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Stefan Dahlmark has called New Hope home for 29 years. For 20 of those years, he has been a realtor in partnership with Tom Hora. They are part of Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty’s New Hope office. While Stefan’s career has focused on helping clients buy and sell homes, he also has been a supporter of Housing Works, one of the largest advocacy groups for those living with HIV/AIDS. Housing Works supports funding and legislation to ensure that all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, HIV prevention information and other life-sustaining services, as well as legal protections from stigma and discrimination.
In 2018, Stefan decided to up his commitment to Housing Works in a very personal way: He signed up in spring for the organization’s “Braking AIDS Ride,” a 3-day/300-mile bicycle ride held each September. Although Stefan was physically fit, he was a novice road cyclist and planned on training throughout beautiful Bucks and Hunterdon counties during spring and summer. In the meantime, he set about letting his friends and colleagues know about the ride as each participant must raise a minimum of $3,500 in pledges.
The wet spring and summer limited Stefan’s training plan, and he said he felt a bit underprepared upon arriving Sept. 13 in Cooperstown, N.Y., the ride’s starting point. Between Sept. 14 and Sept. 16, he joined 150 bicyclists of all ability levels as they pedaled their way past the Lake Otsego shoreline, along the Mohawk River to Albany, N.Y., through the foothills of the Catskills and into the Hudson River Valley with the ride ending in celebration in New York City.
“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but also one of the most rewarding,” said Stefan. “I upped my fundraising goal two times because of the support from my circle of friends and other supporters, providing $8,800 to Housing Works.” The overall event raised $213,000 this year, according to Stefan.
“This was a very powerful experience,” said Stefan, who recalls feeling boosted by the teamwork and camaraderie among the organizers and riders. He is already on board for the 2019 ride and has recruited two friends to join him. Together, they’ll do their part to help Housing Works and its partners end the AIDS epidemic nationwide by 2025.