The “Summer of John” Virtual Challenge has been organized to recognize the extraordinary life of John Godinet, a man whose life was filled with joy even throughout the duration of his battle with ALS, to which he succumbed in May of 2021. We can’t think of a better way to honor his memory than by taking part in physical activity, spreading “random acts of John-ness" this summer, and helping to fund Tail Twister, a documentary for public television celebrating John’s life.
Those who participate (run, walk, hike, bike, swim, or paddle) in the Virtual Challenge will be able to log their mileage, regardless of location or method, from June 1st through August 31st via RunSignup. (Simple instructions for logging mileage will be sent prior to the start of the challenge.) We will mark your virtual progress as if it were along the C&O Canal Towpath, which runs 184.5 miles, from Cumberland, MD to the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. What if I don't have a GPS or other way of tracking my mileage? Not to worry! We're on the honor system here, so we won't be asking for proof or documentation. If you don't have a way of tracking mileage, simply log an honest estimate of your efforts for that day.
Participate from wherever you happen to be this summer, be it on the treadmill or on the most rugged of trails; as a single athlete, or as part of a team! Either way, you can set your own individual goal as to how many (or how few) miles you wish to complete during the summer. And no one says you can only run/bike/hike one “length” of 184.5 miles! John would urge you to set a goal that’s right for you, to push yourself to accomplish a little more than that goal, then surpass it. Whether you’ve logged 10 miles or 200 miles, if you’ve hit your goal, you’ll have done John proud!
About the film: Tail Twister is a collaborative effort by Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker Robert Rooy, who captured hundreds of hours of touching footage over the course of the last five years of John’s life, and Emmy Award-winning producer Anne de Mare. The film will chronicle John’s ALS journey and showcases the love that he both exuded and was surrounded by as he battled this cruel disease. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of viewers will be motivated to fund efforts for a cure and to support families affected by ALS by their viewing of this film.
Please help us bring John’s story of love and laughter to the world by supporting Tail Twister’s completion. A PBS-affiliated funding agency has promised the film significant support – but only if the grant is matched by other contributions. Every dollar raised will be matched by the funder. A successful campaign raising $50,000 will put Tail Twister “over the hump” on its road to completion.
All who register for this challenge prior to June 1st will receive a “Summer of John” tri-blend, gender-specific, short-sleeved tee-shirt. The shirts will be distributed beginning in mid-June to those registering prior to the start of the challenge (Shirt style subject to change for those registering on June 1 or later). Most living in the Frederick area will receive their shirts via hand delivery from one of John’s friends. Those individuals making a separate, additional donation of $100 or greater will receive a digital download of one of John’s classic paintings when they become available! *Note: Shipping to U.S. and U.S. territorial mailing addresses only.