IN THE EYES of diehard Phillies fan Chris Carr, announcer Harry Kalas was a man who lived his days bringing joy to countless people. So when Kalas passed on April 13, Carr really took the "K's" death to heart.
"I remember just being overwhelmed with a tremendous amount of sadness," Carr told the Daily News. "I thought, here's a man who was just a big part of our community and now he's gone, but in his time here he did so much to help others. It made me reflect on my life, and at that moment I vowed that 'I, too, was going to make my life stand for something.' "
Carr, of Newtown Square, was already teamed with Compassion Corps, a Christian nonprofit that aids African nations. So in honor of Kalas, Carr carved out the "Wheels for Wells" initiative. The two groups are on a mission to raise $200,000 to fund the installation of clean drinking wells in Africa. As part of that mission, Carr and about 10 other riders plan to embark on a cross-country bicycle journey, leaving June 27 from Long Beach, Calif., with the hopes of arriving in Ocean City, N.J., on Aug. 7.
"We have already raised $130,000 of the $200,000 we are trying to raise," Carr said. "It doesn't take that much; $30,000 can provide 4,000 people with clean water."
In all, 30 bike riders and 20 volunteers have verbally committed in advance of the official Jan. 1 registration date.
"We have our sponsors, we need riders now," Carr said. "We are no longer looking for full-trip riders, just someone willing to donate a week of their time to help us out. This isn't just about helping one or two people, it's about helping thousands."
For more info, go to www.wheelsforwells.org.
Happy Holidays to "Art," a dutiful reader who calls our offices every night asking the same question regarding the soon-to-be razing of the future PhillyLive site on Spectrum grounds. Art, if you are reading this, buddy, we still have no idea how many bowling lanes there are going to be. You'll just have to wait until it's completed to find out.
- Kerith Gabriel