Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New total for the ZAC ATTACK

We have been able to send in 3 additonal checks for $620.00 for the ZAC ATTACK for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This brings the total to $17,384.00 and we continue to get calls regarding his ride. The caring and generosity of everyone continues to impress us everyday. You cannot even sit on the sidelines and not be changed by everyone's concern and generosity. We need to support those who continue to raise money for this great cause.. God Bless everyone and God Bless America through these difficult times...

*posted by Zac's mom... thank you for caring and reading....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Update on the ZAC ATTACK

There is such exciting news. The Drop In for "ZAC ATTACK IS BACK" was held and we reached our goal of $15,000. In fact, the donations that were made that night, took the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society donation to $15.939.00, a 106% of his goal. More good news continued to come in the mail and another group of checks for $825.00 have been sent to the Mid South Chapter to be registered for the ZAC ATTACK, taking his total to $16,764, taking this to 112%. There is an anticipated pledge of $500 that is still outstanding and that would be a true blessing for such a needy cause. Laura Newton, of the SEASIDE SIGNAL sent the article that she placed in her paper following Zac's arrival at Seaside, Oregon on July 28th. We also received a donation from Ruth, the wonderful woman that owns the UPS store in Marshfield, KS who went out of her way to get Zac his package when he was travelling through.. To top this off, she sent a generous donation and such a great note. There is no way that Zac and those of us who were involved with his "Sea to Shining Sea" ride can be the same persons that we were before this endeavor. The people that surrounded Zac with love, prayers and generosity cannot all be remembered and named. So many of these kind hearts were total strangers. Zac only had a few stories of being in danger or feeling unsafe but so many stories of tremendously big hearted people that assisted him throughout the ride.. And Aiken, SC.... this incredible city that you fall in love with your first visit, once again, reminds you how caring and generous this community is. There are not enough words to thank everyone from a mother and father's heart for the support of everyone. Zac is home for a short while and promises that he will get thank you notes out..... hmmmmmm.... he is trying but the progress is very slow. Zac is also looking forward to going to visit the students of Sunset Park Elementary when they are well situated in this school year and Ms. Cagle schedules that visit.... We think of all the people afflicted with blood related cancers and the brave battles that they fight. Their needs are also great. Thank you for helping Zac help in his way. God Bless everyone and God Bless America!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thank you everyone, We are surpassing our Goal!

Update on our Drop In on Monday evening, August 4th at Newberry Hall in Aiken, SC. What a wonderful success......Thank you to the most wonderful core of friends who met at Malia's restaurant, a table of 9, Kim Sinclair, our leader, Becky Robbins, Kay Brohl, Brenda Shellhouse, Breigh Anne Shellhouse,Pat Collins, Paula Moore and Joy Albrecht. I was not in the mindset to ask anyone for any more support for ZAC and his ride because everyone was so very generous and caring for three months. However, Kim got everyone going, we met, we planned, and in one day, everything was planned... David Sachs at Newberry Hall generously accomodated us at his beautiful new and wonderfully air conditioned room for the event.. One email to Ed Girardeau and our DJ, music and sound system was onboard...I learned about the ease of evites from Kim... some were sent out... notes to most of our early donors were sent. Michael Gibbons at the Aiken Standard had a wonderful article run in the paper.... And the word was out while Zac and I were returning from Portland and Doug was holding down the fort...... We have no idea how many people would show up..... UNBELIEVABLE...........we had in excess of 150 people who opened up their generous hearts and came to show their love and support. There is no way to describe the "wonderfulness" of this community and especially each person who attended.... there were family friends, Zac's favorite middle school teacher, many who watched Zac grow up...... our CMI partners and a few staff, Zac's high school friends and their parents, and it goes on and on..Even Dr. Pierce who delivered Zac into this world! ..People who have touched Zac's life through the years and those that have now touched his life from this point on.... And the wonderful Mom and one of her sons from Clarks Hill, SC who ran into Zac in Virginia City, Montana and came home and researched it and called us to tell us he was doing well!. And a big thank you to Missy from Palmetto Package who ran her bar with another bartender.... Missy donated her services, all the very generous tips, and will also be donating part of her bar money... Missy has a son that is Zac's friend and once again, "wonderfulness" comes through.....thank you Ed Girardeau for your services... THE BIGGEST THANK YOU TO EVERYONE........... WE HAVE GONE OVER THE GOAL OF $15,000. Total of $15,104. There are still donations coming in www.active.com/donate/zacholford. However we have also received a generous pledge from Sports Plus and another gift from the heart, from Ruth, the wonderful lady who has the UPS store in Marshfield, KS, who made sure Zac got his needed package from me, went so out of her way to find Zac on the trail... and she sent a check! Despite all that goes on in this day and time, there is so much "wonderfulness" in all those around us.........THANK YOU.... Zac has been trying to organize all the ends of this trip and will write his own thank you.. But he is truly overwhelmed.....overwhelmed that his trip is completed safely and then truly overwhelmed by everyone who followed him, supported him and have given of their hearts and wallets for an amazing cause...the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And it does not stop here.... I have nothing to blog about anymore... except that we need to start a Call-A-Mom... It seemed like anywhere I called across America and needed to find Zac or send him something. No matter what it was, I would have to go online and start calling the unknown towns... And once I began the story about my son being out there needing something, anytime a MOM was answering the phone, she would immediately figure out how to help..... What a great resource that would be to Moms... if your child is somewhere out there.... have a Mom in the area to call.... that would be a perfect world... A thought and maybe a plan.... THANKS TO EVERYONE..... God bless you all.....And a very big thank you to all of you.. so many of you who have surprisingly followed this blog, and always checked up on Zac and his progress... That surprised us that so many cared.... I was surprised anyone read the blog! I have learned so much from Zac, America, and you all.... There are not enough "THANK YOU's". This is once again posted by ZAC's grateful Mom and Dad.......

