Written by Totally Buffalo Contributor, Taylor Kickbush
Have you ever been so passionate about a cause that you’d bike 4,200 miles for it?
Most of us can probably vouch that riding a couple thousand miles in a vehicle is trying, let alone hopping on a bicycle to pedal for approximately 25 days straight. That’s why Jay Blanchard’s story sparks important conversation:
Jay is not participating in the Trans America Bike Race, the longest unsupported race in the world, for the fame, recognition, or even the exercise benefits. He’s biking from Astoria, Oregon, to Yorktown, Virginia, to raise awareness and donations for an organization called the American Widow Project (AWP). AWP is a nonprofit with a humble goal: to enhance emotional support and education for individuals who’ve lost their partners during their time serving in the military.
After serving in the U.S. Air Force for seven years as a Space Operations Officer and returning to Buffalo, Jay decided to continue helping others. He’s a wealth manager for The Financial Guys in Williamsville, N.Y., and an advocate for assisting those in need, especially military widows. Thus, he registered for the Trans America Bike Race, and his Ride 4 Widows fundraiser to support AWP transpired thereafter.
“My brothers in arms gave the ultimate sacrifice and I will not leave their wives and families behind. We have the responsibility and obligation to help these women and children who, through no choice of their own, gave the sacrifice of their husbands and fathers,” Jay shared.
Since announcing his Ride 4 Widows fundraiser, Jay has raised more than $1,700. His goal is to reach $100,000 with help from people all over the world.
So, when you’re enjoying your Saturday morning on June 2, imagine the story of a veteran from Buffalo who’s preparing to bike more than 100 miles per day for almost an entire month. We’re sending him some Buffalove for his ultra-endurance race that supports a selfless cause, and to the military widows that he will honor today, tomorrow, and always.
If you would like to help Jay with his mission
- The donor link is: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/ride-4-widows-fundraiser1/jayblanchard
- You can also write a check to The American Widow Project:
The Financial Guys
6631 Main Street
Williamsville, NY 14221
Good luck, Jay. What an amazing thing to do! Thank you for your service and for caring for others who’ve lost so much.