Over the years I’ve had the privilege to work with some incredible people, organizations, and institutions. My ongoing favorite that continues to have a significant role in my life since I first connected with them during my high school experience is Rotary International. The past seven years I’ve been involved with District 5280 Rotary in Los Angeles, CA. This district is such a notable force for good in the community and they have been critical partners on the most impactful fundraising and awareness campaigns I’ve ever had the privilege to be involved with. The District leadership over the years has shown great empowerment for individual Rotarians and given us the space to dream big and see those dreams come to fruition.
As a Rotarian with the Playa Venice Rotary Club, I’ve watched as the District has played significant roles in highlighting and empowering joint partnership and friendly competition between clubs. I want to share a few notable examples:
- The support of Rotarian Brady Connell as he spearheaded a five club collaboration to build multiple houses in the Venice area for Habitat for Humanity
- The District Picnic with the annual cardboard boat race, chili cook off and other events with consistent high attendance
- The ultra-endurance events I’ve completed over the years raising money and awareness for brain cancer research, Polio eradication and fighting human trafficking
- The World Peace Conference, leadership development training, and the district breakfasts and conferences which are a continual highlight of the year
On August 14th, I’m taking on another endurance challenge with the Backbone Trail 68-mile course (BBT68) in the Santa Monica Mountains. This is a notable trail for many in the ultra-running community and a bucket list item with notoriety because of the heat, isolation, and substantial amount of climbing and descent. The course follows the spine of the Santa Monica Mountains from Los Angeles to Point Mugu in Ventura County. Typically, a thru-hike of the Backbone Trail is achieved in 7-9 days. This year I’ll plan on completing the course in between 24 – 30 hours! Once again, District 5280 is supporting me in these adventures, and I look forward to having a handful of Rotarians at the 9:00am kickoff as well as my family of Rotarians from my home club of Playa Venice.
Our charity partner for the event is 1736 Family Crisis Center (1736 FCC), a highlighted group we worked with during the Uberman ultra triathlon last year. Every year since 2005, the Troupe Family has hosted a fundraiser for 1736 FCC. Together this year we will share this journey, and I look forward to seeing many of the 1736 FCC team at the start of the event as well in a few Zoom meetings to highlight and share stories.
These events continue to be a part of my life primarily because of the incredible collaborations that make it possible. There are numerous communities that come together to make these endeavors some of the highlights of my life. I’m forever grateful to the video production and media teams that share the experience, the crews that literally supply me and care for my every need, the sponsorships and ambassadorships like AllWeDoIsRun, and the organizations that we partner with, including 1736 and the organizations that support our efforts through encouragement, publicity, volunteers and a passion to seek service above self like the community I’ve found through Rotary International. In all things, through every event, I’ve learned: collaboration is key.