How it All Started

It all started in August of 07, my Dad was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, my Mom had breast cancer, as well as my Grandfather and Grandmother on my Dad’s side.  So, you could say at the age of 43 I now understood there was a sense of urgency, a target on my back so to speak.  I sent into livestrong.com and asked to be a grass roots sponsor and start the Charleston Ride for Hope.  I incorporated the ride and then sat on it wondering if I wanted to undertake this new challenge, recently married in the spring of 08, watched my father pass away in February, Mom declining daily due to stroke, a lot on my plate to consider.

Then on a bike ride on a Spring day with my good friend Joe Calandra, I ran the idea by him.  Never one to step away from a challenge, Joe mentioned the passing of Jerry Zucker (same day I got married).  “We can do this Dawson and do it well”, the next hour of the ride as we toured the islands, we planned it out.  Here goes ……

With a lot of support, encouragement, friends, sponsors, a great group of volunteers and I am sure some divine inspiration we did our first Ride for Hope.  What a great day it turned out to be, cool, clear, crisp and no wind, 140 riders, almost $90,000 raised in our first year.  Thanks to all of you those I know well and those I don’t.  It was one of the greatest days of my life…

Here’s to you, again, another year the Charleston Jerry Zucker Ride for Hope!!Enjoy ride safe and smart, and remember you are riding for someone else today.

– Dawson Cherry