Tyler’s ARCSTRONGFOUR fundraiser

Tyler rode his adaptive bike to the tune of more than $10,000 for this year's fundraiser, ARCSTRONGFOUR.

We traveled back to Cedar Rapids on Sept. 18 for Tyler’s annual bike ride to raise money and awareness for The Arc of East Central Iowa.

For those that don’t know, this was the fourth year Tyler and my family has headed the fundraiser. It began in 2008 as an idea of a way to raise a little bit of money to help with the recovery efforts after The Arc’s headquarters in downtown Cedar Rapids was flooded and caused more than $800,000 in damage. But after raising more than $20,000 during the inaugural ride in 2008, we knew we had to keep going.

As of today, Tyler had raised more than $10,000 for this year’s ride, ARCSTONGFOUR, bringing his four-year total to more than $45,000. Needless to say, we’re astonished.  Our original goal of raising a couple thousand dollars has turned into an amazing annual event. Next year’s ride may be more of a bike-run-walk, as a cycling and running group in Cedar Rapids are interested in becoming involved. Our hope is to raise more awareness for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities one year at a time while helping fund the programs and services The Arc offers as state funding continues to be unstable.

Though it was a chilly and misty day, Tyler powered through his five laps at Clark Park in Hiawatha for 3.5 miles. Jackson didn’t fare so well. Sara had to take him back to my parents’ house in Cedar Rapids after we realized his nose just wouldn’t stop running. An early fall cold? Probably, considering nearly a week later his nose is still running and he’s got a junky cough in the mornings. Here’s hoping he gets better day by day (and that Sara and I don’t catch it). My allergies have been bad enough the last week or so, I’m not sure how much more my big nose can take.

Funniest part of the day: Sara wearing a tight Under Armour long-sleeve shirt underneath her ARCSTRONG shirt. Why?

“It’s tight, so people won’t notice how fat I am,” said the 18-week pregnant and increasingly-self-conscious Sara.

Sara and I will try to be more consistent with updating our blog. In the meantime, if you’d like to still donate to Tyler’s ride, you can do so at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/tylersride/arcstrong4. Or if you’re an Iowa football fan, I’ll be selling raffle tickets for an autographed Kirk Ferentz football until Oct. 14. Ferentz surprised Tyler with a letter in the mail last week, letting him know he was donating a ball to be raffled off to help raise money for The Arc. Wow. Email or leave a Facebook message for Sara or I if you’re interested. I can get you more information if you’d like.

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About smothersfamily

Currently pregnant with baby No. 2, Sara is in her fifth year as a sixth-grade reading and language arts teacher at Brody Middle School in Des Moines. Josh is a newspaper designer at the Gannett Des Moines Design Studio and the usual editor of this blog. Finally, Jackson is an always-on-the-go toddler who will be 2 in April.
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