young and old will set out from Los Angeles, CA, walking 2,980 miles across America to Washington, DC, raising awareness of the dangers of climate change, and inspiring and motivating the general public and elected officials (legislative action addressing environmental safety/protections) to take climate action . This will be the largest coast-to-coast march in American history. I will be walking from LA to Colorado Springs, Co and then from Des Moines, IA to DC (2,660 miles)-returning home to Iowa for a few months to check on my loved ones.
For the longest time, I've wanted to do something that would really make a difference in the lives of my family, friends and community-and this is it. Why march? Well, because I am no public speaker, would be politician, or author of books. I just know I need to be part of this generations next "Movement". There is nothing more important then addressing those things that have had and will have a detrimental effect on our Climate and ultimately our way of life. Knowing that I will be donating my time (lots and lots of it) and effort for such an important issue, makes it all worthwhile.
I am asking for your support in my fund raising efforts. My personal GOAL is to : 1) raise $7500 for the march 2) train and prepare to walk 14 miles a day, x 6 months, a total of 2,660 miles-and 3) Arrive in Washington, DC on Nov 1st, full of hope that the Climate March helped inspire and educate people across our great country and around the world. Ultimately making important changes in our Environmental policies and a better "quality of life" for those that are important to me and for those important to you.
Many people have pledged to support me on this march, saying, “I can’t go, but I’m so glad you are doing this, and I want to help.” You too can help me achieve my goals by contributing as generously as you can. Your support and any amount you can give is important. Your donation is tax deductable. You might consider pledging a certain amount per mile, for example: .25 cents x 25 miles ($6.50), .25 cents x 50 miles ($12.50), .25 cents x 75 miles (($18.75), .25 x 100 miles ($25.00), or just a dollar per mile. It is best if you donate your pledge up front based on my mileage commitment (2,660 miles), instead of a pledge to be paid upon completion, as funds must be raised prior to the event.
Your timely response would be appreciated as it will help me monitor if I am on target with my fund raising . Please return your contribution within 3-4 weeks. I understand that there are a lot of fund raising events going on year round, so I will accept contributions after this date if your circumstances do not allow for a donation at this time.
I can't thank you enough!
In the summer of 1997, my friends and I went backpacking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The scenery was amazing. The trails took us through and around tall wondrous evergreens, beautiful waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, snow capped mountains, and the occasional run in with a cute furry "little" animal-fortunately, no "BIG" furry animals! We had a great time and I learned many lessons about survival on that trip. Sadly, at the time, I'm not sure I fully appreciated the beauty in which I was surrounded.
Since that backpacking trip, I have been fortunate enough to travel with friends and family to Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, the gulf coast, east coast and throughout the west/northwest, visiting many of the nations National Parks and Coastlines. Unfortunately, due to our changing climate, the scenery has changed. I've encountered "drunken trees" ("dead trees"), diminishing glaciers and temperatures of 80 plus degrees (in September) in Alaska. "Trickling" waterfalls in Hawaii due to the lack of rainfall. In the West/Northwest, thousands and thousands of dead and dying evergreens (due to the destructive Pine and Spruce Beetle disease), burnt remnants of trees due to forest fires and disappearing mountain ranges due to filthy yellow smog. Also, the destructive effects both visually and financially of Super storms Katrina and Sandy on the beaches and coastlines. It saddens me to think that the next generation may not ever get to experience the beauty of these places as I have.
More importantly, in their lifetimes, will they have what is needed for basic human survival, such as: clean air, clean drinking water, shelter, and safe food to eat? There are articles and news stories daily about those things that are effecting our health and the health of our planet, including: pollution/increased levels of co2 emissions, fracking, pipeline spills, illegal dumping of chemicals/trash into our waterways, mountaintop removal with run-off of chemicals into creeks and rivers, chemicals/pesticides seeping into waterways due to run off from farmlands/big agriculture, deforestation, acidification of our oceans, extinction of wildlife and aquatic creatures, and genetically modified and pesticide ridden food-just to name a few. Will their lives be consumed with fighting for the last drop of oil or more importantly, last drop of "water" or will they be able to enjoy family vacations in beautiful places around this country and around the world.