By Peggy Hayes, Dignity/Boston President
One of Dignity/Boston’s most popular LGBTQ Pride t-shirts reads: “Out for a Better World,” and that was the motto of more than 30 members of the community on September 17-18 when they hit the road and walkways of Massachusetts.
Chapter teams participated in the 14th annual Harbor to the Bay fundraising bicycle ride to benefit four Massachusetts HIV/AIDS organizations, and walked in the Boston Arthritis Walk “with smiles on their faces and love in their hearts,” as locally-famous training ride leader Bobby Mac would say. Both efforts raised funds and awareness for research, treatment and advocacy. The ride this year was infused with the memory of the attack on the Pulse LGBTQ club in Orlando – with a poignant tribute to the Orlando community on the ride jersey, and recognition in both the opening and closing ceremonies.
The Cardinal Sins, Dignity/Boston’s cycling team and crew was 29 members strong. Six cyclists from Dignity/Boston rode a 126-mile route from Boston to Provincetown, or a 62-mile route halfway. And 23 crew volunteers fulfilled a range of functions from serving on the steering committee (a year-round commitment) to serving as route guides, pit stop organizers, and providing rider safety and support.
Collectively, the Cardinal Sins riders and crew have raised more than $12,574 through individual outreach for sponsorship and a second collection at liturgy. Harbor to the Bay, which delivers every penny of donated funds directly to the AIDS organizations without taking a slice for administration, is closing in on its ambitious $500,000 goal with donations being sought through the end of the year. This is the Boston chapter’s tenth year participating in Harbor to the Bay, and the Cardinal Sins got a shout out in the closing ceremonies as a top-performing team.
With approximately one fourth of the chapter involved in Harbor to the Bay on Saturday September 17, the chapter was also represented in the Sunday, September 18 Boston Arthritis Walk raising more than $1,200. Both of these efforts have become embedded in the culture of the chapter. New members are encouraged to participate in one of them as a way to get to know other members of the community, and many in the broader LGBTQ community know Dignity/Boston through its commitment to these causes – out for a better world, indeed.