We are Mike Mariani and Devin McLaughlin, two 16 year olds from the small towns of Spofford and Chesterfield, New Hampshire. We are both students at Keene High School in the quaint town of Keene, New Hampshire. We are writing to you today to share how we are planning to complete a cross-country bicycle journey in the summer of 2020. We are riding for suicide prevention. Our trip will start in Yorktown, Virginia, and carry westward across the country until we reach San Francisco, California. We will be riding on two of Adventure Cycling Association’s bike routes, the Trans America Trail as well as the Western Express Trail. We are riding for suicide prevention because Mike’s brother, Nathan, died by suicide at the young age of 16, in 2018. Nate was a funny, joyful guy who no one would’ve suspected to be struggling on the inside. This unfortunately happens all too often in the U.S. as suicide rates are much higher than we would like them to be. We will be riding in honor of Nate as well as to inspire those who may be struggling with anxiety and depression. We hope to inspire and show that long roads can lead to beautiful destinations.
Every day, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide. (Center for Disease Control) There is one death by suicide in the US every 13 minutes. (CDC) Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC) Suicide takes the lives of over 41,000 Americans every year. (CDC)
Our fundraising goal is $20,000. We would like to raise awareness and donations for The Samaritans, a non-profit 501©3 charitable organization. The mission of The Samaritans is to reduce the incidence and impact of suicide. They provide anonymous suicide crisis hotlines, prevention programs/trainings and support for those who’ve lost a friend or loved one to suicide. Our expenses will be food, shelter, and gear as well as gas for the chase vehicle along our 72-day journey. We are lucky to have great family members that have stepped up to staff the support vehicle along different legs of the trip. They will be within our area along the ride in case of emergencies and to check up with us regularly.
To turn our dream into a reality we’re asking for the generosity of the amazing companies, like yours, to help support our RIDE and suicide prevention. We are extremely in need of monetary donations, sponsorships, products for auction and/or use and any encouragement at your location or through social, print or traditional media. Raising awareness is critical to our mission.
In exchange for your donation, you will receive recognition in all available event materials. We will be sharing media posts documenting our efforts and adventures along the way. If you wish for your donation to be tax-deductible, you can make it directly to The Samaritans and a receipt with their tax ID number will be mailed to you for your records. Donations can be mailed or made in person at any Savings Bank of Walpole branch.
Pedaling For Prevention
c/o Savings Bank of Walpole
PO Box 744 Keene, NH 03431
25 Roxbury Street Office #113
Keene, NH 03431