My name is Siri Gillespie and this will be my second year Riding for Ryther. Before last year I hadn't really ridden a bike since my days adventuring around rural Alaska as a child. At this point, I can definitively say that cycling has truly changed my life.
I've worked for Ryther for over 3 years now, first as a Behavioral Specialist and now as the Assistant Program Supervisor at Cottage C in the sub-acute care program. My experience there has given me more than I thought a job ever could. Over the course of the last three years I've learned and grown so much from the exceptional professionals I've worked with and the incredible children whose lives I've gotten to be a part of. I've been inspired by my coworkers and clients alike to change for the better, cycling included. I now ride my bike as a means of transportation, meditation, exercise, and self-care. It's become an integral part of my mental and physical health and I couldn't imagine my life without it. I also couldn't imagine cycling being a part of my life without the inspiration of my colleagues and clients at Ryther.
This year I am participating for the Ride for Ryther to set an example for my clients. I want them to look at me and see that a dedicated mind and spirit can accomplish anything. I've started encorporating cycling into the therapeutic milieu by taking clients on afternoon rides around the city on Wednesday afternoons. I've been able to share my passion with the kids and they have, in return, shared their struggles and triumphs with me. Through cycling they gain a sense of focus, self-awareness, and physical and emotional harmony. They begin to associate the process of tackling challenges with the elated feeling of accomplishment. They understand the value of exercise as a means of catharsis and experience intentional physical exaustion as a means of relaxation. I've also begun to share my story of Riding for Ryther with the children so that they may know that even when they think they have no one, there are people who truly care for them.
Each day I become more grateful for the work I get to do at Ryther, and each day I become more passionate about sharing these experiences with my community. By donating to my cause you will be providing for the mental health services needed to help a child or family heal from extreme trauma. By supporting me in my endeavor to raise money and awareness for Ryther, you inspire me and the children of Ryther to hold dear the values of perseverence, resilience, and service to others.
For that, we thank you.
About the Ride for Ryther
Now in its third year, the Ride for Ryther has grown to a team of 11 including 6 Ryther staff members, John Gonzales, Siri Gillespie, Robin Bennett, Becky Hutton, Marbie Descatamiento and Colin Powers, and some community supporters. The team will be cycling the 202 miles from Seattle to Portland July 12-13 to raise awareness and funds to support Ryther's programs.
This year, donations made to Ride for Ryther will go towards Specific Assistance, a fund that provides specific activities and items for the children in our Sub Acute Residential Treatment Program:
$50 would purchase new outfits for a child's adoption photo shoot
$100 would provide therapeutic yoga classes for all children for one month
$250 would allow five kids to attend a week-long summer camp of their choice
Ryther is a leader in behavioral health services for children, teens and youth - some of the most vulnerable in Washington state. Those they serve have often been affected by abuse, neglect, mental illness, addiction or trauma.
Ryther is dedicated to providing comprehensive services and innovative treatments so that every child and family they work with may experience new ways of thinking, develop positive relationships and realize a better life.
The team is riding as part of the large Group Health STP ride: http://www.cascade.org/ride-major-rides/group-health-stp
Visit Ryther's website for more info: www.ryther.org