Brian D’Apice stayed at my good friend Jim McKeever’s house through the Memorial Day Weekend.
Anybody who’s read Jim’s passionate Irish Investigations blog know how he’s one to advance the good cause any way possible.
And the work of D’Apice, this project he’s calling Bicycle Around America is a great cause.
D’Apice’s pedal pushing began May 4 in New York City, will wind through Seattle, and will end next spring back in New York City. The journey is designed to raise money and awareness for two charities, Pencils of Promise and Connecting Families, both set up to help the poor of third world nations.
D’Apice related to people needing this aid while serving in the U.S. Army, in Iraq and Indonesia. He talked of these trips to a class this week at Jamesville-DeWitt High School just outside of Syracuse. I wrote about his presentation for my weekly Mark It Up community blog for Syracuse Public Media site waer.org. You can read the column and see more of my pictures by clicking the link below.
D’Apice was here because his younger brother was a close friend of Jim’s son Chuck. They attended Ohio State together. Chuck told his dad about Brian’s project. Brian’s brother told him about the McKeever family’s offer. J-D English teacher Kristin Hardy went to school with Chuck and heard about the whole affair, and she invited Brian to speak at her high school.
If that’s not a community in action, I don’t know one when I see it.
Principal Paul Gasparini came into the classroom beforehand to welcome D’Apice, the full collection of students, a handful of interested teachers, and even me.
We all listened intently as D’Apice explained why, showed what and emphasized how. His tale included 9/11, spanned two decades and brought him to Iraq, Vietnam and Indonesia.
“If you believe you can do something you can. The only thing I have that other people don’t is grit. I can even fly,” he concluded to the students,” showing them a slide of himself diving off a cliff in Hawaii.
He quickly told them how he raised funds by talking in schools, churches and camps, and how people could click sites and pledge money, beating the buzzer to end the class.
Teachers surrounded him and asked about the T-shirt he was wearing. He said they were for sale — five different versions using the same logo, in fact — but the company needed guaranteed sales of 20 at a time, so he’d closed requests until he knew that many would be purchased. They all told him to open it up again because they knew a friend who knew a friend who knew a friend …
(Postcript on Friday afternoon: Brian just sent me this link now reopened for shirt sales.
He reiterated how he was making this happen on $6 per day, mostly for food, and giving every cent raised to the charities.
When he handed me his card it said:
1 man, 10,000 miles, 32 states, 1 year, 2 charities = $100,000 raised
Bringing Education and Healthcare to Children and Families in Need
Offering public speaking about:
Appreciation • Strength • Compassion
Here’s that link to find the clicks to donate again:
Here’s an email address if you want to contact him:
How far could you ride your bicycle? How many states and countries have you visited? What would be the charity you’d represent?