Hopecam race crew members Bill Sickenberger, Joe Knill and Steve Gurney celebrate pre-release of book What Spins the Wheel, the story of Hopecam’s growth and the high performing team of volunteers that helped raise funds to allow the charity to reach new heights.
In Beijing visiting the Olympic village, ready for Saturdays Great Wall Marathon http://great-wall-marathon.com
Hopecam board members and family at 14th annual 5k race: Viena Forkas, Len Forkas, Scott Stewart, Jessica Stewart, Susan Koehler and Kevin Reynolds. Event raised $50,000 for Hopecam
Thanks to Michael Tuteur CEO of votenet.com who donated $1,000 to Hopecam today and invited me to share the story of Race Across America with his leadership team this afternoon in Washington DC
In September I started preparing to tell the story about my race this summer and decided to write a book about the experience and how we were capable of putting together such a high performing team to assist me in making it to the finish line. Well I have written over 90,000 words on 160+ pages to date and I am on track to finish documenting the guts of the story before the year is over. Mt friend Steve Gladis who has written over half a dozen books calls this my “lousy FIRST draft”
My alma mater American University featured Hopecam on the University website recently. click the link above to see the article, or read below:
Kogod Alum Bikes Across America for Charity
Forkas, MBA ‘87, isn’t an Olympic athlete, but he did finish a 3,000 mile bicycle race this summer.
The grueling Race Across America (RAAM) from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland was a testament to Forkas’ physical fitness and unyielding determination. It was also the product of his commitment to a cause close to his heart.
In 2002, Forkas founded Hopecam, a nonprofit that connects homebound children undergoing treatment for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses with their friends at school using laptops, high-speed internet connections, and web cameras.
A 52-year-old father of two, Forkas became invested in the cause when his own son, Matt, was diagnosed with leukemia at 10 years old. After seeing firsthand the loneliness, boredom, and isolation homebound cancer patients endure, Forkas created Hopecam to bring back the social element of childhood for his son and other children. Matt is now 19 and healthy.
In order to raise money and awareness for Hopecam, Forkas called the RAAM “Len’s Race for Hope,” and successfully raised over $320,000 for his charity—more than double his goal. The amount was reached through corporate sponsorships and personal donations, including one sizable matching donation of $150,000 from a wealthy individual.
According to Jennifer Bond, executive director of Hopecam, it takes about $500 a year to facilitate the connection between a homebound child and his or her school. With the $320,000 raised through the race, Hopecam can connect hundreds more children for years to come.
Forkas completed the 3,000-mile race—nearly 30 percent longer than the Tour de France—in 11 days, 4 hours, and 47 minutes. He rode an average of 20 hours a day, and was one of just 28 out of the 46 solo competitors to finish the race. Of those 28, Forkas placed first in his age group and tenth overall.
He credits his crew of 11 volunteers for helping him finish, as they provided him with food, water, supplies, and moral support. Some nights Forkas slept for 3 to 4 hours in hotels; other days he would ride all day and take sporadic 15-minute naps in the accompanying RV.
His diet consisted of 80 percent liquids; he was 10 pounds lighter by the time he reached Maryland’s capitol city.
In addition to his work for Hopecam, Forkas is the founder and CEO of Milestone Communications, a wireless infrastructure company that has developed and managed over 40 wireless towers in the Washington, D.C. region. The Reston, Virginia-based company was founded in 2000, and specializes in creating partnerships with local governments in order to build on public properties.
After graduating with a degree in architecture from Ball State University, Forkas earned his MBA, specializing in finance. He said that AU prepared him to become an entrepreneur in the real estate and wireless industries, and that during his time at Kogod he built many lasting relationships with classmates.
Speaking to the blog Late Blooming Entrepreneurs, Forkas said, “The race is brutal, both physically and mentally. But compared with what a child with cancer goes through, it’s peanuts.”
If you would like to donate to Hopecam, you can do so at hopecam.org/donate.
Big thank you to the meteorogists !!!
Big thanks to the meteorologists at the weatherbug whose parent company is called Earth Networks
They are located in Germantown Maryland and supported our team with live weather feeds every 12 hours during the race across America. These guys told me he went to sleep wen to rest and when to hide from the weather patterns across the route
Thank you to Pat Hynes, Vice Chair of the Fairfax County School Board, for her kind letter to Len in support of Len’s Race for Hope and Hopecam’s mission. Fairfax County Public Schools was the charity’s first school partner and has continued to be a very strong supporter of the program for over a decade.
Hopecam would like to thank the Virginia Wireless Association for contributing $7,500 from the 4th Annual Golf benefit held in Glen Allen VA at the Hunting Hawk Golf Club. The Virginia Wireless Association has contributed over $17,500 in support for Hopecam’s mission, resulting in connecting dozens of children throughout Virginia. through Hopecam’s partnership with the Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital Center in Richmond. Many thanks for the support of the Board of Directors including Ed Donohue (pictured with Len) Ed Roach, Eileen Hastings, Ginger Beaudoin, Rich Biby, William Pirtle and Brian Robinson.