Beyond the Bar
All for Good with ACK4ALL
by Holly Finigan
You might recognize Adam as the guy who put up your best friend’s wedding tent in ‘Sconset. And Kevin was the one who patrolled the beaches during a rough Surfside day. You probably saw Tim serving Dark and Stormies at the Straight Wharf, and Tucker catching some big surf out in Madequecham.
But this winter, you won’t see any of these guys on Nantucket. Instead of traveling or spending the winter on the rock or moving to another island or city, Adam Weldy, Kevin Harrington, Tim Farley and Tucker McGrath are taking four bikes to the open road for a good cause and under the name of a new charity they started; ACK4ALL.
It all began as a challenge over a few beers in a living room when the guys started talking about their winter plans. This led to conversation of volunteering for a cause and a way to give back. With the cholera crisis in Haiti making international news, the guys couldn’t physically go and help out first hand as none are medically certified. So they decided to raise money for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization.
The J/P Haitian Relief Organization supports the needs of hospitals and government, religious and community organizations by building an isolation ward seperate from the hospital and stocking it with fluids and medical supplies. It also funds handwashing stations and extensive education campaigns on hygiene and sanitation.
The guys saw they could help by donating money and supplies, but wanted to get others to help as well. They planned a cross-country fundraising bike route and ACK4ALL began to flourish.
Adam Weldy, Tucker McGrath, Tim Farley, and Kevin Harrington
Starting on January 3rd, Tucker, Tim, Kevin and Adam will bike 3,600 miles from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The guys will begin their journey out of Charleston, South Carolina at Folly Beach. Their quest from coast to coast will last between 60 and 80 days, finishing in San Diego and covering the southern portion of the United States. All natural athletes, (Tim has run marathons, Tucker surfs and Kevin’s and Adam’s jobs requires a lot of manual labor), the guys have spent the fall training on stationary bikes, running, and hitting the gym.
The four will be on touring bikes, which are rigid for the road. Each will be carrying between 20 and 30 pounds on their backs and will be completely self sufficiant. They plan to cook and camp for the most of the journey, with a motel mixed in when the weather does not cooperate. They will truly be relying upon each other as they have no support team following them. Things the guys have to worry about include mud, snakes, severe weather, swamps, tornadoes and passing cars and trucks.
You can follow the guys on the road too. To keep everyone updated on their whereabouts, they’ve put together Facebook, Twitter and a Blog web pages. They’ve already raised a few thousand for the cause, and hope to raise $10,000 by the trip’s end. Last week, they held a fundraiser at The Vault in Boston, and over Columbus Day weekend, the guys had a BBQ on Nantucket with more than 100 attendees to jump-start the charity and the ACK in ACK4ALL.
The J/P Haitian Relief Organization is just the first charity that ACK4ALL has set its sight on. The guys plan to continue their efforts with on and off-island non-profit groups.
To donate and find out more about Tim, Tucker, Adam and Kevin and ACK4ALL, check out their website www.ack4all.com, or become a friend to them on Facebook by looking up ACK4ALL. Their blog can be viewed from their website and whenever the guys really learn about Twitter, Tim said they will be “Tweeting” throughout their journey.
Holly Finigan has been living seasonally in Nantucket for the last five years. The 26-year-old graduate of the University of New Hampshire has spent her winters in the Caribbean, New Zealand, and Maui, and is heading to Argentina in January. She tells people she was a monk in her former life. You can find Holly slinging drinks at LoLa 41. Check out her popular blog “the blACKbook” at www.hollyblACKbook.blogspot.com, or email Holly at email@example.com. If she doesn’t respond right away, you can be sure she’s getting new material for her column over a red wine at the Boarding House.