Grand Island – 0 Miles

July 13, 2010

Day two in Grand Island started off with an incredible breakfast sponsored by Arby’s, complete with biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, and french toast sticks. Once finished, we headed off to our first friendship visit, with a summer school for kids with disabilities. I jumped in right away with one of the kids who was sat at his table playing with blocks. I soon found out that he was nonverbal, but still managed to communicate with him through our interactions. Once he got tired of playing with the blocks, I found out that he really likes it when he gets to play in soapy water. The teacher filled up a small tub that he could splash his hands in, and added just a bit of dish soap. I soon found out that if I filled up one of the rubber fish up with water, and squirted it on his hands, I could get him to laugh and smile all day.

Our next stop was the park that started the partnership between the Journey of Hope and the Grand Island Ladies. The three ladies came together 20 yearsago because the all had children with disabilities, and made it their mission to build a barrier free playground. It just happened that the Journey of Hope was coming through town at just the right time, and came to the dedication of the newly constructed park. That dedication was the start of a new friendship that has lasted over the years.

At the park, we met with several groups of people with disabilities, and had a chance to try out some of the accessible playground equipment. I also had my first Television debut at the park. I’m going to try to post a link to the news segment if I can find it online.

We finally had a little time off, and headed back to the hotel for some Runza sandwiches, and a little rest and relaxation. After a bit of recovery we headed back to the park for one last friendship visit in Grand Island. We had a great dinner in the park, and made a lot of new friends. Before leaving, we put on one of our kids on the block puppet shows.

At the end of the evening we had one more surprise; the ladies had been working on some slide shows over the last few days with pictures from our visit, and some from the many years past. It was pretty cool to see pictures from the first time I came through here in 2002.

Unfortunately, Sue, Tammy, and Andrea have decided that 19 years of support has been long enough, and are passing on the torch for the next team. I’m glad I came back to the ride when I did, and had the chance to spend one more stop here with these great sponsors.

There was a video here, but it no longer exists.
There is still the news article at
If anyone finds the video, please tell me and I will add it back in. You can email me at:

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