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If you’ve been reading our posts here at 365Barrington.com for a while, you know we love to write about upcoming events and the people behind the many things to do in Barrington. Today, we’re taking a new approach. In a new series called Good Works, we’ll be inviting guest writers to share posts about people helping others and ways we can get involved.
Our first guest post is from a Barrington High School Junior named Courtney Quigley. We asked Courtney to share, in her own words, the experience that motivated her to organize a fashion show fundraiser in Barrington this weekend. The purpose of the event is to help build a home for a Guatemalan family living, among rats, in a shack surrounded by garbage.
The student fashion show is called Hope’s in Style, it’s happening at The Garlands Center for The Performing Arts from 1 to 4 p.m. this Sunday, February 24th, and we’re all invited. All proceeds from the event will go to Pottter’s House Association to build a house for 8-year-old Monica Morales and her seven family members who currently call a Guatemala City garbage dump their home.
And that’s where I’ll let Courtney Quigley herself pick things up. I hope you will be moved, as I was, by her story…
Hope’s in Style
by Courtney Quigley, Barrington High School Junior
When I was younger, I really thought I knew exactly where my life was going. At seven years old, I wanted to be a world famous actress. Later, I decided that I wanted to be a chef. The third ambition was to become a doctor. But things change in your mind when they change in your heart.
Things changed for me when my family went on our first trip to Guatemala. I was eight years old and my younger sister was only five. On that trip, we worked with an organization called Kids Around The World that builds playgrounds in places affected by war, poverty, illness and natural disasters. At this time in my life I spoke no Spanish, so I thought I would not be able to communicate with all the children that we met. But I was so wrong.
My mom threw my siblings and me a soccer ball and the kids slowly but surely came over to us. We played soccer for the next three days. By the time the playground was ready I had made friendships, learned how bad I was at soccer and, most importantly, I found a place in my heart that was especially dedicated to Guatemala.
Guatemala City has about 1 million people living in it. These million people produce a lot of trash. All their trash is dumped in a 40-acre ravine.
As you can imagine, homeless people in Guatemala City have naturally migrated there. In fact, three generations of human beings, fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers have lived in that trash and built whole communities out of it.
That is where Potter’s House comes into play.…
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I just discovered the best way reach a 70-year-old guy riding his bike 2,000 miles down the west coast to raise $1,000,000. Pick up the phone and call his cell number! I was shocked when I heard a couple of ring tones and then a live voice on the other end of the line. “Bob Lee”, he answered, as though he was right down the street. And then I heard voices and laughter in the background and I knew I had called just in the nick of time. Three guests riders joined Bob on his journey for five days this past week, including the man in charge of mapping Bob’s ride and two Barrington women behind the causes he’s riding for.
American Cancer Society Medal of Honor recipient, Kim Duchossois, and Northeast Illinois Hospice & Palliative Care Vice President of Development, Beth Raseman, are physically fit, but they’re not avid bike riders. Despite the physical challenges and not long before Bob’s departure, Kim and Beth decided to join him, riding down the Oregon coast into California for five days of his journey.
They pedaled alongside Bob this past week for about 160 miles of his ride, sharing winding roads with intimidating traffic and pushing their limits, and their bikes, up incredibly steep inclines and down “screaming descents” to the backdrop of breathtaking coastal scenery.
I called to find out how Kim and Beth fared, what they learned and whether they’d do it again. And I could hear Bob smiling when said,……
He’s been planning his 2,000 mile bike ride for the past two-and-a-half years, and 70-year-old Barrington cyclist and cancer survivor, Bob Lee, says he’s finally ready to go! Bob set his departure date for one week from today, next Wednesday, September 5th, when he’ll fly to Vancouver. On Thursday, he’ll get on his bike in the center of the city, and pedal his way down the west coast for the next six to eight weeks, ending in Mexico. But Bob’s mission is much bigger than a bike ride. He hopes to raise $1,000,000 in the process to fund research for Cancer, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and Hospice end-of-life care. We’re all invited to join Bob and his community of supporters at a send-off party this Sunday, September 2nd.
Bob’s latest journey will be the third in a personal series of long distance rides, crossing a total of more than 12,000 miles and completing a philanthropic tour around the perimeter of the country to support these three focus charities, which are Bob’s “3 Reasons” for his ride.
Bob says he’s mapped out his route and plans to meet up with supporters along the way, including an ALS patient close to the route and a friend who just lost his wife to cancer. “When I visit with people and they tell me about their experience with these causes, that just energizes me to know that I’m on the right track.”
Bob’s Send-off celebration starts at 4 p.m. this Sunday, September 2nd, with a group ride from Station Middle School to Wool Street Grill & Sports Bar in Barrington. We’re all invited to join the ride and the party at Wool Street where there will be ice cream sundaes for everyone. Here’s the itinerary for Sunday followed by a few quick thoughts from Bob about his upcoming ride……