Wish a Mile Cut Short by Tragedy

We are deeply saddened to share that a tragic accident took the lives of two cyclists and seriously injured three others during the Make-A-Wish® Michigan 35th Annual Wish-A-Mile® (WAM) Bicycle Tour. While all of our Team Trinity cyclists are safe, the accident has deeply affected everyone involved in the event.

Trinity Health President & CEO has been journaling throughout the ride and shared a final entry.

July 30

I expected to be sitting down tonight to write about the awesome a day we had on day two of the WAM – about the great weather, about the challenging 112-mile route and about us still needing to raise more funds for our wish kids. I had planned to show photos along the way and celebrate our team and our wish kids with you.

But this day took a very tragic and sad turn right before noon on a country road just north of Ionia when five WAM riders from the same team were hit by a car. Two of the riders were killed and one rider remains in a medically-induced coma and on life support. The other two riders were discharged from the hospital with minor injuries.

In the 35 years that this event has taken place, we have never had anything like this happen. We have had crashes between cyclists or some minor injuries but never anything like this. I was relieved that none of our Team Trinity riders were involved in the accident but my heart aches for the families of the victims.

When this happened, we were all in disbelief and shock. To now learn the driver was arrested for driving while intoxicated makes it even more painful. I have already imagined many what-ifs but it won’t change anything. Some wonderful people, who have hearts of gold and were riding 300 miles to raise money for wish kids, are gone due to a reckless person who made horrible choices today.  

We met with the WAM CEO and staff, spoke with the families and the team captains that have the ear of all the riders. We made a collective decision to cancel the third and last day of WAM (July 31).  This is out of respect for the families. Buses and vans will transport all the riders down to the Eaton Proving Grounds in the morning.  We will do a tribute ride of a couple miles around the Eaton Proving Grounds track, and then we will all leave quietly and avoid any of the celebratory events that mark the end of the WAM. 

This event raised almost $1.8 million through amazing support of friends like you and others who supported our rides. For this, I am so indebted to all of you. And those dollars will so go to wishes waiting right now. I want to thank all of you who supported Team Trinity. It meant the world to us.

God Bless,


WAM Day Three – The Last Hurrah and Wish Kids for the Win

Members of Team Joe’s assemble at the finish line following their 300-mile tour of the Wish a Mile Michigan. Through their remarkable efforts, 28 Michigan kids will receive wishes from the Make a Wish Foundation.

By Rob Casalou

The morning of day three at Grand Ledge High School was dark (we get there about 5:30am) and cool.  The emotions are running high from both excitement to be on the final leg of our journey… and also a bit of anxiety since the legs are feeling a bit worn from the tough 206 miles it took to get here.  But our Team Joe’s riders were ready to go and hit the road before 6:30am.  Today’s goal…Hero’s Hurrah at the finish line where family, friends and all our wish families would be gathered to celebrate with us.

The route today was all-new because of the change in venues of our start and finish.  Grand Ledge High School was simply awesome and we cannot thank the school and staff for making us feel so welcome and providing an overnight home for us.  Eaton Proving Grounds was our finish (replacing MIS Speedway) and words will not do justice in how much we thank Eaton for their generosity and all-out effort in putting on a great beginning on Thursday and a great finish today.  Now, in between those two venues was some adventure.  Remember, we live in Michigan and the roads ranged from newly paved and perfect, to a hot mess of potholes and cracks.  But we saw another day of scenery of our great state and it was great to see the waves and encouragement from people as we passed through their towns – some we had never heard of!

Halfway to the finish line, we welcomed several new riders to our team – the 50-milers! I was so happy to see fresh, smiling faces ready to share our journey to the end.  Now, I speak from experience that a 50-mile ride is no joke. If the 300-mile ride seems overwhelming, the 50-mile, one day ride is a great option to support wish kids and test your endurance.

