I left Bakersfield for Monterey, CA on a beautiful sunny day. I was going up to Monterey to meet up with Andy Pogany, our CFO, to do some work on the books and get the bike tested in the process. I figured that since he has a garage, I might as well take the new Kenda tires with me and install them there. The ride was a great one. The bike handled very well fully loaded, and even with two odd shape tires strapped to the back, and the mighty winds of Kern County, I kept a steady 80mph pace easily. For those of you who have been following this blog religiously, you might remember that I first met Andy on my way down from Alaska. He is a fellow GSer (www.gsresources.com, a motorcycle forum focused on older Suzuki GS line) who invited me to stay at his house for a day or two. The first time I ended up staying for 4 days and this time I doubled that! Andy and Jollene are gracious hosts. Andy’s house is right on top of a giant hill with a view of the Pacific Ocean, and his property is as close as to any wilderness you can find in California. It’s got raccoons, deer, turkey, wild boars, hawks, frogs… you name it, it’s there.
For some odd reason, Andy and I get along like we’ve known each other for years, and he is one hell of a cool guy. With a BS in finance and MBA, it really was a no-brainer to elect him as our CFO/Treasurer on the Transcontinental Humanitarian Corp. board. This non-profit bookkeeping business is more than I can take, and I’m glad that Andy is pretty good at this stuff and volunteering to do it. Happily, Cynthia joined me in Monterey the next day and we pretty much got the whole corporation beast under control. We held another board meeting with all the directors and unanimously elected Jared Williams (another fellow GSer, I know! The list is growing.) as the 6th director and Public Relation Officer. Welcome aboard Jared. You will be hearing more from him and his upcoming hunger walk in Boston soon.
But the biggest news of all is that WE DID IT!!!! 4 months and 20 days of hard work finally paid off. Our application for tax-exemption got approved by the IRS, and Transcontinental Humanitarian Corp. is officially a non-profit public benefit 501(c)(3) corporation, and that means that from now on, all contributions and donations are tax deductable. You don’t believe me? Try the donate button and see for yourself. No seriously do it! I dare you!
When I received the news, I was in shock for longest time. It feels good to see what I have started is becoming what I didn’t even imagine. I started this ride to make a difference and see the world in process, but I met so many people sharing the same passion and enthusiasm that I could not resist the temptation of jumping higher. We are divided as species, but we can unite on what we can believe in and make a bigger difference together. A 1982 Suzuki motorcycle became something bigger than life for me. Now I can say that I’m content with what I have done, and I see a very bright future for this budding organization.
Many thanks to beautiful Cynthia Quispe for her hard work on writing/editing and proof-reading the countless words I scribbled on the corporation documents. I couldn’t have done it without her. Thanks to Andy Pogany for crunching down all those alien numbers, thanks to Kyle Ford for looking over the steps like a hawk and pointing out legal misunderstandings. Thanks to Joe Deluca for running around and getting the signatures, thanks to Jared Williams for his share of knowledge and his great support, and many thanks to Don and Pam Chriske for scanning and sending all the correspondent letters, and thanks to myself for not killing myself in the process. Thanks to all of those who made this journey possible, from individuals to big corporations, all who provided road-side assistance, occasional beer and burger sponsors, thank you to all of you, I couldn’t have done it any other or better way.