June 20, 2018 – Washington Co., WI – This year’s Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s bicycle tour leaves at the end of June and if you watch this video you’ll learn a bit about the people at The Samaritan Campus.
This year my 15-year-old niece Audrey and I will ride for the people at The Samaritan Campus, 531 E. Washington Street in West Bend.
It’s a county owned health care facility committed to providing residential and health care services that preserve dignity, independence, and individual choices.
It was February 2017 when I met Lucille Christianson. She was turning 103 years old and we worked with the family to try and rally 103 birthday cards for her. Click HERE to read the story.
One of the great surprises on her birthday was a special visit by the Behlke family from Jackson. Bernice, Sarah, David and Ron brought vanilla cupcakes and sang several hymns as a gift to Lucille.
“I could listen all day,” Lucille said.
In an effort to continue to make a difference the money Audrey and I raise on the tour will go to purchase a rickshaw for the seniors at the Samaritan Campus.
Gerry Kasik, 80, was treated to a spin around the parking lot. “Ohhhh this was great,” she said. “I like this weather.”
Kasik grew up in Milwaukee and remembered bicycling with her friends. “We all went together. There were about 30 kids on our block and we all took our bikes and went to the pool,” she said. “My bike was blue; nothing fancy but a nice big two wheeler.”
Carrie Jeffords was one of the bike pilots. She said all her customers really loved the ride.
“One woman said the only time she gets out is to go to the doctor and she really appreciated the ride,” said Jeffords. “They all said it was too short and they wanted to stay out longer.”
Our fundraising goal is $10,000 and we will be selling bicycle license plates. Businesses and neighbors can sponsor a plate with their name or company logo.
While on the tour my niece Audrey and I will send you a post card from the road and after the tour is over we’ll autograph the license plate and give it back to you as a memento from the adventure.
Checks can be made to “Samaritan Campus” and mailed to 531 E. Washington Street, West Bend, WI 53095. All donations are tax deductible. Be sure to mark the FEIN number on your check 396005754.
100-percent of the money raised will be donated to Samaritan Campus. This year’s tour will take us to Whitefish Point, Michigan and the Shipwreck Museum. The 3-week tour leaves June 30.
On a side note: Lucille is still a resident at the Samaritan Campus. She turned 104 in February. Below is a look at how she grew up in Washington County.
Lucille is soft spoken and admittedly a bit confused. She said she grew up on a farm in the area, the family had cows which meant she had chores …. the rest is a little foggy.
Born in 1914 when Woodrow Wilson was president of the United States, Lucille recalls very little. A gold frame with the number 50 sits on the windowsill. There’s a photo of Lucille and her husband Phil. The date reads October 20, 1931.
A family member has sent a photo of Lucille and Phil in their prime. The couple sit on the bumper of a car in a happy embrace.
Lucille’s family is working on a goodwill project as they try to rally 103 birthday cards to help her celebrate her 103rd birthday on Feb. 18.
There are already piles of cards on a nearby coffee table. We sift through a few and I read the notes aloud.
One person asks Lucille who the president was when she was born. Another handmade card features a cake with 103 candles on top.
Lucille puts her hands to her face and starts to cry.
“I don’t even know these people and they took the time to send me a birthday card,” she said.
It’s hard to tell, but she said it makes her happy.
I try to distract Lucille and ask her what kind of cake she’ll have. “Plain vanilla,” she said.
Mostly, she’d like her family to visit but she said she “understands.”
Thanks to the sponsors below for supporting this year’s Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s.