words by Sarah Sleeter, photography by Matt Francis and Leslie Diorio
On October 1st we stood in a crowd enjoying a country music concert, when a horrible senseless act of 1 man took away 58 lives and forever changed the lives of many more. Nothing can prepare you for what we experienced that night. The days after were very hard for us, we received so much love and support for our own personal healing, but it was on our hearts to truly help those who needed it. We were the lucky ones to be able to come home to our families unharmed. To the beautiful Moms who went to that concert and didn’t come home to their children and to the people who lives are forever changed from the injuries they sustained that night, they needed our support.
4 days after returning from Vegas, we came up with the idea of a 91mile road bike ride. The idea began with myself and Michael riding and possibly my other four girlfriends who attended the Route 91 festival with me doing a relay and some how raising money for the local families. 2 days later we had a flyer, and a video where I spoke about my experience of that night at the concert. Within a day, we had over 25 people committed to ride with us and over $4,000 raised for the families. Two things happened that day for me, I now had a goal to focus on, a goal that was bringing so much positivity and I felt my heart start to heal after seeing the out pour of love and support for this event. My heart was touched to see how people were willing to help complete strangers.
The days after were a compete whirlwind, we had so companies offering to send product for our auction and raffle and people calling to offer their help and time. A community came together in just 2 short weeks to create something amazing. We had 230 riders showed up for the ride, countless volunteers, and people drive over 6 hours to be apart of the day. Together as a community we raised $36,104. Starting this week we can begin to make a difference in people’s lives. No amount of money can ever take away the pain or the hurt, nor can it bring a loved one back. But we hope we can help in the smallest way, by taking away some of the burdens this new life has left.
Please follow our journey as we reach out to these families over the next couple of weeks.
I just want to take a minute to thank those who made our event Ride For Route 91 what it was.
To Jax Bicycles of Murrieta for opening your store and parking lot to give us a place to run our event.
To Ride 100 Percent for donating $4,000 and provided support and volunteers.
To Kathy Hubbard, Hannah Morais, Donielle Dettmers, Paige Craig, Amy Westbrook and Lynn Franco for doing such an amazing, well-organized job of the registration, auction and raffles.
To Matt Francis with Matty Fran Photography and Leslie Diorio, for capturing all the special moments of the day.
DJ Louie for calling the moment he read about our event and offered his day. Louie was also at the Route 91 concert that night with his wife and experienced many of the things myself and 4 friends did.
To MindfxScience, for providing water bottles for all our cyclist and running one of our aid stations.
To Wilson Creek Winery, for running an aid station for our cyclists. Bill Wilson and his wife Jenifer were also at the Route 91 concert along with their friends, and were a big part of our day.
To Drive Real Estate for running one of our aid stations. Thank you Lauren and Mike Camp for supplying all the food and drinks for our cyclists
To Jeff Blackmore for opening Blackmore Ranch for our last aid station. Thank you to Launi Dimaggio and the girls for running the show there.
To Terry Picchiottino and Tad Jordon, for running the BBQ at the event and supplying all the food.
To Stacyc and Mike Dettmers for donating a bike for our auction and providing fun for the kids on the day.
To Strider Bike Graphics for giving up your day and providing a playground for the kids to play in, while their parents or family were out riding for a great cause. The day wouldn’t have been the same without you.
To all the companies who donated product for our auction and raffle, we were so overwhelmed by the amount we had, you all were so generous and did an amazing thing.
To all the cyclist, we had 230 who joined us on Saturday. So many amazing athletes, but our favorite thing to see was those who borrowed bikes to ride. Like our girl Melissa Kaminski riding 40 miles on her 2nd ride ever. So awesome and touching to see so many people getting out there and riding for a cause.
To everyone who donated big and small, you’re all going to make a difference in these peoples lives thank you for being so generous.
Last I want to thank my Husband Mike Sleeter, this past month he supported me every single day, taking over the Mum and Dad duties while still doing his own job. He came up with this idea of riding for Route 91 and putting together this whole event to not only help the local families affected but also to help myself and 4 friends deal with what we were going through. He made things happen so quick, and together as a community we were able to put on an event in 2 short weeks that normally would take months to plan. You truly are an amazing man with a heart of Gold.
For Full photo Galleries please check out the below link from our friends and photographers.
Matty Fran Photography– https://mattyfranphotography.shootproof.com/gallery/5374906/
Leslie Diorio- https://lesliediorio.shootproof.com/gallery/5377772/home
My Two-Wheel Life
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