The team departed lodging at the Clearwater sailing center to head to a breakfast friendship visit at the ARC of Tampa Bay. This was about a 20 mile sunny ride to get there. On the route, the cyclists and crew got to enjoy a beautiful scenery of the Clearwater bay and Clearwater beach. When we got to the friendship visit we were greeted by about 75 clients that were cheering and so excited to see the cyclists and crew. People had signs that welcomed the ability experience and the team was able to share a meal as well as hear some of the stories of how the money was being used to benefit the ARC. At the ARC we were able to meet some amazing people and even have a dance battle all before noon.
After breakfast, the cyclists and crew took off for their lunch friendship visit at the MacDonald’s training center. This ride was a continuance of the beautiful Tampa waterways. When the cyclists arrived for their lunch friendship visit at Macdonald’s the team was again greeted by clients who were very ecstatic to see us riding in together. We were given the opportunity to tour this amazing facility and see the opportunities and experiences that this center was able to create for people with disabilities. This center helped fulfill contracts for packaging goods and shipping them off. This gave clients the real-world experience in working in a fulfillment center. In the main lunch area there was a practice room to teach clients to perform low level maintenance on hospital rooms. They also had a simulation area to simulate job interviews so people could practice their interviewing techniques. Lastly, one of fan favorite parts of the MacDonald’s Training Center was the art gallery. The team loved seeing the art that the clients made and even bought a few of the paintings to take back to their hometown.
After lunch and the friendship visit, we went back to lodging to hang out and get ready for our sponsored dinner later that night with Pi Alpha’s Ryan Patrick and Matt Ratliff. We had an amazing dinnerwith them at the 8th floor of an office building with a Bay view. We were catered Fresh Kitchen and had a great time catching up and hearing stories from these Pi Alpha alumnus.
To end this busy first day in Tampa, we finished off the day at Andre Arman’s grand big, Sean Daniels and his family’s lake house. The team had a nice relaxing break here as the team was able to relax with an amazing lake view, go swimming and eat an awesome meal provided by our sponsors.