Dr. Ro Tocco-Bradley and Patrick Hoban, all smiles at the WAM finish line.
One of our 50-mile cyclists was my dear friend and colleague, Dr. Rosalie Tocco-Bradley. She’s been the light and soul of our WAM rides for the past several years. This summer, however, Ro fought her own battle with breast cancer, but less than two months after surgery, she was back on the bike, riding alongside us and cheering us on. Her unstoppable spirit put surge in our wheels and carried us to the finish line.  

Our team broke up into about four or five different groups with some very fast (our Probility team members) to everything in between.  But we all ended up at the meeting place inside the grounds at Eaton where we gathered as many members of our team as possible before heading to the Silent Mile and then onto the track for a final lap to the finish. 

The Silent Mile is special.  It really isn’t a mile but a small grassy hill that is strewn with stars bearing the names and pictures of loved ones lost too soon and in whose memory riders had dedicated their ride.  A few members of Team Joe’s had placed stars so it was time to pick them up, pause in reflection and take the star across the finish line.  I love this moment.  It is sacred and important and I can think of no better way to end our journey.

Watch video of Team Joe’s crossing the finish line –

img_0817After the silent mile, we headed out as a team to the final lap and to the finish and it did not disappoint.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of well-wishers were cheering loudly as we crossed the finish line.  What an accomplishment and a feeling of euphoria came over all of us.  It made all those moments of fatigue and pain over the last three days disappear.  In fact, shortly after we put our bikes down, most of the team members were committing to next year!

After we finished it was time to meet our wish hero, Emily, that was given to us at the beginning of the ride and we rode every mile with Emily’s name on our wristbands.  Unfortunately, Emily was not feeling up to being there today but we had another wish kid, John, who was just great and was so happy to put medals around our neck and patiently pose for pictures.  This was a special moment for him and for us.


After seeing our Wish Hero, most of us grabbed something to eat, packed up our stuff and headed home.  We hugged, we thanked each other and it felt kind of strange and sad to me that I would not be seeing this great group of people in the morning.  I feel a special bond with my colleagues on Team Joe’s both past and present.  I can’t wait until next year.

God Bless.


2018 Team Joe’s Roster

Robert Casalou
Ethan Andresmooi
Sarah Bahnke
Lisa Belleperche
Lee Benjamin
Andrew Blank
Diane Charles
Thomas Chouinard
Jonathan Ciani
Scott Dornbrock
Kris Eckman
Dylan England
Kathleen ENGLAND
Jodi Graham
Nick Graham
Jeffrey Hamilton
Steve Harwood

Gabriel Hoban
Patrick Hoban
Greg Hodder
Jena Hoffman
Susan John
Marvin Jolly
Ed Jones
Laura Kordick
Lila Lazarus
Brandon Lorenz
Dave McNeil
Chad Melchert
Dervla Mellerick Dressler
Eric Metzendorf
Russ Olmsted
Sarah Opdycke
John Parmentier

Jonathan Peitz
Tim Peterson
Dan Phelps
Kelly Poppaw
Mathew Ridley
Kortney Roof
Daniel Sestak
Eryn Smith
Jeff Stange
David Steinberg
Kate Sullivan
Mark Sundling
Abbey Wills
Bo Wright

WAM 2018: Team Joe’s on the Road Again

Day 2 – Big Rapids to Grand Ledge

This is the long day.  While the Wish-A-Mile is called the WAM 300 for the 300 miles we ride over the three days, we do not ride 100 miles per day. The first day we ride 99 miles, the second day we ride 107 miles and then we end with 95 miles tomorrow. Actually, doing the math, we ride a total of 301 miles. Guess it wouldn’t be as cool to call it the WAM 301…😀

We followed the same routine as our first day with a 5:30am breakfast and wheels on the road by 6:20am. It was a very cold morning so many of us wore jackets or used arm warmers to cut the chill. But it was a beautiful morning with a spectacular sunrise. In fact, we had sun all day and the temperatures and winds were favorable. It was simply a perfect day to be on a bike.

