On January 18, 2014, 15-year old David and I launched our transcontinental Run For a GMO Free USA from the Pacific Ocean in Huntington Beach, California. Kris and 13-year old Olivia served as our support crew.
On July 19, 2014, we completed our run in Ocean City, New Jersey. Our epic finish was made even more so due to the fact that Kris and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on that date. We owe the deepest debt of gratitude to hundreds of people who contributed to the success of our run and mission. Following are but a few:
Owen Kindig devoted weeks to the creation of two Indiegogo fundraising campaigns. (See the first campaign here and the second campaign here.) The professional quality of those campaigns resulted and continues to result in significant donations from far and near.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company supplied us with some 3000 seed packets, which we freely gave to people as we crossed the country. Those packets, prominently labeled “GMO Free USA,” served to pique the interest and start important conversations.
Luan Van Le and Diana Reeves with GMO Free USA repeatedly publicized our run, mission, and ongoing need for donations. David Waredy or “Coach David,” winner of the 1992 “TransAm” transcontinental race and advisory board for the Race Across USA, was present for our run launch in Huntington Beach and offered support, advice, and encouraging words throughout our run. Ted Laufenberg took care of all the details involved in renting our home and apartment in our absence. Patty and Rod Ady handled our mail, keeping us up to date on important correspondence. Clint Simic took care of the licensing requirements for our truck and travel trailer. The Fulton family opened up their home to David while Kris, Olivia, Angel, Jenna, and I made our way back to Sitka via road and ferry. Michael and Crystal Bricker provided a home for us to stay in for a few weeks while our home is still rented out. Hundreds of other people donated, time, talent, housing, and other resources along the way.
Our Run proved to be financially and physically difficult, but extremely validating. We learned that virtually everyone in the USA shares our concern with the multiple problems associated with chemically saturated, genetically modified, monocrop agricultural systems. We are now witnessing that when we consumers act together, we have the power to protect the environment and put healthier foods back on our plates.
Kris and I agreed to support David in his quest to run across the country because we wanted David to learn that, with enough effort, dreams can become realities. We deeply appreciate everyone from Alaska to California to New Jersey and beyond who helped David achieve his dream.
Our run is finished, but our work continues. Kris and I will be paying off the run’s expenses for a good, long time. And in the coming months I’ll publish at least one more GMO related book and will produce a documentary based on our run.
We deeply appreciate ongoing contributions to help us with these efforts. Tax-deductible donations can be made at our website RunningTheCountry.com/donate. Contributions can also be made online until August 31st at Indiegogo.com. Search for “Help the Wilcox Family Finish Strong” in the search bar.
Much thanks, tons of hugs, and as always, many organic blessings to you!