A message from the Connecticut Burns Care Foundation

Ryan and Dwight hope to raise $10,000 to support the burn camp, which will host 70 children between the ages of 8 and 18. They are determined to reach the West Coast as a personal challenge as well as helping young burn survivors.

Started in 1991, the Arthur C. Luf Children's Burn Camp is located in northern Connecticut on 176 acres. Every summer, burn survivors come to the burn camp, which is a safe and fun environment that helps kids heal emotionally and physically. The Burn Camp is free to the children, who come primarily from the Northeast and some foreign counteries, but any burn survivor child anywhere is welcome. More than 70 adult counselors, primarily active and retired firefighters and burn unit nurses, occupational and physical therapists, child psychologists and even a doctor will serve as mentors for the week.

It's also our goal to promote burn awareness and fire prevention and education, which we do year around. We sponsor a burn survivor, burned in a car accident that involved speeding and drinking alcohol, who speaks to high school students throughout Connecticut. We also support the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital, helping to purchase equipment.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Emden, IL

We were pedaling hard all day through the unending, western IL corn maze until a small town called Emden, as dusk approached. We decided it would be our home for the night. (Emden is a very small town in IL, the population is only about 600.) It was about 9:00pm when we entered the town, looking for a place to stay, and no one was to be found.
We checked the fire station and that was empty but we saw some trucks parked outside a small bar in the center of town. Dwight and I went in and started talking with some of the locals at the bar. One man, Owen, bought us both a beer and told us some information about the town. He said that everyone in town, who was still up, was at the community house for a town meeting, across the street from the fire house. We thanked Owen and said goodbye to everyone else in the bar.
We then went over to the community house. (We had no documentation on us about our trip, so I first felt a bit uneasy about barging into a town hall meeting with bike shorts on trying to explain ourselves...) We walked in the back door, which we were told to and there everyone was, about 25 guys sitting around drinking beers. I kind of tripped over my words but eventually got the point across and to our surprisement and luck, one of the guys had heard about our trip.

The Community House

They let us stay in the community house for the night which had an a/c. A couple of guys from the crew even came back with some food for us. They also told the local restaurant, Garber's, that we would be passing by in the morning. When we did stop by in the morning, our breakfast was free.

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