Friday, August 1, 2008

Day 89-91 Spread the Word on the DROP IN!

Day 89 found us winging our way home to Aiken, SC. Zac continued to realize how long it has been since he left home... He was also amazed as to how quickly he returned home, in a matter of hours as opposed to days on the road. Zac has spent the past two days, sorting through his "stuff" from his trip and I have spent it on working on the fundraising Drop In to take Zac over his goal of $15,000. We are hoping that everyone will spread the word of the Drop IN for the ZAC ATTACK. This is to be held Monday, August 4th, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Newberry Hall in downtown Aiken. There will be a $20 donation at the door for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Light appetizers and a cash bar will be available. Zac will share pictures and a very short version of his adventures on the road..... We appreciate all the help you can give us in sending the word out.. If there are any questions, please email holford49@aol.com and I will gladly reply. Thank you.. Thank you... Thank you for every one's support.
*posted by Zac's mom once again*

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 88 Returning to Portland

We were to return to Portland early this morning and explore that wonderful city further. However, we were surprised by a Seaside, Oregon reporter, Laura Newburn of the SEASIDE SIGNAL, a weekly newspaper, who wanted to do a story on Zac's journey for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She was notifed by Steve Hale, from Aiken, that Zac had arrived on his cross country journey and his purposes... Ms. Newburn did the interview on the phone and asked that we email her a photo of Zac's arrival. However, three hours later, three different computer connections at the hotel, and three different hotel employees, we were unsuccessful.. In retrospect, we could have walked the camera over to her...... however, the article was written and submitted by Ms. Newburn who writes to us, "My dad died of Lymphoma four years ago. Today would have been his 62nd birthday, so writing a story about someone like you who is trying to make a difference with the disease that took his life made the day that much more special for me." We left Seaside much later, and stopped in Astoria to ship his beloved bicycle. We were referred to lunch at the most incredible small Mexican restaurant around the corner... After we secured her from-scratch guacamole recipe, the owner and two of her patrons told stories of their loved ones afflicted by blood-related cancers, two of whom had perished.... And Leukemia and lymphoma continue to devastate lives everywhere....
We continued to Portland, with Zac watching my speed limit the entire trip despite being on the phone or reading. He had not ridden in a car for three months and the speed was surreal for the first part of this journey.I became more aware of what constant climbing and descending of 300' to 500' inclines for miles and was impressed with his efforts, multiplied by 80 days... My stationery lifestyle seems so wrong. Zac seems very happy to return to his home in Aiken and is overwhelmed with the goodness and kindness of everyone. He had only two stories of unpleasantness where his safety was challenged during all 4.000 miles but so many, many stories of kindness and generosity...... P.S. I counted 12 states but Zac cycled through corners of Illinois and Washington that I did not know of.. so 14 states!!@###...I so was trying to keep track...
*posted by a mom who at least can hit the stationery bicycle when she gets home. Obviously, this genetic trait came from his Dad*

Day 87 Recovering in Seaside

Zac was so exhausted when he finally arrived in Seaside after the hard ride of 100 plus miles and his body was complaining yesterday morn. After a sufficient breakfast, hydration and a good night's rest, he was having a struggle moving and thinking... A good massage, a gift from friends, helped with the lactic acid and Zac feeling much better. We have made arrangements to have his bike shipped today from a bike shop in Astoria that is experienced in doing so. It is not only the bike, the camping equipment, etc. We are heading back to Portland today to get a very early flight back to Charlotte tomorrow and gladly drive home. We have enjoyed the work being done on his Drop In Celebration on Augusta 4th and hope that Zac can reach his goal for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Being at the Pacific was an emotional event for Zac after his journey..... not to mention his Mom who has gained more than a few pounds during the worry of the ride..... The cycling angels have taken care of Zac. Now the Jenny Craig angels have to now watch over his mom!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day 85 & 86 ZAC HAS ARRIVED!!!!

Zac has arrived at the Pacific Ocean at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 27th after a grueling day of a 100-mile ride from Portland, OR to Seaside, OR, through varied and difficult terrain and the most incredible scenery. I got to ride a support car for the first and last day and what an experience that was. Since Zac has truly not received the long distance devoted cycling genes from me, I become more and more impressed as my day continued as to what a physical ride this was. The hills were high, the traffic was unrelentless (and Oregon has great shoulders specifically for cyclists), and the miles seemed endless.. I would drive ahead to a town or two ahead...and then wait.... and if it seemed too long, I would slink back and backtrack to find Zac.... hoping he would not notice his Mamma in a rent-a-car. But he was absolutely determined to hit the Pacific on Sunday. I checked into the hotel at Seaside on the ocean and waited and waited, as it got darker and later..... and later. The bike route took him through the Park near here, and with the addition of having to replace a flat, he was very late... And yes, of course, I got in the car and tracked backwards trying to find him.. So I was on the wrong road. Fortunately, he called within a half hour.
Yesterday, as I drove the support car, leisurely, I was able to notice all the gorgeous scenery around me, take the huge Lewis and Clark Bridge to Longview, WA and back, go to the Eagle Scantary, stop at the fresh raspberry stand, the mutliple flower stands and drive through quite a few small towns on the route.. What an incredible day it was and what a country! It makes you realize how much we miss when we race through our lives, fly everywhere and not appreciate all and everyone around us.... Today we get to take the photo at the Turnabout at Seaside and then pack up the bike, return to Portland and fly back on the 30th. We will keep you posted about the fundraiser on August 4th. Zac wants everyone to know that he is going to write to everyone... Thank you everyone for your support.... ZAC ATTACK has arrived....
*posted by a relieved and grateful Mom*