Posted by: aidshike | May 27, 2013

Help is on its way – feeling hopeful and productive!

Dear Shelly,

Today I had the amazing experience of taking AIDS HIKE to another level. I had two friends: Rolande, a close friend I have known for almost a decade, and Madison, a relatively new friend <who has an amazing blog here – that I will add when I find it :~( > jump on board and join me for an amazing first meeting. Over the last month they both agreed to meet with me with the AIDS HIKE project and shared ways they may be able to help. We finally had a time today scheduled to do so! Heck yeh!

I have files and files that I have put together for the last 4 months that I have started to organize and had To Do lists in 3 places. I began to organize them at my parent’s house today (ok, Sunday) … after the INDY 500.

My dad and I have a yearly ritual where we watch the race together. He grew up in Indiana and he and my mom went to college there (lets go Indiana University Hoosiers!) and still has family there. Twice – when I was working for him around 2001 – we actually went together, as he had TV producers that worked for him that worked there that had contacts locally, so we sat in the fancy suites and visited pit row.

They call it the largest spectacle on earth for a reason. There have been as many as 300,000 people there … yes Three Hundred Thousand! That’s bigger than the biggest football stadium in the U.S. times three!! This year the race was won by Tony Kanaan, a HUGE sentimental favorite of the fans, because – at 38 – he had come in 2nd, 3rd (2 times), 4th & 5th, but never won. We soaked in the results. After watching all these “near misses” I have come to feel his pain.

My dad and I have a contest every year to pick the top ten finishers …and my mom chimes in … usually AFTER the race has started…. This year my mom won (AGAIN – argh) with picking the winner, plus most top ten finishers. I don’t know how she does it.

But I digress, where was I … yes, there it is, I was at my parents place and had packed a full bag of files. I gathered up all my notes and files and prepared for a meeting. I put together pages:  a business plan, board of directors, board of advisors, expenses, income, staffing and how to use interns, and more … plus 4 pages of To Do’s.

Then I bounced it all off of my parents at which point the heat was cranked up. My dad has been a successful entrepreneur for 4 decades; including over 25 years in the TV business – selling documentaries. He is a tough sell. He asks demanding questions and doesn’t cut me any slack. He is an awesome resource but to be honest has stymied and frustrated me recently, pushing me to get an accountant (where is the money coming from and going!!) and build a Board of Directors. My mom is a very, very successful Music Therapist who has managed a private practice for over 50 years and is my top cheerleader and support! They make a great team of caring parents and great help for the project.

The fact that I have already consulted an accountant and have a list of about a dozen people for the board already picked out helps. They both have actually helped me build a prospective list. – both those I know will be on it and some dream team hopefuls…retired entrepreneurs, two doctors specializing in HIV/AIDS, two potential accountants, legal reps, family and two friends from high school – one who IS an accountant and the other who is a professor at Peabody Conservatory in my hometown of Baltimore and a very successful entrepreneur, etc.

So in consulting my CPA friend I was challenged to do two things:

  • Start my 1023 application to become a 501(c)3 – an extremely daunting task I have now learned – and
  • Start generating cash flow. The time for this is coming!!!

The website is up and ready to be launched as I am waiting to set up the Donation page, deciding whether to use PayPal or my bank to receive and process donations.

You can already donate by check. <Shameless promotion>

Mailed to: AIDSHIKE, Box 7605, Gwynn Oak, MD, 21207 –

Checks payable to AIDS HIKE.

So I am close to starting to aggressively reach out for donations and get the cash flow rolling, by the thousands I hope! I have a budget of what needs to be raised for startup costs that I am working on and some particular expenses that are on the horizon.

My parents worked with me to organize things and really chart things out. Then I picked up Rolande and we went to Madison’s house. Turns out we met for 4 hours, plus then I talked to Rolande for almost on an hour on the way to her place…. And then my brain was still whirling the whole hour ride home back here to Baltimore.

We accomplished so much. We started off introducing ourselves to each other, and both of their histories make them such ideal people to help with this project. I will explain this more in the future (with their permission) So then the four hours just went by so quickly. I will document more from this meeting in another post, but for now, it is almost 5 am and I am still glowing. I will grab my cat now and head for bed. What a great day. I am inspired and feel motivated and blessed to have others who are as interested about the AIDS HIKE project as I am. Great things are starting to happen and I sense that I will be working more and more and accomplishing things at a very productive pace… Stay Tuned!!!

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