Ganesh Shenoy is close to completing a goal he set before the pandemic: Ride 1,000 miles in 30 days between New York City and Amway World Headquarters to raise funds and awareness for Easterseals® Michigan.
After launching what he’s dubbed The Epic Bike Ride on July 30 from Freedom Park in Manhattan, the amateur cyclist pedaled through the beautiful vistas of upstate New York to Niagara Falls and across Canada to Sarnia where this week he arrived in his home state of Michigan.
The Amway Independent Business Owner was inspired to raise money in this “epic” way because he wanted others to share in the joy of giving back to society.
“I learned this very late,” Ganesh said for an earlier story about his ride. “I was so aggressively building the business that I didn’t pay a lot of attention to giving back. … I started to ask myself, ‘What could I do to not only inspire myself, but also inspire other IBOs to get involved?’”
Delayed by COVID
His original plan to complete the ride in August 2020 was nixed because of the pandemic, but he’s been completing virtual rides with others and planning for this year’s trip all while raising money toward his goal of $500,000 for Easterseals.
Along his journey he and his team have been sharing photos and messages on Facebook® and Instagram®, including learnings and insights he’s gained along the way after seeing different parts of the country.
“I learned to appreciate life much more,” Ganesh said in a video during a stop outside of Rochester, New York. “Sometimes we are always thinking about a bigger car, a bigger home—materialistic things.
“But I truly believe that happiness doesn’t come from materialistic things, it comes from your journey in life. It comes from your pursuit, your dream, your willingness to give back to people. And that is where true happiness comes from. It has been a great experience.”
While in Canada, the bikers stopped in London, Ontario, for a warm welcome from the folks at Amway Canada and a tour Camp Woodeden, a camp for children with disabilities run by Easterseals Canada. It was a reminder of the reason Ganesh is doing what he’s doing.
“My family and I have not personally been impacted by autism, but as I drop my children off at school, I see families who have been impacted and I am amazed at their strength and grace,” Ganesh said. “I want to help. I am not a professional athlete, but I’ve put in hours and hours of training to help raise awareness and funds for Easterseals Michigan’s autism services and share with those in need.”
Easterseals welcomes the gift
Brent Wirth, president and CEO of Easterseals Michigan, said fundraising is critical to their mission of creating life changing solutions for those with autism and their families.
“Ganesh is donating valuable time and physically exerting himself to help raise awareness and we cannot thank him enough,” Brent said. “Not all heroes wear capes, some wear cycling helmets.”
A portion of the funds raised through Ganesh’s efforts also will support homeless veterans. So far Ganesh and his team of riders have raised more than $66,000 toward his goal. You can follow the team’s progress and see photos from their journey on Facebook and Instagram.
And to support their efforts and help them reach their goal, donate through the Easterseals web page dedicated to the ride. And watch for more coverage of Ganesh’s journey when he arrives at his destination of Amway World Headquarters in Ada.
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