We cruised quickly for the first 45 miles and landed in Greenville for lunch at 9:30am.  Yep, I said lunch. By the time we got to Greenville we were starving! But waiting for us at our lunch stop was much more than food. There were some of the most amazing wish kids coming to the see and celebrate with the riders. We met Bry, Mariah, Dorlan and heard all about their awesome wishes. What was going to be a 15-minute lunch stop ended up being over an hour as we enjoyed talking to the children.

The second half of the ride after lunch was a bit more challenging. I think many of us were still tired from the first day. Whatever the case, we rest tonight knowing the best day is tomorrow…shorter and downhill!

The night wrapped up with the WAMmy Awards. As riders fill the auditorium, the night is filled with wish kids and celebration. And, for the very first year, Team Joe’s won the top fundraising award for Top sports teams and many of us won Elite fundraiser awards. That was very special and I could not be more proud of this team. The dollars we raised – more grant 28 wishes!!

After the awards, we all headed back to our hotels so we can get some rest and prepare our bodies for the last day. That is where I am heading now!! Good night.

Team Joe’s Takes On WAM 2018

Day 1 – Traverse City to Big Rapids

The travel day to Traverse City is always full of excitement and anticipation for all the Wish-A-Mile (WAM) riders but especially for Team Joe’s and our 40 WAM 300 riders.  The nervousness of our first-time riders is understandable because the idea of riding 3 days and 300 miles is daunting.  But everyone has trained hard for this moment and they all know that some very special wish children are depending on us to raise the funds for their wishes.

The first day of riding started today (Friday, 7/27). The day began with most alarm clocks going off around 4:00 or 4:30 a.m.  Each rider dresses for the day, repacks their bag and grabs the shuttle to the school if they stayed at a hotel or packs up their tent and sleeping gear if they stayed overnight at the school.  We agreed to meet around 5:30am for breakfast and gather on our bikes around 6:15am for a team photo and then to hit the road.

The morning went off without a hitch.  Temps were cool and it was dry when we started.   Wheels hit the road around 6:25am and Team Joe’s immediately sorted into groups of 6-8 riders of common speed preferences.  The early miles went quickly aided by a nice tailwind.  By 9:15am, our group almost put almost 50 miles behind us and it was time for lunch!  Yes, one feature of WAM is that you lose all concept of time…

Now, there was one unanticipated challenge today and that was the weather.  Although the weatherman predicted only a 35% chance of rain in the forecast, it was really 100% for about 25 miles before lunch and then for the last mile before we finished in Big Rapids!  We were soaked!  But the good news is that there were no injuries during the rain and, in fact, it was a safe day all around.

The first day of riding is our hill day and those 99 miles were chock full of them!  But we all endured and ultimately beat them back.  Having said that, I am just glad tomorrow is more flat…😀

Tomorrow we ride from Big Rapids to Grand Ledge.  The day is Ionger at 107.5 miles but should still make good time with a flatter route.  Same plan tomorrow….wheels on the road at 6:15am. Time to hit the sack.


Bringing it Home: Final Thoughts from the WAM Ride

IMG_6741By Rob Casalou
Regional President & CEO, SJMHS
Captain of Team Joe’s cycling

It’s hard to describe the feeling when your alarm goes off once again at 4 a.m. It’s dark. You’re sore. The mere thought of getting on your saddle actually causes physical pain.

Somehow, all the riders pull themselves together, get their gear on and head to DeWitt High School via shuttle buses to begin a last day.  Then, you get to the school and you see all your fellow riders eating breakfast, preparing their bikes, giving words of encouragement, sharing a few hugs, and then the excitement begins to build… Today, we we get to cross that finish line and ride home.

As usual, many riders get on the road right at 6 a.m.  That was the case for many Team Joe’s riders because our goal was to get to the MIS Speedway and meet up with each other and our WAM 50 teammates at 2 p.m. so that we can ride the last couple miles together to the finish line. Given many of our riders ride at different speeds, part of the planning is to leave DeWitt at a time that will put you at MIS close to 2 p.m.  So our fast riders leave late and our slower riders leave early.  It always seems to work out.

