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 Stories for April 29, 1998:

Regular Features:

AIDS Cyclists Prepare for 560-Mile Trek
Public Service in Word and Deed

by José Rodriguez, Development Office
posted Apr. 29, 1998

Last year, Bill McCart broke his leg in five places in a skiing accident.

Although it meant that the Berkeley director of mail services would be in a cast for five months, more troubling than that, it meant he couldn’t participate in the 560-mile California AIDS Ride. That was a big deal.

Just ask any of the other 49 staff, students, alumni and friends who comprise this year’s Cal Team. Many of them are repeat participants in the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles AIDS Ride, scheduled for May 31 to June 6.

Last year, the Cal Team was the largest group in the ride, which drew 2,500 bicyclists and raised $9 million – more than other single AIDS-related fundraising event.

On a campus known for public service – which has generated more Peace Corps volunteers than any other university in the nation – the Cal Team may not seem so unique, until you hear team members’ stories.

McCart, for instance, who has worked on campus for 12 years, is riding on behalf of his colleagues who have died of AIDS or are HIV-positive.

In the last year, an employee of the Mail Services Department had to leave his job after AIDS left him too ill to work. McCart and his staff supported the employee’s efforts to remain a member of the team as long as possible.

“It’s hard to work with someone with AIDS and not be affected by it,” he said. “You see what it does to people and you just can’t help feeling that you’ve got to do something about the disease.”

Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl has commended the Cal Team’s dedication, saying that the team “reflects positively on the campus community and is consistent with the tradition of public service and civic involvement that is synonymous with Berkeley.”

The team is led by program analyst Chris Murchison, who helped create the group last year, and health educator/lecturer Aída Cerda. Sponsored by the University Health Services as a campus educational effort, the team is endorsed by the Berkeley Campus Committee on HIV/AIDS.

Fourteen staff members are on the Cal Team 1998. They are: Beth Blankemeier, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Aída Cerda, University Health Services;Cathy Davis, Residential and Family Living; David Duncan, Planning, Design and Construction; Jenny Fung, Residential and Family Living; Mike Matthews, Financial and Business Services; Bill McCart, Mail Services; Karen McNeill, Emma Goldman Papers, Library; Chris Murchison, Staff Internship Program;Jocelyn Poulin, University Health Services; Karen Rhodes, University Relations;Ashley Telles, Residential and Family Living; Jenni Wilkinson, School of Optometry; Kevin Young, Residential and Family Living.

How You Can Help

  • Attend Cal Team Night at Pyramid Brewery, 901 Gilman St. in Berkeley, Wednesday, May 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. A $10 ticket gets you a pint of beer or other beverage, snacks and a tour of the brewery. All proceeds go to the Cal Team. Tickets are available in advance by calling Jenni Wilkinson at 643-2689, or may be purchased at the door.

  • Sponsor a rider. For information, call Chris Murchison at 642-2711.

  • Volunteer with the AIDS Ride on Registration Day. For information call (415) 908-0400.

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