Vice President and Director - Central Texas treks hundreds of miles on his bike to support people with disabilities. Kirksey is all about giving back -- whether it's tree planting in Memorial Park, hosting families for the Adopt an Angel program, or participating in the industry's CANstruction event to support the Houston Food Bank, our firm loves working with different communities around Texas. Vice President and Director, Central Texas David Dalton is no exception. While attending the University of Houston in 2004, he began his involvement with The Ability Experience, a non-profit organization raising funds and awareness on behalf of people with disabilities through a variety of programs and shared experiences. Between 2001-2004, he participated in two cycling events hosted by the organization in the Journey of Hope and Gear Up Florida. The Journey of Hope is a cross country cycling event starting in San Francisco and ending in Washington D.C. The event spanned over 64 days and covered over 4,000 miles. Gear Up Florida is a similar event, simply shorter in duration, cycling 800+ miles in two weeks across Florida starting in Miami and ending in Tallahassee.
Although those events were 20 years ago, he still interacts with both organizations through a variety of smaller 150+ mile rides (both in Texas and South Carolina). This year, he fully re-engaged with Gear Up Florida and was accepted as a cyclist on their 2020 team.
A whole new set of challenges presented themselves this year with the onslaught of COVID-19. In April, the event in Florida was officially canceled. Instead of waiting until next year’s event, David developed a new schedule of routes to cycle 870 miles in and around Austin, Texas.
With David's leadership, his team was able to ride 917 miles, climb 27,670 feet, spend over 56 hours on bike, and raise over $8,000 for The Ability Experience. He says the best part of the experience is the ability to interact with the people he's motivated to serve. Through “Friendship Visits”, they host dance parties, game nights, wheelchair basketball, and additional various activities. While the virus doesn’t allow them to interact in person, The Ability Experience has scheduled regular virtual Friendship Visits so they are able to interact safely with one another.