Now, for my riding group still consisting of Russ Olmsted, Lee Benjamin, Greg Hodder and Wish Dad Bob, we were targeting to get out on the road between 6:15 and 6:30.  That was, of course, until Greg overslept and we hit the road at 6:40.  You can rest assured we teased him a lot as he rushed off the bus to get ready to go.  It was all good and we made up the time no problem.  In fact, Day 3 is actually the easiest ride of the three days.  I think it’s a combination of heading mostly south for the day so we had some favorable winds and the energy of knowing it’s our last day.

Tim and Sheila once again rode with David Williams and they got an early start.  As I checked on our team throughout the day, it was all coming together that we would meet up right around 2 p.m. as planned.  At least most of us.  We had a couple teammates who couldn’t be there close to 2 p.m. including Tim, Shelia and David Williams.  But we would ride to the finish and then wait for them and a couple others to arrive closer to 3 p.m.

Overall, the day was filled with a lot of joy at the break stops and along the route.  Riders laughing, joking and encouraging one another was pretty much the norm throughout the ride but especially today.  If a rider was struggling, there was always a rider willing to help them.  I marvel how many riders are already committing to next year’s ride while not even done with this one!

So let me wrap up by talking about the finish, called the Heroes Hurrah, that has a couple thousand friends, family, volunteers and wish families waiting anxiously at the finish line at MIS to welcome riders home.  It is very emotional and brings the entire mission of our ride to reality.  As Team Joe’s gathered at our meeting spot just outside MIS, excitement and relief were very apparent.  We hugged and congratulated each other and connected with our WAM 50 teammates. And a lot of our conversation was already about next year.

Rob dedicated his ride to the late Bill Fileti, founder of IHA.

We then got back on our bikes to slowly ride the last couple miles as a team first stopping at the Silent Mile which is actually a greenspace of about 100 yards filled with stars bearing names and/or pictures of loved ones who were being honored by riders.  As we approached, all was quiet and a few of us got off our bikes to find our stars.   Rosalie Tocco-Bradley rode in honor of her late sister and brother-in-law.  I rode in honor of Bill Fileti who we lost this past April.  We picked up their stars and we rode them in hand for the rest of ride to finish line.

Before getting to the finish line, we rode almost entire lap on the MIS Speedway track (staying low because road tires do not like steep embankments) and then heading to the finish just outside the main grandstand.  We crossed as a team to loud cheers and music.  It is a moment that none of us will ever forget.

Team Joe’s rode in honor of Wish Child Jaxon. He placed medals around Rob’s neck and every rider of our team.

After the rest of our team arrived around 3 p.m., we went to the Heroes tent to meet the wish child we rode for, Jaxon C., who was waiting there to meet us and give us our individual medals.  Jaxon is a very cute 8 year-old and has his face painted like a dog.  His wish was to go to Disney World and we met his parents who were so appreciative of the wish and all that has been done for them.

After the medal ceremony, the team started to disperse with many heading to their cars to get home for showers, dinner and a well-deserved sleep.  But they left high in spirits and already planning on next year and who to recruit.  For me, I had one last unexpected special moment.  Our new-found friend, Wish Dad Bob, found me and told me how much this experience changed his life and that it was a healing experience as he grieves the loss of his son, Cameron.  After I cleared the lump in my throat I simply thanked him for sharing a special part of his life with us and that even though I did not get meet Cameron, I felt like I got to know him over the past three days.  I know Bob will be back next year and I cannot wait to see him again.

As I close this, I want to thank a great group of dedicated and caring people called Team Joe’s.  We had fun, we made great friendships and we enjoyed three beautiful days of weather on open roads.  We raised enough money to grant over 22 wishes to Michigan children this coming year just by ourselves.  I know that 300 or even 50 miles on a bike sounds daunting but I believe in the saying that the body can achieve what the mind believes.  I saw riders of all calibers on the WAM 300 and I am confident that, if anyone wants to ride 300 or 50, they can do it and you will have all of us as supporters.  So let me know if you want to learn more!

