Meet James Reber, the Executive Director of San Jose Parks Foundation, who is taking on the challenge of his first Climate Ride on the California North Coast. James originally set a fundraising goal of $3,500 and now he has surpassed a whopping $7,000 for the cause! Here’s his story.

Why are you participating in Climate Ride? 

It’s a confluence of reasons. I am an avid cyclist and have always wanted to do a “big organized ride”. Shiloh Ballard [the Executive Director of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC)] invited me to join her team; SVBC telling me that I might be able to raise funds for San Jose Parks Foundation, too. I had the dates available, so I said yes. I am not sure if the opportunity to do so will come along again, though I am hopeful that I can do this again.

What inspired you to ride: Who is your beneficiary and why?

I am the Executive Director of San Jose Parks Foundation, and this is a great way for me to raise funds. I am also inspired by my sister, Mary Laurene Reber, who died 2 years ago. She left a significant amount of money to charity and I am the one giving it out. She is my biggest sponsor and to be able to do this would make her very happy. She will be with me the whole way.

(James with his late sister, Mary)

Can you tell us about a recent project or interview that illustrates the impact of your work?

In the last few years, we have worked with a number of Volunteer groups involved in cleaning our waterways, the primary tributaries in Silicon Valley. We have been able to partner with them, raised about $400,000 and pulled about 200 tons of garbage out of these creeks.

Did you have any special challenges and/or breakthroughs while preparing for Climate Ride?

I had to find time to prepare physically, and it was not as easy as I would have liked. I feel ready now, but my schedule has been very tough, including getting Jury Duty this week – though that turned out to be a good thing.

What is one thing that you would tell the world if everyone could hear you?

We live on this planet, others came before us and left it to us in pretty good condition. We have to do the same for future generations. To me this is the most obvious life principle, preserving our home.    

Thank you for putting this together. I look forward to riding and to spending time with like-minded environmentally-conscious people.

Check out James’s fundraising here!

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