Ginger Preti-Child and Jennifer “Jen” Reese volunteer their time and considerable effort to support the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride to End AIDS.
If you’re looking for Ginger Preti-Child or Jennifer “Jen” Reese in June, you’ll find them in their usual place – somewhere on the road in California.
They’re “roadies” of a different sort, volunteering their time and considerable effort to support the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride to End AIDS. It’s a 7-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Ginger, a director with Verizon Enterprise Services in Ashburn, Va., and Jen, with Human Resources in San Francisco, have been working as a team for the past two years. For Ginger, volunteering for this particular event is personal.
“I had two cousins who died of AIDS so this organization is very personal to me,” she said. “When I met Jen, my HR Business partner at the time, and she told me about the event, that was the tipping point. Jen and I take off the same week every year and use vacation time. My husband and two daughters are very supportive and don’t mind me being away for two weeks. We get up at 4 a.m. every day to set up the lunch stop and the “hydration station” as we are part of the water crew. We make it fun for the riders and every day we dress in a different theme, one day we are construction workers, another day clowns, sailors, etc.”
Jen said she started volunteering in the event in 2007, and every weekend from January through June, Reese drives the Support and Gear or (SAG) Vehicle, when the cyclists are training.
“I participated in the ride six times and have volunteered for five,” Jen said. “It makes me feel great. I have always been a helper. They give me back more than I give them. Seeing them go from riding 20 miles a day and then completing the 7-day ride … it makes me feel like a proud mom.”
Last year, more than 2,700 participants from 44 states and 18 countries raised a record $14.2 million to support the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS related services of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. These agencies continue to provide the critical services and education needed to meet the growing needs of the community.
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