Yes, I am training for the 2005 Dublin Marathon which will take place on October 31, 2005! That's right - it's an actual marathon - 26.2 miles. And from May until September I'll be logging nearly 500 miles in this six-month training program which is raising money for the fight to end AIDS. It's an exciting journey. And even though I'll be getting up at the crack of dawn, and I may have my share of aches and pains, I know it will be worth it.
So why am I doing this crazy thing? Well, here's the story...
In August, I turn 40 and I thought I'd do something to mark the occasion. Ten years before, when I turned 30, I thought about how lucky I had been while in college. I'd gotten several scholarships and didn't need to take out student loans. That freed me of a great burden that too many students these days have to bear. I thought about all those people whose generosity I was the beneficiary of. They never knew me, never knew whose lives they might touch, yet they shared their hard-earned income with the school so that people like me could get scholarships.
At age 30, having become established in a career, I decided to set up my own endowments. Within two years, the endowments were fully funded and we awarded the first round of scholarships. And I meet with the winners each year to instill in them the spirit of generosity and to let them know that they don't have to be a millionaire or wait until they're 65 to do this. They can do it at 30. (For those in L.A., I'm giving the CSULB award at engineering's graduation in late May. The other award is at USC's School of Journalism. How one major led to the other is a long story....)
So now comes the big 4-0, and what do I decide to do? Run a marathon to raise funds and help those who are among the most in need of our help -- people suffering from AIDS and their families.
Did you know that more than one million Americans, and 40 million others around the world, are living with HIV -- the virus that causes AIDS? With more than 20 million deaths so far, AIDS is now the leading cause of death among all people aged 15 to 59 worldwide.
Sadly, approximately 1 in every 20 adults in the District of Columbia is living with HIV/AIDS. The money you and I are raising will benefit Whitman-Walker Clinic, the largest provider of HIV/AIDS services in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. The Clinic provides direct medical care, food, housing and other really important AIDS services -- to help keep people alive until there's a cure.
This is such a worthy cause. I have made a personal commitment to raise at least $3,400 before July 29, 2005 -- and I hope to raise even more. Contributions are tax-deductible and will make a huge difference in the lives of thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Vicky's Senior Pic from The 1983 Leuzinger Pylon is found below. Vicky performed in Leuzinger drama productions such as 'Kats of 59' and 'Children's Hour'. Her extra-curricular credits include AFS, CSF, Junior Class Secretary, and ASB Secretary.