The Tenderness Tour

One Man, One Wheelchair - A Peaceful Home for Every Child

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The 25th Anniversary Tenderness Tour: October 1-13, 2014

 In celebration of the Tenderness Tour's 25th Anniversary in 2014, on October 1st (my birthday!) I'll kick off what I am announcing as my final long-distance Tenderness Tour with a series of events throughout Northern Indiana. After much contemplation over how best to do this tour, I decided I wanted to create an event that celebrates my home state of Indiana. Thus, I will start in Lake County, Indiana and will follow a path all the way back to Indianapolis BUT instead of simply wheeling along the highways I will be organizing events on officially designated biking and hiking trails in each county I visit. I'll actually put in more mileage, but will be able to do more effective outreach and have my own health/safety be a bit more easily tracked. Here's the plan for the 25th Anniversary Tenderness Tour!

  • September 30, 2014 (Arrive in Lake County)
    Road Crew:
    Cheri Herron Driving from Indianapolis to Lake County to Arrive approx. 8pm.
    Care Team: Still needed
    Local Volunteers: Valerie Lambert, Marie Siroky, CJ Siroky
    Overnight Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn, Merrillville
    Special Events:
    Pre-Tour Planning
  • October 1, 2014: Day 1 (Start at 11 am)
    Trail: Prairie-Duneland Trail (Lake, Porter Counties)
    Route Starting Point: Hobart Mayor's Office then Corner of Hobart & Cleveland in Hobart
    Ending Point: South 15th Street Trail head in Chesterton
    Road Crew (1-2 People): CJ Siroky
    Care Team:Still needed
    Local Volunteers: Valerie Lambert, Marie Siroky, CJ Siroky
    Overnight Accommodations in Chesterton or LaPorte: Hampton Inn ) Sponsored by Porter County Child Abuse Prevention Council
    Appearances: 7:00 Pm, Valparaiso University in the Community Room @ Christopher Center Library, Sponsored by Kappa Delta Sorority; Meeting w/Hobart Mayor Snedecor at 11am

  • October 2, 2014: Day 2 (Start at 9am)
    Trail: Michigan City Loop (LaPorte, Porter Counties)

    Starting Point and Ending Point: LaPorte Mayor's Office then LaPorte County Visitors Center
    Road Crew: CJ Siroky
    Care Team: S
    till needed
    Local Volunteers:
    Valerie Lambert
    Overnight Accommodations in Michigan City Area:
    Comfort Inn, Michigan City
    Meeting w/Michigan City Mayor Meer (Time pending)

  • October 3, 2014: Day 3 (Start at 9am)
    Roseland to South Bend to Mishawaka (Est. just shy of 20 miles)
    Exact Route: Starting at Darden Road (and Dixie Way) to Riverside Trail to Angela Boulevard to East Bank Rail Trail to East Bank Walkway to Northside Riverwalk to Mishawaka Riverwalk and end at St. Joseph River Dam. Try to visit both South Bend & Mishawaka Mayor. 
    Road Crew:  CJ Siroky/Betty Kelsey (from Mishawaka to Middlebury)
    Care Team:
    Still Needed
    Local Volunteers:
    Still Needed
    Overnight Accommodations in Elkhart/Goshen/Middlebury Area:
    Das Essenhaus Inn (Sponsored by Kelsey Family)
    Events/Appearances: Essenhaus Inn Banquet, 6pm for Anabaptist Disabilities Network; Contact w/St. Joseph Child Abuse Prevention Council

  • October 4, 2014: Day 4 (Start at 9am)
    Elkhart County's
    l including Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, and Shipshewana. Approximately 25 miles.
    Starting Point: Ox Bow Park in Elkhart;
    Ending Point: County Road 850, .6 miles outside of Shipshewana
    Road Crew: Reyna Patino
    Care Team:
    EJ Miranda
    Local Volunteers:
    Melissa Troyer
    Overnight Accommodations in Elkhart/Goshen/Middlebury Area:
    Farmstead Inn, Shipshewana (Sponsored by Kelsey Family)
    Memorial Tree in Middlebury (Details Pending); Groups joining for tour at Elkhart and Goshen.

  • October 5, 2014: Day 5 (Start at 9am)
    Warsaw, Indiana -
    Lake City Greenway; Heritage Trail, Winona Lake -
    Starting Point: Warsaw Mayor's Office & Provident Drive
    Ending Point: Winona Lake
    Road Crew: Still needed (Karen Roberts-Sare can pick up at end)
    Care Team:
    Still needed
    Overnight Accommodations in Warsaw or N. Manchester:
    Middlebury Church of the Brethren - Middlebury, IN for Sunday School

  • October 6, 2014: Day 6 (Start at 9am)
    Wabash County Bike Trail (Section from N. Manchester, Indiana to Wabash, IN).
    Starting Point: Kenapochomocha Coffee Shop in North Manchester
    Ending Point: Wabash City Hall - 16 miles
    Road Crew: Karen Roberts Sare
    Care Team:
    Still needed
    Overnight Accommodations in Wabash:
    1:30pm meeting w/Mayor VanLandingham

  • October 7, 2014: Day 7 (Start at 9am)
    Sweetser to Marion to Gas City on Cardinal Greenway
    Exact Route: Sweetser Switch Trail to 14th Street to Miller Avenue to 14th Street to Water Avenue
    Road Crew: Karen Roberts-Sare to get to starting point
    Road Crew/Care Team: Andie Redwine
    Overnight Accommodations in Marion, Gas City, or Kokomo: Comfort Inn, Kokomo