Until next year…..thanks for all you did as donors and supporters to make this a great WAM.

Jaxon with the entire team from Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.


30th WAM a record-setter for wishes

The 30th edition of the annual Wish a Mile bike ride through Michigan raised a record $2.3 million to help grant wishes for children. A total of 46 riders representing “Team Joe’s” from Saint Joseph Mercy Health System joined 1,200 riders and more than 300 volunteers to make this a special and successful weekend!

The WAM 300 started in Traverse City on July 27. From there, cyclists rode about 100 miles each day, crossing the finish line at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). The WAM 50 is a one-day looped ride that joins the 300 route for the last few miles. Both rides travel through a special designated area named the Silent Mile; to honor loved ones lost too soon but never forgotten. Crossing the finish line, riders are greeted by hundreds of cheering fans and families of wish kids.

Follow each stage of the ride –
Riders fuel up for 300 mile WAM (July 27)
Team Joe’s ready to roll at first light (July 28)
Wrapping up stage two of WAM (July 29)

Team Joe’s Wraps Up Stage 2 of Wish a Mile

Team Joe’s wound through another 100 miles of Michigan countryside to their rest stop. Rob shared thoughts from the road and the annual WHAMMY event:

Stage 2 started early with 4am wake up calls, breakfast by 5:30 a.m. and bikes on the road as early as 6:00.  Getting out of bed in the morning and going out in the dark with a 50 degree temp is not easy but it wears off quickly once the sun is up and the blood is pumping.    Today was the long day – 110 miles.  For riding, many Team Joe’s members split up into groups of like riders.  For me, I have had the pleasure of riding with Russ Olmsted, Lee Benjamin and Greg Hodder along with Wish Dad Bob who joined us for a second day.  What an amazing person.  He believes that he is healing being part of WAM and we made special mention of his late son, Cameron, at the awards program this evening.  Hearing Bob and his son’s story grounds us as to why we ride.

We also had the special treat of being joined on Day 2 by David Williams, CEO of Make-A-Wish America, who decided to join us to celebrate the 30th anniversary of WAM.  David is in good shape but not an experienced cyclist so we all wondered how this would go.  He joined Team Joe’s and we took good care of him.  Sheila Marcus and Tim Mervak stayed with David all day to make sure he had company.  He rode all 110 miles and he got to meet many riders, wish kids and wish parents along the way.  I could tell he was glad he made the decision to come by the end of the day.  Now, I do wonder how he will feel in the morning with another 98 miles to go… J

The first 48 miles today was fast.  We headed mostly south out of Big Rapids towards Greenville and we were booking some excellent speeds.  After lunch, that was a different story.  The winds picked up strong out of the north and northeast.  We loved it when we heading south and died when we headed east so we took on those winds all afternoon.  To say the least we couldn’t wait for it all to end!  It did we all headed to our hotels to clean up and get back for the Wammy Award Program which is a highlight of the weekend.

The Wammy Awards are held in the auditorium of DeWitt High School and it is a packed house of all the riders, volunteers, staff, wish kids and wish parents who came out for the event.  We hear wish stories, honor children and their families and we also granted a wish on stage!  A young boy, Harrison, who has many medical and physical challenges, wanted to be able to ride a bike with his parents.  Through the magic of Make-A-Wish and some awesome cycling shops, they constructed an adaptive bike that will allow Harrison to ride and stay safe and comfortable.  He and his family were presented the bike at the Wammy’s.  The Wammy’s were MC’d by a wish kid, Shawn, who had a wish to meet Jamie Diamond, CEO of Chase.  Shawn was awesome and is an incoming freshman at UM in the Ross School of Business.

