SMART Ride. An annual bicycle ride held once a year for 20 years has ended. Its last event this past weekend.
Not for a lack of success. The ride this past weekend raised $1,280,381. Over the 20 years, $15,000,000.
The ride from Miami to Key West. Covered two days. This past weekend, more than 500 cyclists participated. Its purpose when it began in 2003 and through this year was to raise money for HIV/AIDS victims. A significant observation is that 100 percent of the proceeds were distributed among HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout Florida.
SMART became the second largest AIDS bike ride in the country and the only one of its size to give back 100 percent.
If so successful, why is SMART ending? One reason is the number of participants involved is diminishing. Most participants are now older. With AIDS numbers dropping, younger persons are not joining the event. Another reason is the Director of SMART. He has been so involved for all of the 20 years. He would be difficult to replace. Ergo, the time had arrived for the event to conclude and conclude it did on a successful note.
A Charity Turkey Shoot was held this day in 1932 at Fort Zachary Taylor. One of those shooting well enough to be awarded a turkey was Ernest Hemingway.
The Rose Tattoo was filmed in 1954 in Key West. The movie was an adaptation of a Tennessee William’s play and starred Burt Lancaster and Anna Magnani. The house where most of the filming occurred is located on Duncan Street. One and a half blocks from Corey and Lisa’s home.
Today in 1954 was the last day of the filming. Final scenes were shot at the then Mardi Gras Club on Duval Street.
Multiple sclerosis plagued Key West during this time in 1984. Twenty three cases. Medical researchers were puzzled why Key West had so many cases. On average, a town of Key West’s size should have had less than one.
On this day in 1980, 87 people died in a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. I had been a guest there for 2 nights one week before.
Last night, the Chart Room with Tom and Fran Dixon. They are in Key West for a week. My dear snowbird friends for 15 years from Buffalo.
It was the first time I have been in the Chart Room in a year. I went last night because it was across the street from Ocean Key where the Dixons are staying and convenient for them.
One of the reasons I stopped going to the Chart Room was the exorbitant cost of drinks. Roughly $16 each. The three of us had 2 drinks each. The bill with tax exceeded $100. Ridiculous! It will be a long time before I return again.
There are two possible hurricanes developing. One in the Caribbean, the other in the Atlantic. Neither expected to affect Florida.
It was Syracuse/Tennessee in the Maui Invitational yesterday. Syracuse lost 73-56.
I could nor get the game on my TV. Watched the rolling score on my computer. Two hours sitting and waiting for the numbers to change.
Sport writers following the game reported Syracuse made only 35 percent of its shots and were out rebounded by 15.
I’ve gotten too old. I can only remember Syracuse’s golden days in basketball and football. Long gone in recent years.
Tonight happy hour with Steve Thompson at The Garden.
Enjoy your day!