Please read the segment here about the ride for the feast. It does provide good information about the event and may answer any question you may have. This is my page though - if you want to know a bit more about why I am riding for the feast - skip on down a paragraph or two.
Ride for the Feast is a 2-day, 140-mile Maryland bike ride from Ocean City to Baltimore City, May 12-13, 2018.
The event raises money for Moveable Feast, the only Maryland nonprofit that delivers healthy meals to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. Our services are provided in Baltimore City, the 5 surrounding counties and on the Eastern Shore, all at no cost to our clients. Last year, Moveable Feast delivered 815,313 life-saving meals to 5,060 Marylanders. This ride is also symbolic - the fundraising minimum of $1,500 equals the amount it costs to feed one client for a year. 140 miles represents the furthest distance Moveable Feast travels to deliver to a client.
With your help, we are working to deliver 1 million meals in a single year – each one made and delivered with love. 100% of your donation goes directly back into the services provided to our clients. Your support will aid thousands of our neighbors here in Maryland.
We all have, or have had at least one member of our families who had a need for an organization such as Moveable Feast or a family member who has volunteered in an organization like Moveable Feast to help those who cannot help themselves. I consider myself fortunate to say I have had both.
One member of my family was uniquely qualified to hold both titles - first, in his prime, as a leader and a fighter for a nation of people who were begging to be heard, begging to be helped in a perpetual nightmare, and more often than not a deadly losing battle with which would later be known to the world as HIV/AIDS.
Everyone and anyone who knew John (Johnny) Gizinski knew of his battle too. I always knew Johnny's political views and he was happy to share them - like it or not. Johnny was quite colorful in his conversations - even when he was ticking you off, you couldn't help to laugh at his humor. those that knew him know exactly where I am coming from.
Recently my mother (Janet - Johnny's sister) shared with me some of Johnny's accomplishments. No, not in the form of newspaper articles, the sports page or anything like that - real stuff - documents with headers for major offices in the local community as well as nationally: The City of Baltimore, Baltimore CIty Counsel, Senate of Maryland, JHU School of Medicine, Chase-Brexton Clinic, The United States House of Representatives, The House of Delegates and ultimately the White House. Why did Johnny have communication with these offices??
Here's a partial list of Johnny's involvement in his community - his fight - his efforts on the front line in his battle for all of us!
Johnny served on the board of directors for H.E.R.O.
...serving and supporting H.E.R.O programs and fund-raising efforts
..served on the tenth anniversary committee
...served as Chairperson to the HERO 5K Aidswalk '94 AND received a plaque of recognition.
..participated in training for HIV Support group facilitators
Ryan White Title I: Baltimore Metropolitan HIV Health Services Planning Counsel
...served as alternate member of Counsel
People with Aids (PWA) Coalition
..served as member of board of directors.
..provided peer counseling to both recently-diagnosed and long-term infected individuals.
..participates in Kids' Christmas Project for Children with HIV
QUALITY OF LIFE (Maryland largest support and information group for people living with HIV disease.
.."Facilitator" No kidding
- represented Organizations at the education seminars (e.g., Johns Hopkins Hospital Clinical Care for Patients with HIV Infection).
Johnny participated in the early development of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore (GLCCB)
Johnny also participated in coordination of local efforts to organize Clinton/Gore campaign among gays and lesbians. He organized voter registration teams, worked the polls on election day and Increased voter turnout.
Johnny was busy to say the least. It's hard to imagine how he found the strength to fight his own battle and everyone else's. Probably a bit of that psycho polish blood in him. Yep - it's apparently a family thing!
John has a host of letters and nominations which supported him for Appointment to the National Aids Commission. Umm, that's a BIG DEAL!! Most of these letters are addressed by high ranking local, state and national officials. Most of the letters are addressed to the Attention of President Bill Clinton. Johnny actually shook hands and had words with Al Gore. I would have liked to have a few words with Al Gore but that's another story. I'll bet dollars to donuts that there are people in my family that don't even know this about Johnny.
One thing we all knew was that Johnny was sick - but even so, he fought for all of us.
My mother is the one who nicknamed Johnny the Certifiable One. Johnny was on a mission - you cannot accomplish the goals Johnny set out to accomplish without at least appearing a bit off the rails. His rails took him many places. He met many people and touch the lives of those who knew him and those who didn't. Thinking about it - his work just might be part of the reason "you" or your children are here today. Even the little things you do today can touch the lives of those who are not yet even a thought.
My wife Lorena and my Mother-In-law Librada have volunteered at the Moveable Feast the last couple of years, delivering food to families on Holiday such as Thanksgiving. Librada is the one who turned me on to the idea of the Ride for the Feast. Thanks for that Librada! I've come to learn more about my uncle since signing up for this cause, although it would seem I am getting a late start at getting involved. We should all learn more from the women in our families - speaking of which...
My mother is one of those who simply does everything she can for her family - she is the Mother Theresa and if you need anything she's prepared to harbor us all. She is always on her way to help someone. It would seem she and Johnny are quite alike in their own ways. I found a letter that Johnny wrote to my mother - in it he mentioned how much love and support she provided to him. He mentioned love and support three times in that letter. If you knew Johnny you knew that meant what he said and he didn't have to say it twice - if he had to say it twice he was trying to convince you that he was right - three times! he need to make sure you knew he was right. He was right.
I remember (after Johnny's death) seeing a bike in his basement, ....not one you could actualy ride in an event like the Ride for the Feast - I don't know if I would have trusted it for a ride around the block - it really was a piece of *work* - but in all his efforts I can only image the number of miles he must have walked for all of us ...daily!
In the past Johnny walked for you and I. This year I will ride for Johnny and I will ride for your family. After all, one would have to be a bit Certifiable to ride 140 miles....especially to leave the sands of Ocean City to the streets of Baltimore City :)