For most people, cycling nearly 100 miles in a day would be considered a significant accomplishment worthy of an extended rest.
For San Diego philanthropist Bill Geppert, that was just a typical day on his epic 3,500-mile journey across the United States.
Committed to Philanthropy
To know Bill is to know the power of giving. Bill is a champion for others and his cycling journey across the U.S. is another example of how he gives his heart and soul (as well as sweat!) to helping underserved individuals.
Six years ago, Bill retired from a 35-year career in the communications industry working for companies such as Cox Communications. Since that date, Bill has been a mainstay in San Diego’s nonprofit community, serving on multiple Boards, giving through his fund at The San Diego Foundation and helping out with numerous charitable projects.
During his retirement party, two of his close friends, Duane Roth and Bill Walton, challenged him to cycle from San Francisco back to San Diego for Challenged Athletes Foundation. Bill quickly accepted and the rest, as they say, is history.
For years, Bill has helped Challenged Athletes Foundation grow its impact to support those with physical challenges so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.
His latest charitable action came in the form of a cycling journey most wouldn’t even dream of.
Journey to Help Others
On April 16, 2017, Bill and his wife Amy set out on the daunting challenge to cycle from the west coast of Oregon to the east coast of Maine. The journey served as a way to remember their good friend Duane, who was killed in a cycling accident in 2013, as well as raise money for the nonprofit organization close to Bill’s heart – Challenged Athletes Foundation.
“What these amazing athletes achieve and mentally push through is so much more than what I will ever accomplish,” expressed Bill. “Meeting and getting to know these incredible and inspiring people has pushed me through many days when the hill seemed too steep or my legs were too tired to carry on.”
Along the way, Bill and his wife Amy met more than 50 athletes from around the country who have been touched by the Challenged Athletes Foundation. One of those athletes is a young woman in Maine named Keegan.
“Keegan is a winsome, articulate young woman who has lived her life without her right hand,” wrote Amy. “Keegan was very shy until she had the opportunity to attend Camp No Limits.”
Camp No Limits is a place that educates and empowers young people with limb loss to discover and develop a healthy, happy and independent lifestyle.
Amy shared, “Keegan and her family have become involved as volunteers and she now mentors campers and aspires to run a camp someday. She is no longer shy, but an outspoken advocate for others who have dealt with similar challenges. She is involved in a number of sports, but her next goal is the Trek Across Maine with her dad.”
As Bill explained, “Many individuals with physical challenges have said the opportunity to participate in sports transformed their lives so they can now inspire others who are facing serious injuries or are dealing with debilitating physical challenges.”
The funds raised from Bill’s journey went directly to provide grants for equipment and prosthetics that enable these people to re-engage in sports.
For example, Challenged Athletes Foundation provided the grant support that enabled Keegan to purchase a bike and start pursuing her cycling goal.
Support Challenged Athletes
Not everyone can cycle across the country, but we all can leave a significant impact.
As Amy shared, “we thank you for your thoughtful and generous contributions that will go far in changing many lives. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Join Bill, Amy and other San Diegans by giving to Challenged Athletes Foundation to help increase self-esteem, encourage independence and enhance quality of life among individuals with physical challenges.