After 5 years of “‘no life,’ Bush decides to turn over reins
Janie Bush, creator and manager of the Lone Star AIDS Ride, has retired from her five-year role as the face of the fundraiser.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while,” Bush said. “It’s just time. As much as I love the Lone Star Ride, the fact of the matter is I’ve really had no life for a very long time. And I needed one.”
Through the coordination of the annual two-day fall ride, Bush and her team of 175 volunteer crew members and 150 riders have raised about $1.2 million for the three beneficiaries of the ride. The ride has benefited AIDS Services of Dallas, the Resource Center of Dallas and AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County.
Marianne DeLeon, development director of the Resource Center of Dallas, said Bush was a beloved and valued leader. The Lone Star AIDS Ride headquarters is located in the center’s offices.
“She was the face of the ride,” DeLeon said. She really dedicated her life to the ride.”
Bush’s departure coincides with a decision by the 175-mile ride’s coordinators this year to restructure how the fundraiser is managed, DeLeon said. The four-member governing committee made up of the executive directors of the three AIDS services agencies and Bush, will be replaced by a 25-member committee that includes two ride co-chairs and members of the volunteer crew.
“We felt we could get more support from the community if we were able to empower the steering committee to make more decisions on the ride,” DeLeon said.
The coordinators have employed a community relations manager, and they are in the process of interviewing a logistics manager.
The new community relations manager is Michael Bailey, a former corporate public relations manager for EDS and a volunteer for the Dallas-Fort Worth Black Tie Dinner.
The Lone Star AIDS Ride website reveals that some of the changes in store for the 2006 ride include a new scenic route, over-night accommo-dation options, prizes, an optional loop for stronger riders and a one-day biking option.
“There’s a lot of things in store for the ride,” said Bush, who participated in the strategic planning for the 2006 ride.
Bush said her work on the ride was a memorable experience.
The first year of the ride in 2001 came on the heels of the Sept.11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. The 2005 ride, the last for Bush to coordinate, had to be postponed for a month because of Hurricane Rita.
Bush said she had planned to retire at the end of the 2005 ride, but the postponement of the ride delayed her plans.
“My decision was kind of thrown off base,” Bush said. “We had not anticipated that.”
Bush said her goal now is to take the summer off before she starts her next job, whatever that may turn out to be.
“I’ve retired from the ride and would love to retire entirely, but that’s not going to happen for a long time I’m afraid,” Bush said. “I’m just resting now.”
The Lone Star AIDS Ride coordinators will announce a going away reception for Bush at a later date.
MAXEY RUNS FOR PARTY CHAIR
AUSTIN GLBT rights activist and former Texas lawmaker Glen Maxey is one of three candidates for the chairmanship of the Texas Democratic Party.
The election will be held at the party’s state convention in Fort Worth in June.
Longtime Democratic campaign worker and small-town lawyer Boyd Richie was named interim party chair this week, replacing trial lawyer Charles Soechting. Soechting served more than two years as the party’s leader but is leaving his post two months early citing changed duties at his law firm.
San Antonio lawyer Charles Urbina Jones is also running for the chairmanship.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, April 28, 2006.