WOMAN: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I’m so pleased to see such a great turnout for our information session about the Anne Marie Annual Charity Bicycle Tour. That you’re even here today speaks volumes to your generosity, compassionate spirit, and concern for your fellow humankind.
There’s so much we need to go over today, but let me start with an overview of what this charity event is about, and how it got started. The Anne Marie Annual Charity Bicycle Tour raises money for medical research at the London Children’s Hospital. Each year, a group of outstanding individuals from England, Spain, France, Ireland, and many other countries dedicate ten days to bike around England as both a fundraising and awareness campaign. And might I say that it’s a jolly good time as well!
It all started about 15 years ago when a professional cyclist named Marcus Sherrington lost his young daughter to a rare form of cancer that for some reason affects children most often. Well, as you can imagine, he was devastated, and he didn’t want to see other families go through what he experienced. So, he decided to create an annual event that would financially support the work of medical researchers of terminal childhood diseases. And that’s how the bicycling tour, which is dedicated to his late daughter, um, Anne Marie, came to be. Touching, isn’t it?
Now, this charity tour is a sponsored event. That means that participants agree to find sponsors who will donate a predetermined amount of money for the participant finishing the tour. All participants agree to raise a minimum of £3000, regardless of how many sponsors they have. But we surely encourage you to raise more than that. Most people raise around £5,000 in total. We’ve even had a participant bring in £20,000!
In the case that you are unsuccessful in your fundraising efforts, we unfortunately can’t let you take part in the tour. I know this sounds harsh, but for the fairness of all participants, it’s important that we stick to the rules.
It’s mid-March now, and the tour takes place in June this year. That means you have plenty of time to find sponsors and promote your cause. And we do offer support in the way of informational brochures and fundraising worksheets...and of course we’re always here for questions or concerns.
So, as I said before, the tour lasts ten days. That’s nine nights and ten full days. And let me be clear...we do bicycle each of those days. I’d say about eight hours of bicycling per day. That means you need to be in tip-top form to make it to the end. We have personal trainers who will advise you if you require a training plan. Don’t wait until the last minute to get in shape!
During the tour, your accommodations will be homestays with families who volunteer space to participants. They will offer you a warm bed to sleep in, and feed you both dinner and breakfast. Then we provide cyclists with lunch every day. Lunches usually consist of a sandwich, an energy drink, a piece of fruit, and a cookie. We’ll also make sure there are plenty of snacks on hand...you know, power bars and the like...in case you need an extra boost of energy along the way. Oh, and there’s always bottled water available in a cooler that is pulled by our tour support team.
All of these costs are covered by generous donors. For example, the London National Bank provides £2,000 to cover lunches and snacks, and Alder’s Bike Shop donates repair kits and extra gear in case there’s a problem on the road. Flat tires and broken chains are common issues on these longer tours, and our support team is trained to handle such situations.
OK. There are a couple of other logistical matters we need to cover. For one, we do have age restrictions. Participants must be at least 18 years old. We simply can’t be responsible for minors, and it’s too difficult to ensure that a guardian accompanies a minor at all times.
Secondly, participants must have their own bicycle, helmet, and reflective clothing. This is an absolute must. It’s for your safety as well as the safety of other riders. If you need help purchasing any of these items, we would be glad to direct you to some trusted stores.
Now I’ll pass around this sign-up sheet and we can.... (Fade out)