4 CORNERS 4 KIDS
My name is Laura Melvin, and I’m a retired Circuit Judge from Florida, thus the nickname GypsyJudge. I’m also a Motorcycle, Safety Foundation Riding Instructor, a Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator, and a 64-year-old grandmother. I will be riding alone around the four geographic corners of the U.S. on my Honda Goldwing GL1800, and my goal is to raise awareness of and contributions for four special charities that focus on the needs of children. This dream is a combination of ideas, spurred on by the fact that I’ve begun to age at the rate of my dog – seven years on the body for every one on the calendar. I’m sure my motorcycle can make the entire run; I’m less certain of my body
Why ride to the four geographic corners? Well, I can’t answer that any more than someone could explain why she climbed a mountain or jumped out of an airplane. Why the four child-based charities? As a Judge, I sat in Juvenile Court for several years and know first-hand something of how some of our little ones are treated. This bike ride will put a big smile on my face; hopefully with the links to these charities, it will also put a smile on the face of a child. I’ve made long bike trips before, but nothing of this magnitude. So my plans are both intriguing and scary.
The four geographic corners are – San Ysidro, California; Blaine, Washington; Madawaska, Maine; and Key West Florida. The four special charities are Gulf Coast Kid’s House (a child advocacy center that provides a voice for children who have been abused or neglected by facilitating investigation, prosecution, and treatment); Shriners Hospitals for Children (providing free medical care for burned and crippled children); Ronald McDonald House (who provides for the families of acutely ill children in the hospital), and Habitat for Humanity (who builds decent, affordable housing for families). On this blog you’ll find a link to each charity – you can go there for more information and to make contributions directly through their secure websites. I won’t be taking pledges or collecting donations; the Internet will handle all of that for us.
I will leave from NW Florida on June 3, heading west. Unfortunately, my German Shepherd, Grace, has to stay behind in the kennel ;-( I laughed and told her that since she’ll be staying in a motel the whole time, I’ll have to sleep on the ground a lot. I will tent camp when the weather allows (I’m not into sleeping outside when it’s hot, buggy, or rainy), and will stay in motels “as needed” (I get to define that term, based on how I feel at the end of the day). The trip will be about 12,000 miles, depending on the route, and the route in turn will be determined by weather and whim. I figure I’ll be on the road for about six weeks. I’ll blog along the way and post pictures. Whether you think this is a great idea – or a crazy one – I hope you’ll find it interesting to follow along.
If you haven’t see it yet, go to the Press tab at the top of this page and click Florida Bar News for their article about my trip. The newspaper goes to 90,000+ attorneys in Florida many of whom are bored so hopefully this will generate some interest.