This is the blog within my blog, the story of my 24 hour Walk for Rides. The Walk is scheduled for June 18 to 19, here in Portland, Maine. I’ll be walking for 24 hours around Back Cove, along Baxter Boulevard, where the ocean comes to our doors.
For now, I am concentrating on training by walking every day until June 18. I don’t know a lot about training, but I have done a 24 hour walk three times before. I did it then, as I plan to do it now, to raise money and support for dignified transportation for older people, only then, in the early days of ITNPortland, I was walking for the Independent Transportation Network in this community in Portland, Maine, where the ITN was born. Now I am walking for ITNAmerica, to bring dignified transportation for seniors to every community in America.
The first Walk was called the March of the Members, and it was inspired by two other national efforts, the March of Dimes and the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk. I had heard that Eddie Cantor, working with Franklin Roosevelt, developed the idea of raising funds by having many people give a dime—during the depression. This Little Mama was inspired. One of our Board members who happened to be a policy analyst for the Alzheimer’s Association took me to lunch and described how their organization raises funds through a simple walk. In ten weeks, about the same amount of time I now have for the ITNAmerica Walk for Rides, we did it. Our first affiliate, ITNGreaterLA renamed the event the Walk for Rides when they held it in Santa Monica in 2006. Now, every ITN affiliate holds a Walk for Rides every year. The event is always a little different in each community, because each community has its own favorites. But the idea is the same—many people working together can do more than many people working alone.
That’s the idea behind ITNAmerica, too, only for us, now, America is our community. This year, for the first time, I am walking for the whole country. This is the story of my effort to do that. I invite you to take this journey with me. I will walk every day, no matter where I am, and I have a pretty crazy travel schedule now. Before this 24 hour Walk takes place in about 10 weeks, I already know I will be traveling to Massachusetts twice, for family and for business, to Connecticut for Passover, to Florida for First Rides at ITNSarasota, and to Canada, to speak about sustainable senior transportation at an international safety conference. I plan to ask people wherever I go to walk with me and I will send you pictures of us, starting now.