Serving With Love

Tom Wilson
Director of F&B, Cape Rey Carlsbad, A Hilton Resort
February 17, 2021

As some of you know, I was diagnosed with cancer 2.5 years ago and recently I got the news that I am finally in remission! I beat cancer’s ass, which is great news, but also a stark reminder of why I cycle to raise money for Give Kids The World. Give Kids The World Village is a nonprofit resort that provides dream vacations to critically ill kids and their families. For children whose lives have become overwhelmed by doctor appointments, hospital stays, and medical procedures, the ability to laugh and enjoy time together means everything. The reality is the children I am trying to help are all terminally ill children, a doctor is never going to be able to tell them they have beaten cancer or beaten leukemia, etc., they will never hear that news…and that is heart breaking to know. So, whatever I can do to help them with some magical experiences at the village, as to them and their families, it is such a big deal. I’ve seen firsthand at the village what an impact it makes, I’ve seen firsthand from my friend Tim’s daughter that visited the village, I’ve seen how it can lift the spirits of the children and families…they need that, and we can help make it happen for many families.

Last year with the support of my friend Daniel, we rode 100 miles along the California coast to raise money for the Give Kids The World Village, together we raised over $5,000, for which I will be forever grateful.

Back in January 2020, before the world turned upside down, I knew that I wanted to do another ride for charity, it was an amazing feeling accomplishing such a goal, and raising so much money for a wonderful cause at the same time, that I knew I wanted others to experience it too. So, I sent out a message to the team at Cape Rey Carlsbad, offering to help train anyone that wanted to be able to complete a 100-mile ride, I would help them with bike tuning, training plans, nutrition plans, all of it, on the condition that they help me raise money for Give Kids The World in return.

Two of my team at Chandler’s restaurant stepped up to the plate — we started training in February, and then all of a sudden, the whole world stopped…Sure the lack of work gave us a lot more time to train, but we also knew as the months went by that if we were not working and were hurting for money then so was everyone else. We knew asking others for money would be greater ask, so we decided It should be a much greater ask of us too. So we doubled down, riding two 100 mile rides one around Lake Tahoe and one along the Southern California coastline, and because the second fell on my 41st birthday, and because I’m a glutton for punishment, I added an extra 41 miles (in order to do this and for all of us to finish at the same time, I had to start cycling at 3am!

I am so proud of my team members (Garrett, Justin and Daniel) and all the hours they have put in to train for these rides, they were amazing. Together we raised just under $7,000.

In 2021, I am back to solo riding, a year I am trying to consider a ‘training year’ for my even bigger plans for 2022. This year I will be riding a 100-mile ride once every month, with the goal of raising $10,000.

Tom Wilson I was lucky enough to visit the Village last February and volunteer, and it really is a special place, one that is hard to describe other than it simply changes your life. I was the train conductor, taking the kids around the village on the train, seeing them all smile as we cruised passed by the dinosaurs and along the side of the lake. I just knew that I had found my place, and that I was going to be raising money for this charity every year for the rest of my life.