Thanks for helping us hit a grand slam!

Posted by on Jul 29 in RAGBRAI

There’s no crying in baseball… or cycling!

We made it! 425 miles across northern Iowa. I must say, this trip made me fall in love with Iowa all over again (I truly did fall once – photo evidence!). Someone asked me during the ride, “How could you ever move from this beautiful state? The people are the most genuine and kind people I’ve ever met.” I couldn’t agree more, and I asked myself that question many times during this adventure.

This year’s RAGBRAI was called the Small Town Classic. We travelled through some of the most beautiful small towns In Iowa. We also saw many of the state’s fabulous lakes: Okoboji, Clear Lake and Crystal Lake to name a few. We rode through Amish country on the last couple of days, and many of them were sitting outside waving to us as we pedaled by. We enjoyed whoopie pie and ice cream from their roadside stands.

Speaking of food… One might assume we would lose weight during this week. Thanks to the never-ending supply of pies available in every town, Mr. Porkchop, Farm Boys breakfast, Beekman’s Homemade Ice Cream, Maid-Rite, and all the pizza, burgers, beer, chicken on a stick, etc., I did manage to come home with a few extra pounds. Comfort food at its finest!

Traveling through the small towns and seeing how they were the lucky ones to survive tornadoes and floods made me appreciate Build Our Ballpark all the more. Several schools have had to consolidate as towns shrink, and one can see where some of their athletic facilities have taken a back seat.

Build Our Ballpark was born out of a Waterloo school’s dream to have a ball field, and its continued work on 14 other fields has helped boost youth baseball and softball participation in the city by more than 30%. I know this organization is ready to help other communities boost that number, too. If you know of a town that needs help figuring out where to start, send them to our website!

The 2014 Team BOB was a great group of people from the Chicago area. Some of the finest people I’ve ever met. I can’t thank them enough for proudly wearing the Team BOB jerseys and supporting the foundation my dad started six years ago.

Many people commented to us that they were familiar with Bob Hellman and his generous contributions to their communities through Build Our Ballpark. We were flooded with positive comments all week long. We especially loved hearing the, “Go, BOB!” hollers as we cycled down the road.

I can’t thank you enough for following along on this journey. I’m thrilled to say more than $14,000 has been given since we announced our ride! Your generosity is overwhelming. If you have yet to donate and want to show one last surge of support for the killer hills we climbed on the last day, here is how. Until next year…

-Roz Weis