The Story Behind Live for 175 – A Child Abuse Prevention Campaign
Live for 175 is back! We're celebrating eleven years of standing up against child abuse in the Treasure Valley. This is our 7-day campaign where a staff, the city, and a movement begins.
The photo above is my prayer with trainer Matt Henman before one of my marathons. One year I ran seven marathons in seven days for this cause. This photo sets the tone for what is about to happen over the next week. This is the story behind Live for 175.
A Little Girl Named Summer, 2007
It's the newspaper article I can't get out of my mind. Twelve years ago, Spokane was witnessing the worse case of child abuse in the history of the city. One of the victims, Summer, was only four years old when her life was literally squeezed out of her. Summer's father and stepmother tortured her to the point that she just couldn't go on anymore. They used shock collars on her.
Summer changed me forever and I vowed to never allow her story to go untold. I promised myself that I would do something each April to help protect other children from this same fate. I tried to talk myself into this; a justification that she somehow died so I could go help other kids learn from what happened. That's just ignorant. There's no reason why any child should be subjected to any kind of abuse much less this unthinkable torture. This story is where it all begins.
Live for 125, Spokane.
Live for 125 was something I came up with in order to get the most attention possible. I wanted everyone's eyes on us and each radio locked in. We had to get the city listening so we could help prevent this from ever happening again. So, I stayed up for 125 hours to break a world record and call attention to Summer's death. This is where it all began.
Live for 175 goes deeper than the little girl we've been discussing. Abuse has taken a child in our own backyard. 8-year old Robert Manwill was also killed in a terrible abuse case that had the city out looking for him. The stories don't stop there as you would hope.
I've encountered 12 years of phone calls, meetings, interviews, and conversations about people's deepest secrets when it comes to abuse. These stories live with me. This is a topic that I haven't quite been able to grasp in conversation. There's no way to prepare yourself for what you're about to hear from someone. I have a 3-year-old little angel and it's unfathomable to think that anyone could ever harm him. I'm very careful how I speak to him, discipline, and raise this guy. To think there are people in society who would treat their shoes with better care is sickening to me. It's our responsibility to take a stand and make sure these terrible things never happen.
Please join us for a ride of your life! We don't care how long you ride or whatever you strap in. Come and join us or follow us online right here. We've teamed up with Cyclebar to create an experience that you won't forget. This will be the most empowering moments you will ever see and here. Get your riding details below and check out one of these quick galleries from all these years.
Attention RIDERS! Here's all the information you need to know to get started. Oh, it's free. This is a week of togetherness and love for one another. You don't need to be in a group and there is no fee. You can even come just sit and watch. Find us and say hello. Come tell your story in the hopes it could save another. We just want you to know that we're here.
This is where it all started. 7 days without sleep, broadcasting 24/7, had to talk in between each song all week, and got 15-minute breaks every 8 hours. We made national news that year breaking Guinness Book of World Records.
7 marathons in 7 days was the largest challenge I've ever faced. Complete faith and listeners in the Treasure Valley that motivated our team. I think I trained for about 8 weeks from what I remember. The most I had ever ran was 10 miles.
Robert Manwill was now the poster child for child abuse in the Treasure Valley. We dedicated our annual event to Robert and I stayed up for 8 days without sleep to raise more awareness and try to make sure it didn't happen again. This little guy's death shook our community.
I love to eat! We switched it up and put our message on Billboards across the Treasure Valley, It Shouldn't Hurt To Be A Child. I fasted and lived on that billboard for 175 hours.
I went from a billboard to the back of a truck. We took the child abuse awareness campaign on the road from neighborhood to street corner. We took that message where the abuse lives, in the community.
We called this the "Ike Project". Built by our engineers, we powered the message on bikes. The energy powered the radio station live from the parking lot in the Village at Meridian before it opened. This was the first campaign where listeners got to help power the message.
We moved our bike from Idaho Mountain Touring inside the Village at Meridian. This has been the best location for people to ride, interact, and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.
This was the 10th year of standing up for those kids who can't stand for themselves. We are their voice. We cycle this year with a much larger focus. We teamed up with CYCLEBAR last year to use their amazing stationary bikes.
The CYCLEBAR instructors came out and kept things FAST!