Whitefishradio.com had the distinct privilege of interviewing Bob Lee, a 65-year-old colon cancer survivor from Barrington, Illinois, as he passed through Whitefish, Montana on his bicycle. Bob is on a remarkable 6,500 mile journey across America in order to help find cures for cancer and ALS, and to help promote awareness for hospice care. These three reasons affect every community in every state, in every country, and that's why this story is of interest on a local, national and world-wide scale.
I have to be honest, when I first heard about Bob and his mission (before I did any research), my reaction was, "Oh, that's nice." I really didn't think much more about it, other than thinking it to be just another gimmick someone has put together to raise money for a charity. And this is not to say there's anything wrong with finding unique ways to capture an audience for charitable causes. Whatever works to raise money to help others is fine by me as long as it is with good intentions. I am pleased and embarrassed to say I couldn't have been more wrong about this one. When Bob was due to arrive in Whitefish, I was in the midst of and very close to wrapping up a hectic and exhausting week; not only with our business, but my weekday mornings were spent at our church's Vacation Bible School with over 210 kids. So, when Ross, my husband and business partner, asked me to join him on Friday morning for the interview to take photos, I reluctantly said I'd go knowing I had many other chores on my "to do" list. I can't put into words how blessed I was to have been invited to be a part of this indescribable experience. I am a true believer that meetings such as these are no accident. I will fall short of being able to put into words what this man is all about, but I hope millions of people across the country will have the opportunity to meet a true "American Idol" for themselves and experience his infectious optimism and belief in others. No, Bob didn't sing for us; He did much more than that. He is an inspiration, and an example of a real role model so desperately needed in today's broken world. What struck me most about Bob from the second I met him, was that there was no glitz and glamour, no entourage, no logo covered van with a logo covered trailer following behind carrying extra bikes, clothes, supplies, people, etc... There was no fanfare, nothing even close. It was just Bob, his bike and a few, and I mean very few necessities that fit in his bicycle packs. This was real! As I took pictures and listened to the interview, I found myself so lost in his honesty, good nature, and the sincerity behind his three reasons for making the trip. I left the interview in awe to have met and befriended a complete stranger in such a short period of time. Bob exemplifies everything that makes our country great. Freedom, courage, adventure and integrity, just to name a few. I also felt an overwhelming sense of sadness when he hopped on his bike and headed out towards his next stop in Essex, Montana. Not only was I sad for him when I learned that he received a phone call right after our interview informing him that a very dear friend of his had just passed away, but even more than that, I was saddened to think about all the people in our community who did not have the chance to meet Bob in person as I did. I wish more of my friends and neighbors could have experienced what I was so fortunate to have experienced. My hope is that everybody at least once in their lives will have the opportunity to meet a "Bob Lee" if not Bob Lee himself. I can't say enough about this incredible man and his incredible journey. Part of Ross Strauser's interview with Bob can be heard on our live stream during our regularly scheduled news casts at 9:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 10:00 AM and 10:30 AM MST. The entire interview can be heard at 12:20 PM MST. You don't want to miss it! Please visit Bob's website at 3reasons.org to learn more, follow his journey and/or to make a donation. This is also a great opportunity for families to view the internet together and in a positive way each day to be a part of Bob's ride across the U.S. The Big Fish will be checking in with Bob periodically throughout the rest of his trip, so check back often and listen in for updates. All of us at WhitefishRadio.com wish Bob safe and happy travels!
Last Friday, June 22, Ross Strauser from The Big Fish was invited to MC the Relay for Life in Whitefish. It was a beautiful evening and a beautiful ceremony. Thank you to all the Relay for Life Organizers for inviting us to be a part of this very special event. We look forward to participating again next year.
Coming up on The Big Fish....
If it's Tuesday, then it's time for "Lights! Camera! Ackroyd!" Catch your host, David Ackroyd, live every Tuesday from 10AM t0 NOON MST, or on-demand. This week David talks with special guest, Luke Walrath from the Alpine Theatre Project, and finishes up with Part Two of "On Location" from last week. If you missed last week's show, it and more is available on-demand.
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