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This fundraiser ended on 10/15/10

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AT CAT, we ask our youth to do something that might be one of the hardest things they've ever done. It changes their lives.

A year ago I asked many of you to sponsor me by proxy in the Chicago Flatwater Classic, a 7 1/2 mile race on the Chicago River, to raise money for Chicago Adventure Therapy, the organization I founded. CAT intern Christine Vacin paddled in my place. A month out of a back brace after two spine surgeries, I couldn't kayak. Christine was one of three people who helped direct the organization over the summer of 2009, making sure CAT continued to deliver life-changing experiences for our youth.

We have another group of youth, volunteers and staff paddling again this year on October 3rd. I planned to drive the van and trailer, and not be on the water. A few days ago, Christine, now our Program Director, offered to get up earlier in the morning that day (an already early day) so that she and I could run a shuttle before the race so I could be on the water with Christine, our youth, our volunteers and three more of our staff.

As has happened many, many times in the creation of this organization, I was pleased and grateful for someone's simple generosity. Just 2 1/2 months back in a boat, I'm very pleased to say that I accepted Christine's offer to get up earlier so that I too can paddle.

Founding, building and directing Chicago Adventure Therapy is one of the hardest things I've ever done. Making it through those two years of back surgeries and recovery is the other.

So I'm grateful to be joining another group of people this year. We have a small, dedicated group of racers who are running the Chicago Marathon this year, and raising money to benefit CAT. You can see some of their fundraising efforts on other pages of this team fundraiser. I can't run a marathon yet, but I'll be on the water with our youth, volunteers and staff.

This year, I'm asking you to sponsor me directly, instead of by proxy. Please consider making a donation to CAT.
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