The night was filled with celebration and there were many awards given out to riders, teams and volunteers.  We also recognized some supporters like the state troopers who stayed with us through the entire weekend, the American Red Cross Medics, Bike Mechanics, massage therapists and all the volunteers who staffed the schools, support and guidance vehicles (SAG) and the break stops.  It was special for me personally that my daughter Julie volunteered once again on the school crew after taking a year off to ride the WAM with me last year.

Team Joe’s won the fundraising award for Large-sized teams and raised over $134,000 for Make-A-Wish.  That was done through the generosity of all the family, friends and colleagues who supported us so…thank you!!  And, we announced a record-setting grand total for WAM at $2,401,000!   That is incredible and will go towards granting many wishes this coming year to Michigan children.  This night puts the mission right in front of us and reminds us why we do this.  As I sat there, I was reminded on how our own mission of being a transforming and healing presence in our communities completely supports what Make-A-Wish does for children and families.  The Team Joe’s riders were definitely a transforming presence for WAM and for those who Make-A-Wish serves.  I am so proud of our riders and for all 800 plus riders who are on this journey with us.

Ok, time to get ready for our last day tomorrow.  We ride into MIS after our last 98 miles (making this a 307 mile tour just to be precise).  But our sore bodies will be carried through by the excitement and emotion we know awaits us.  Goodnight.

Wish Dad Bob, Russ,
Greg Hodder, Rob, and Lee Benjamin pose in front of the Ferris State Bulldog after finishing Day 1

Wish Dad Bob and Scott Dornbrock enjoy a rest at a break stop.

ER physicians Lee Benjamin and Greg Hodder know how to relax after a long ride!

Rob wears Snapchat glasses to catch more ride pics. Go to Make A Wish Michigan to see posts!

The scene at the mid-morning lunch stop.

David Steinberg, Chris, Jody and nick and Bethany Steinberg pause for a pic before hitting the road again.

At First Light Team Joe’s Ready to Roll Through First 100 Miles of WAM300

SJMHS President and CEO Rob Casalou blogs about Team Joe’s experience in the 2017 Wish a Mile bike ride, a 300-mile, three-day journey across the state to grant wishes for Michigan children.

Stage 1 – Friday, July 28th

The ride to Ferris State and Big Rapids is 99.1 miles and it’s ALL hills. Hills are a beautiful attraction to northern Michigan but they can burn the legs!

Team Joe’s took a sendoff picture at 6:15 a.m. and then hit the road.  We broke up into smaller groups depending on how fast or how slow individuals wanted to go.  For me, I was so delighted to join up with Russ Olmsted, Gred Hodder, MD and Lee Benjamin, MD.  I felt very well protected having two ER docs in my riding group.

Along the way, we had a special moment when we came upon a single rider who was riding well but alone.  On the back of the shirt was a picture of a teenage boy with a note that said “In memory of Cameron, I love you more.”  I asked the man, “who is Cameron” and then he proceeded to tell me how they lost Cameron to leukemia a year ago and he was out riding to honor his son and also to give back.  Cameron had a wish granted and that wish was to have a makeover for his Mom & Dad’s room.  That’s right, he didn’t ask for anything for himself.  And this is not unusual for wish kids.  They are some of the most unselfish people you will ever meet.  Cameron was one of them.  So, right then and there, we invited this wish Dad (name is Bob) to ride with us which he did all day!  He told the Make-A-Wish staff that he felt he was in the right place being there.  We plan to see him again tomorrow.

The weather was perfect all day and we made great time for the first half of the ride.  We made it too the lunch stop at 9 a.m.  That is a little early to eat lunch but the PB & J was too good to pass up. The route was all hills which we expected.  Tomorrow will be longer but flater.

It was a very clean first day with no reported injuries or problems.  That is incredible given the size and scope of this event.

Our small group of five or six riders finished at just before 2 p.m.  Not bad!  But then we heard the Probility team (part of Team Joe’s) coming in at 12:30 p.m. WHAT?  Are you kidding me?!

