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So the Hill Country Ride for AIDS is really soon - April 25. This is a major fundraiser for AIDS Services of Austin and other organizations that provide direct services for people affected by HIV & AIDS. This isn't going off to some research lab, or to provide cushy offices or anything like that. This goes to places that provide a foodbank, specialized dental services, rides to medical appointments, and even home cooked meals for people who can't cook for themselves and have special dietary needs. There will be music; people who listened to college radio in the 80s should know the band from the title. But if you want to skip that (though why would you not want to listen to REM??), you can donate at my Hill Country Ride page now.

Oh, and what am I talking about in the title? I've raised $931 and my goal is $2,000. So the goal, while not unreachable, is still a ways away.

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I did this last year, but I think everyone is in need of some inspirational stuff, and I'm going to try to spread some good feelings around.

I don't know about you, but I've certainly had better years. But I've been trying to think about helping others who need it, as a way of getting out of my own space. I do the Hill Country Ride for AIDS every year, because the agencies it benefits help people out every day. They have a food bank, for people who really need it - and people with AIDS have to be very mindful about nutrition, about the timing, and what they eat.... so there are people who counsel about that. There's legal assistance, medical subsidies, volunteers to drive people to appointments..... Just help, that their clients really need.

So I was thinking about why. Why help? What do I get out of it? I did some searching, and the results of my quest are below the squiggly thing. Of course, if you want to skip the inspirational quotes, the video & the U2 song, you could donate at my Hill Country Ride page now.

Oh - and a picture. Here's a picture from the year I was top fundraiser (not gonna happen this year, I'm very late getting started this year), but anyway:

top fundraiser photo P1010207.jpg

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Hi. If you look at my timeline, you'll see I do a lot of diaries about the  Hill Country Ride for AIDS. I haven't done as many of these this year as I'd like, I've been a bit distracted. But I have a commitment to raise at least $2,000 for the Ride. If you want to cut to the chase, here's my Hill Country Ride for AIDS page, but I hope you'll come with me below the squiggly thing for a good story. And of course music.

Oh - and a picture. Here's a picture from the year I was top fundraiser, with the amazingly wonderful David Smith, who was the director that year :

top fundraiser photo P1010207.jpg

A word about David. His 50th birthday was yesterday, and his FB timeline was filled with greetings, as it should be. But they were different than the usual "happy birthday". Almost to a person, we all posted messages about what a blessing David is, how lucky we are to have him in our lives, and how the wold is so, so much better because he is here.

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Sat Feb 28, 2015 at 05:56 PM PST

Announcing Austin Kos

by anotherdemocrat

So when we broke into regional/city groups at the Texas meet up, we decided we need an Austin group. I somehow ended up an admin. We need some more Austinites to please be admins or editors or something. The meeting was great - informative, interesting -- and despite November's election results, I believe we will turn Texas blue. Here's the page for the group, please join: http://www.dailykos.com/...

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So this happened: Travis judge rules gay-marriage ban unconstitutional. This just happened, so we don't know quite how things will shake out. Our County Clerk has said previously that she wants to issue marriage certificates.

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My birthday is Sunday, and it is time to start training for the Hill Country Ride for AIDS, which will be in April. And fundraising for it, too. So for my 50th birthday -- can I get the Kossack community to donate to my 15th Ride? How many $50 donations can I get? There will be music & stuff below the fancy longhorns, but if you want to skip that part & just donate, here's my Hill Country Ride page

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So, there's this thing - #GivingTuesday, to follow Black Friday & Cyber Monday, where people (supposedly) were all being self-indulgent. I like it not only because I'm raising money for Austin Children's Services, but it seems to balance things out. Come below the orange curlique & I'll tell you why you should give to Austin Children's Services.

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Next February, I'm walking the half of the Austin Marathon, with a group I've been training with since August. My team raises money for Austin Children's Services, formerly known as the Austin Children's Shelter. They changed the name because they now embrace a broader continuum of services to address the needs of children and their families. Their programs include Austin Children's Shelter residential care (Emergency Shelter, Transitional Living Program, Teen Parent Program and Respite Care), Foster in Austin, Care Academy child development and family support center and a child abuse prevention program through Strong Start.

Our team slogan is "Creating a world without child abuse & neglect, one step at a time." If you want to skip the pleading, you can donate to my ACS campaign page

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I joined this group that's training for the Austin Marathon & Half Marathon. I'm doing the Half - walking the Half, though I hope to maybe be able to run a bit by then. The team raises money for Austin Children's Services, formerly known as the Austin Children's Shelter, and each of us pledges to raise $750. Having just finished a fairly successful fundraising campaign for AIDS Walk Austin, I'm fresh out of ideas, and that's where you come in. Help me come up with another way to raise the money? Unless you just want to donate to my Austin Childrens' Shelter page

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Today, Wednesday, walkers can get one donation of $100 matched. The Walk is Sunday, so this is the last big push. Of course, all donations are welcome & needed, but if anyone here can give $100, that'll be doubled. And will go directly, immediately, to help people who need it. Below, I talk about the people your donations will help.

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AIDS Walk Austin is 9 days away, on Sunday the 19th. The Walk as a whole has raised 32% of their $250,000 goal. Which is not close enough. Yeah, there's still 9 days, and I'm no mathematician, but that's a heck of a lot of money to raise in 9 days.

This day, they have a challenge. If the Walk as a whole can raise $5,000 that will be matched. Come with me below the fancy longhorns (stole that from bastrop) and I'll tell you why you should donate. If you want to skip my pleading, & the U2 video, you can just go to my AIDS Walk Austin page, and donate.

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Short diary, but - in response to the odious ruling today, some of the same folks who organized the protests of HB2 are planning a spontaneous rally-like thing at the Capitol tomorrow. They don't have any permits or anything, so emphasis on the spontaneous. More details below.

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