Rich Schwarz has been a dedicated and dependable Big Brother for our organization for many years. In fact, he was awarded the 2016 Deranian Award, which is given annually to the Big Brother or Big Sister who exceeded expectations in their contributions to their Little and to the agency. He is on his third match with a Little Brother! Rich was kind enough to take some time out of his day to tell us about his excitement for the annual Rodman Ride for Kids. Check out what he had to say!
You’ve been participating in the Rodman Ride for Kids for about a dozen years. How did you first get involved with the Rodman Ride?
Back in the day, a friend from Big Brothers Big Sisters reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to ride. It was my second year being matched, so I think I started in 2003 or 2004 and I’ve just been doing it ever since!
What do you think separates the Rodman Ride from other youth fundraisers?
I certainly know that I enjoy the day and I can’t wait for that event to come up every year. The ride is fun. You get to ride with other like-minded folks who are trying to do the right thing for the organization, and of course the cookout at the end is fantastic.
What is the atmosphere like on the day of the ride?
Everyone is in great spirits and there’s always anticipation any time you have an event like a run or a bike ride. There’s a lot of positive energy and anticipation for that. With the cookout at the end, it’s a good time for everyone to feel good about the accomplishment and enjoy their food and entertainment.
What do you expect to be on your mind throughout your 25 mile trek this year?
I’ll probably be thinking about my previous rides and some of the experiences I’ve shared with my Littles. One of my Littles rode in it for 2 or 3 years and my current little will be old enough next year, so I’ll be looking forward to him being able to join in the ride next year.
What emotions do you experience when you cross the finish line?
It’s always a great feeling to have crossed. You get a sense of accomplishment, and I’ll be happy that we’ve done a good amount of fundraising for the organization. It’s the biggest fundraising event of the year for Big Brothers Big Sisters, so it’s great to be able to help make the event more successful every year.
What advice would you give to someone who has never rode but is interested in
I would say to just do it. I know some folks might think a 25 mile bike ride might be a little daunting, they may think that they aren’t in good enough shape. But, I would say 2 things:
- It’s really not that daunting of a ride. It’s a primarily flat course and there’s a break in the middle. It’s certainly not a race. You can take as long as you need to complete the course. People of all sorts of fitness levels can participate in the ride. It’s very easy and casual with people talking side by side throughout its entirety.
- If for whatever reason you just aren’t comfortable doing the bike ride, they certainly need a lot of volunteers. There are lots of different ways in which someone who’s interested, even if they don’t want to ride can still participate and help make a difference in the cause.
Click here to make a donation to support Rich in his ride this year! Are you interested in getting involved as a rider, “virtual rider” or volunteer at the Rodman Ride for Kids this year? Click here to register or contact Jackie (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.