The 1st Tenderness Tour
The First Tenderness Tour - 41 Days, 1086 Miles
It was October 8, 1989. I was sitting alone in my wheelchair in front of the offices of Prevent Child Abuse, Indiana. I had a backpack on my wheelchair, $20 in my pocket, a few letters on my possession and a desire to discover hope in a world where I had too often experienced hopelessness.
Since 1989, my life has changed dramatically. I returned home from that first Tenderness Tour and knew that I had to change the way I was living. I returned to college, Martin University and studied. HARD. I decided I didn't want to live on disability anymore and decided to do everything in my
And, I've continued my wheeling. Since 1989, I've traveled right around 4,000 miles by wheelchair on my Tenderness Tour with three trips from Indy to Chicago, a trip to Cincinnati, a trip to Lexington and several other trips including shorter trips around the country. I've helped raise nearly $400,000 for children's organizations around the world, but I've maintained the Tenderness Tour's all-volunteer, grassroots tradition. Since day one, 100% of the funds raised on the road have been donated to organizations working to break the cycle of abuse/violence.
I've donated funds in EVERY country of the world, and have spoken to thousands of adults and children at little or no cost. In 2009, the Tenderness Tour celebrated its 20th anniversary and, for the second time, I found myself wheeling across the state of Indiana. Plans are already underway for the 25th anniversary in two years!
For so long, I thought that sexual abuse was my story. After 20 years on the road, I've come to realize that THIS, the Tenderness Tour and all it represents, this is my story.
If you'd have told me I could do this, I'd have laughed! I did it. :)
October 8, 1989: Indy to Greenfield Nov. 1, 1989: Delphi to Logansport