Oppy is helping one of its own travel across the United States on a bicycle.
Executive director of marketing Karin Gardner is a member of Love, Sweat & Gears, a four-woman squad participating in the 2022 Race Across America, which rolls out from Oceanside, California, on June 18. Spanning more than 3,000 miles across a dozen states, the event is billed as the world's toughest cycling race. The team is racing to raise awareness and funds for Gaia Home, a new non-profit in Gardner's home state of North Dakota which brings a compassionate new approach to end-of-life care.
"Oppy's generous sponsorship means the world to our team, but especially to me personally, of course," Gardner said. "If all goes well during the race, we'll cross the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland, within a few days of my 30th anniversary at Oppy. The company has invested in my personal and professional growth over these many years, and its participation in our Race Across America bid has gone straight to the heart of one of the largest challenges in my life. We're very proud to wear the Oppy brand prominently as we ride across the country."
Left to right: Karin Gardner, Kilee Harmon, Melanie Carvell, and Lori Klabunde
The relay team also includes renowned North Dakota endurance athletes Melanie Carvell, Lori Klabunde, and Kilee Harmon, Gaia Home's executive director. The racers will be escorted by a crew of 14 friends and relatives, including Gardner's sister, Kim Ellis, who has trained as the team's alternate, and the crew chief's husband, Mike Gardner.
"Good nutrition for the racers and crew will be critical to our success," Gardner said. "While planning meals for the group, we are ensuring a wide assortment of fresh produce is available to everyone to help keep the energy up."
The team will ride non-stop through the day and night, climbing more than 175,000 feet over the Sierra, Rocky, and Appalachian mountain ranges, crossing the Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio Rivers and the Great Plains and passing through the Mojave and Sonoran deserts and Monument Valley.
"We hope to complete the race in a week or less, though that will take a great deal of luck and probably a tailwind through Kansas," Gardner said.
Right: Karin Gardner
For those facing the final season of life, in-home hospice care is a desirable option but is not always feasible as it does not provide for housing or round-the-clock caregiving. These responsibilities fall on family and friends.
"A neighborhood of residential units and community spaces, staffed with 24-hour medical care specializing in the end-of-life journey, Gaia Home provides an adequate space to live together in privacy and peace, giving them the chance to treasure their time together," Harmon said.
You can learn more about the team here.