Aids Lifecycle Fundraiser

Well, this is my first blog. I am always thinking of stories to give on here, and there will be lots! But first and foremost I feel I need to share my first fundraiser.

I’m preparing for a monumental journey and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s not going to be easy, but it’s likely to be one of the most rewarding weeks I will experience in my life. 

June 3rd - June 9th I will ride my bike 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles to support the life-saving services offered by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, in the fight to end HIV/AIDS.

Preparing for this journey will require countless hours of training and preparation. I’ve committed my time to make sure that I’m ready, but I still need to raise a minimum of $3,000 to ride. For that, I’m prepping areas around Bend for conducting a fundraiser with my photo booth. I'm asking for support from my community by donating as generously as they possibly can. To the people who rely on these services to survive, every dollar counts. And every dollar brings me closer to being able to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This ride is extremely important to me because of my dad. I lost him in 1991 at the age of 6 years old, to aids. He was 38 years young. For those six years of my beginning life, he was my best friend, my "pal" we would call each other. The most compassionate man and human I could ever be gifted with in such a short time. I have a necklace that he gave me on a teddy bear just after he came home from the hospital. It's a gold necklace that has a heart encompassing the words, "Daddy's Little Girl," I remember he told me to think of him, and that he'll always be close to my heart. I didn't think much on it, nor did I understand that meant he was leaving me. I haven't accepted his death yet, because I haven't wanted to believe he's gone forever.

I'm not religious. So to say he's in Heaven looking down on me is simply not my belief. I do believe spiritually we have energies around us, and I have always hoped that the feeling I have sometimes is his presence. Whatever our beliefs are, I am search of my own path and I truly feel moved this year to ride. I couldn't before due to my college studies, and starting up a photo booth biz has taken me some time to learn as well. Now is the best time more than ever and I'm running on this decision. I have until May 11, 2018 to fund raise. 

I set a goal of $3,500.00 to participate in this ride, because frankly, I'm shy. I've never done a fundraiser in my life. But there's always a first right?! So for all those who have read this blog, thank you for your time. I promise not all my blogs will be sad and serious :) I like to think I'm pretty funny. But this blog is something that I hold dear to my heart, and if anyone feels compelled to help me get to the finish line in Los Angeles on June 9th, then I've posted the link to help support my efforts. And this is bigger than just me and my loss, it's to help those who have been diagnosed with this virus and for those who live everyday hoping for a cure. I really can't find a better way to support this community. Again, thank you for your compasssion. 

With love and gratitude,

Rachel Shelton
Donations can be placed online or at our events coming up.