  • October 8, 2014: Day 8 (Start at 9am)
    Kokomo's "Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence" and "Industrial Heritage Trail"  - Approximately 10 miles.
    Starting Point: Kokomo Mayor's Office then Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence
    Ending Point:
    Industrial Heritage Trail
    Road Crew/CareTeam:
    Andie Redwine
    Overnight Accommodations in Kokomo or Frankfort: Comfort Inn, Kokomo

  • October 9, 2014: Day 9 (Start at 9am)
    Frankfort, Indiana's Wesley Manor Trail, Eastside Park Trail, and Circle Park Trail. Mileage just over 17 miles.
    Starting Point: Frankfort Mayor's Office then Wesley Manor
    Ending Point: Circle Park Trail
    Road Crew:
    Karla Kincade
    Care Team:
    Anne Burget
    Local Volunteers: Victor Smith
    Overnight Accommodations in Frankfort or Thorntown
    : La Quinta Inn (Frankfort), Sponsored by Jennifer Hendrix
    Appearances: TBD

  • October 10, 2014: Day 10 (Start at 9am)
    Boone County's Farm Heritage Trail from Thorntown to Lebanon.
    Starting Point: Thorntown Town Hall
    Ending Point:
    Lebanon City Hall
    Road Crew/Care Team: Laura Kelsey
    Local Volunteers: Sarah Kennedy
    Overnight Accommodations in Lebanon:
    Super 8 Motel (Sponsored by Jennifer Hendrix)
    Central Christian Church Benefit Concert, 7-9pm (Patchwork.).

  • October 11, 2014: Day 11 (Start at 9am)
    Noblesville, IN (Morse Reservoir Loop) and Carmel, IN (Monon Trail) - Approximate 10 miles.
    Starting Point: Noblesville City Hall
    Ending Point:
    Carmel City Hall
    Road Crew/Care Team
    : Laura Kelsey
    Overnight Accommodations in Carmel:
    Still Needed

  • October 12, 2014: Day 12 (Start at Noon)
    Take Monon Trail from Carmel City Hall to Indianapolis Cultural Trail in downtown Indianapolis (Approximately 13 miles) - Stop at Circle or City Hall
    Road Crew/Care Team: Robyn Cundiff
    Overnight Accommodations in Downtown Indy:
    Still Needed
    Pending (Would like church visit)

  • October 13, 2014: Day 13 (Start at 9am)
    Starting Point:
    Circle in downtown Indy
    Ending Point: 39th & Meridian, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana Office
    Road Crew: Kristina Blankenship and daughter
    Care Team:
    Still Open
    Prevent Child Abuse Indiana Closing at Approx. Noon; Additional walkers joining at Monument Circle; Special Julian Center outreach - Natasha Howard and Keith Howard to volunteer for Julian Center. 

Additional Volunteers: Kris Surprenant (Wellness Coordinator); Karla Kincade, Dave Thornburg, Amanda VanHooser (Critical Response)

Notes: Road crew and Care Team positions can be combined; Road Crew typically refers to drivers/logistics, while Care Team refers to individuals primarily tasked with my well-being and care (Works very well if local or staying in area) Local volunteers are listed when no specific task is assigned, but the individual is actively working on local efforts.

Overnight Accommodations should be wheelchair accessible. In most cases, my volunteers will not stay with me overnight as they are either local or will return at the end of the day. However, this is subject to change. I typically stay in hotels, motels, or facilities. Due to the emotional and physical demands of the tour, I typically shy away from private homes but this is negotiable (especially with disability friendly homes).

Special events will be held throughout The 25th Anniversary Tenderness Tour with several already in the works. I also plan to plant trees throughout the Tenderness Tour as I begin my effort to plant a tree in memory of every child listed on One Million...This will also, I hope, allow the The 25th Anniversary Tenderness Tour to have walkers/bikers/wheelers in many states and countries around the world!

Join Richard for "The Extra Mile" by Creating a Worldwide Tenderness Tour

 When I first started planning for the 25th Anniversary Tenderness Tour, I had my heart set on one of two things - 1) Completing another Tenderness Tour just like the first one of 41 days and 1086 miles or 2) Finally achieving one of my biggest dreams and heading out on a cross-country Tenderness Tour.

Then, reality began to sink in. As someone who has wildly outlived my life expectancy, I simply knew that physically I could never adequately prepare for such intense efforts. After much thinking, consulting with friends, prayer and reflection, I began to envision the current 25th Anniversary Tenderness Tour BUT with a twist that invites my many longtime friends, sponsors, and supporters from around the world to become involved in what I'm affectionately calling "The Extra Mile."

The 25th Anniversary Tenderness Tour was originally scheduled to end when I arrive in downtown Indianapolis on October 12th. Then, I had the opportunity come up to end the tour at Prevent Child Abuse Indiana on October 13th (Columbus Day). For those who don't know, it was at Prevent Child Abuse Indiana where it all began 25 years ago. It seems the perfect place to end. So, I'm asking you to join me for this "extra mile" as I stop in downtown Indy on the 12th and then wheel on up to Prevent Child Abuse Indiana on the morning of the 13th.


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