My name is Christian Butler. I originally came to America from England in the summer of 1995 to work as a counselor. Since my days at camp I have continued to be involved with helping to bring out the best in youth by participating in programs such as the Quad City Morning Optimist Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Another passion of mine is cycling. I started cycling seriously in my late teens when I lived in England, and approximately five years ago I decided to take up cycling again with my wife. Together, we joined the Quad City bicycle club.
I have always wanted to do something special to benefit youth, so in March of 2020, I will be cycling across America to raise funds to send underprivileged children to Camp Shalom Christian Camp, located in Maquoketa, IA, for a week of resident camp. Children will be selected from local Quad City youth organizations that the Optimist Club have been working with and supporting throughout the years. As a former camp counselor, I know what a positive impact resident camp can have on a child. Camp brings out the best in kids; it helps them identify their strengths and their weaknesses, teaches them to work together within a team environment and helps them grow as an individual, not to mention it creates wonderful memories that last a lifetime. It is my belief that every child should have the opportunity to experience camp regardless of their financial means.
My challenge will be to cycle 3,200 miles across the southern tier of the United States. I will begin in San Diego, CA and head East across a total of eight states to complete the ride in St. Augustine, FL. I will have no support vehicle as this will be a self-contained ride, which means I will be carrying all my gear on my bicycle. The journey is expected to take me approximately two months to complete. When the Quad City Morning Optimist Club heard about my endeavor, they were eager to get involved and be a part of the journey in some way, so they have committed to matching donations up to the amount of $9,000.
I am so proud to be an Optimist Club member and for the positive impact they have on the lives of so many youths within our community.
My goal is to raise $25,000 to send 100 children to camp over the next several years. You should also know that I will be funding the entire ride myself so 100% of your donation will be going toward sponsoring a child to attend camp. I would like to thank you in advance for your contribution, together we can make a difference in the life of a child and in our community.