Overall, a great day was reported by all Team Joe’s.  That is what matters most.  Great first day team.

The Probility gang along with Dr. Geiger getting ready to hit it hard.

Russ Olmsted shows off his pretty shoes.
Greg Hodder, Russ Olmsted, Rob Casalou and Lee Benjamin were joined by Wish Dad Bob and Wish Kid Casey at the lunch stop. By the way, lunch was at 9:00am at mile 44!

Team Joe’s Riders Fuel Up for 300 Mile WAM

Team Joe’s is once again participating in the 2017 Wish a Mile three-day journey to grant wishes for kids. Throughout the trek, riders and team captain and CEO Rob Casalou will be posting pics and sharing journal entries on this blog.  If you want to support Team Joe’s ride to grant more wishes, please click on WAM Team Joe’s.

Here is Rob’s first entry from “travel day,” when riders board buses to the starting line in Traverse City.

Day 1 – Thursday, July 27th

Team Joe’s assembled 37 riders for the WAM 300 and 9 for the WAM 50.  We have many repeat riders but also a few rookies.  Most of the 37 decided to take the buses from MIS Speedway where the Wish-A-Mile tour ends up to Traverse City where the event begins on Friday morning.  Some of our riders decided to check-in up in Traverse City.  It is always fun to see the excitement on the faces of our new and veteran riders because.  This is a special event that will bring us close with wish children and wish families who are those we ride to support.

The Make-A-Wish teams do an awesome job of managing registration, check-in, wrapping and storing bikes on trucks, lining up very large and comfortable coach buses and we begin our travels to Traverse City at 10 a.m. sharp.  The ride up is fun and it gives us time to talk about what to expect, things to know and talk about rider safety.  The WAM is not only a special event for who we support but it is also the safest event I have participated.  In addition to multiple SAG vehicles and Red Cross emergency vehicles, we have 4 Michigan State Troopers on motorcycles that escort us all three days.  How awesome is that?!!

After a lunch stop at the Clare Rest Area, we head into Traverse City and to the East Traverse Middle School where we set up for the night.  We rolled into the school at 3pm and then the preparation began.  First, setting up the bike is important and giving it a home along a fence or wall for the evening.  All our bikes were shipped up ahead of us so they were waiting when we arrived.   Then, it is time to head to the hotels on a shuttle bus so we could check-in and get back to the school for a great dinner (need carbs the night before).

The staff put on a great ice cream social and have live music with keyboard played by a former wish child.  It was great.  Then it was off to bed because alarms are set for 4 a.m.  … I get tired just thinking about that!


WAM photos
Clare Rest stop when 800 riders descend upon it for our lunch stop.

Rob Casalou with his wife Kristin and some new members of Team Joe’s.

Join Team Joe’s for the 2017 Wish-a-Mile Bike Tour

“We ride for the kids.” – Rob Casalou


Team Joe’s is back and ready to ride.  The cycling group led by SJMHS President and CEO Rob Casalou will be traversing miles of Michigan countryside in the 30th edition of the 2017 Wish a Mile from July 27-30.

All SJMHS employees, physicians, family members and friends are invited to join Team Joe’s WAM team as they ride to grant wishes to Michigan kids with life-threatening medical conditions.

Visit the Team Joe’s WAM page to register or support the team in other ways.  There are two ways to participate:

WAM 300 – July 27-30. A three day, 300-mile tour starting in Traverse City and ending at MIS Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.

WAM 50 – Sunday, July 30.  Registered riders meet up with Team Joe’s on the third and last day, and bike the final 50 miles together into Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.

“If you are intrigued by this event and Team Joe’s, please consider joining us,” Casalou said.  “Just let me know of your interest and I will fill you in on everything you need to know and then you can decide.  I promise you that you will never regret climbing on board.” (comment to this post and Rob will respond.)

Casalou and the team will be posting summaries, pics and live video during their three-day journey.  Follow the action at www.stjoeshealthblog.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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