Jan Gierlach’s Story
The Responsibility of Philanthropy Handed Down to A New Generation
Bob Lee’s efforts and accomplishments are now being continued through Jan Gierlach. Riding bikes is nothing new for Jan. He pursued his passion for bike riding from a young age, but his inspiration to do more than just ride came from Bob Lee. Lee gave a presentation to a then third grade Gierlach at Hough Street Elementary in 2007, which was during Lee’s second journey for Ride For 3 Reasons. Through the words of Lee, a dream emerged. Lee has become an inspiration and mentor, instilling in Jan the same passion and drive to not only engage and give back to his community, but that a purpose-driven ride can accomplish much more.
“These three reasons are just as much mine, as they are Bob’s, as they are all of yours. They are the reasons I am doing this ride, and the reasons that I hope many of you will choose to help in your own unique and gifted ways.”
Jan is fulfilling his childhood dream of riding across the country. By fostering the legacy started with the first three rides, Gierlach is now creating his own path. He is riding for the same three reasons, but for his own personal connections to those reasons. He has lost a grandfather to lung cancer, a dear family friend to ALS, and in his grandmothers final days he witnessed the ease and comfort hospice was able to provide her. Through this ride, Gierlach hopes to create a positive impact for others, and mature and grow individually.
A Barrington resident, Jan lives an active life and is involved in organizations like the Barrington Youth Advisory Council. He is a rising senior at Barrington High School, with plans to graduate in December of 2016 to pursue this ride. Along with his parents, Jan has three siblings and a dog, Otis.