Lexington’s Shawn Sabine is Top Fundraiser for Lung Association’s Trek Across Maine

Sabine Rides in Memory of his Mother Sandra

The American Lung Association of the Northeast thanks and congratulates Shawn Sabine of Lexington, Massachusetts, the top individual fundraiser for the organization’s annual Trek Across Maine held this Father’s Day Weekend.  This was Sabine’s third year riding in the 3-day, 180-mile bike trek which takes riders on a challenging, yet picturesque journey from Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry to Steamboat Landing Park in Belfast. Sabine credits the generosity of his donors for his achievement in raising more than $10,800 to support the Lung Association’s mission to save lives by preventing lung disease and improving lung health. It’s that incredible support that ultimately made him the event’s top individual fundraiser out of more than 2,500 registered cyclists.

Kennebunk Savings Team Photo
Members of the Kennebunk Savings Bank Team pictured from left to right: Jennifer Paige, Bradford Paige, Shawn Sabine, Steve Lycette, Dennis Byrd and Heather Levere Harris.

Sabine has a very personal reason for riding. His mother, Sandra, passed away from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2009. When he first noticed the Trek advertised in 2010, he was struck by the fact that it began on his birthday, ended on Father’s Day, and would benefit a cause so near and dear to him.  Sabine said the stars and the moon were aligned, so to speak, and he made the decision then and there that he would ride in the Trek Across Maine. 

Sabine continues to ride in his mother’s memory each year with the hope that others will not have to suffer the way she did and can instead have the joy of a happy future with friends and family. He feels his participation is already making a difference. In addition to the funds he’s raised, he’s spread the word about the Trek and in doing so, has helped the event grow larger each year. In 2010, he asked his friend, Brad Paige, to ride with him. Paige, who is President and CEO of Kennebunk Savings Bank, had such a great experience on that ride that he gathered several coworkers and friends to form the Kennebunk Savings Bank Team in 2011 and 2012. Sabine is now a proud member of their team.

“For me, the Trek Across Maine has been a powerful experience both physically and emotionally,” said Sabine. “During the many hours spent on my bike training and riding, I have had plenty of time to think and reflect on how important it is to do everything we can to eradicate lung disease so we can all have a brighter, healthier future.” 

Of his fundraising, Sabine said he has found people to be incredibly generous. He stresses that asking is the first key to success.  He estimates that he sends out more than 150 personal letters and over 300 individualized emails to his friends, family members, neighbors and business associates. Many donate because they themselves have been touched in some way by lung disease; others contribute because they support Shawn and can sense his genuine commitment to the mission.

It is because of the overwhelming financial support Shawn received that he was ranked as the third highest individual fundraiser in 2010 and as the second highest in 2011. In 2012, he set a goal to raise more for the American Lung Association than any other Trekker. Shawn informed his prospects of his intentions and asked them to give as generously as they could. They came through.

“I do not do this for the recognition; it’s not about me,” says Sabine. “It’s about the many people who are struggling to breathe and are desperately hoping for a cure. That’s why I ride and it’s why I am not hesitant to ask for all the support I can get.”

“The Lung Association is incredibly grateful for Shawn’s support of our mission and for his extraordinary fundraising,” said Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “So many of us have been touched by lung disease and the Trek Across Maine galvanizes people from all across the country to come together and fight back by raising the funds we desperately need to find better treatments and cures. Everyone’s support brings us closer to one day realizing our vision of a world free of lung disease.”

In its 28th year, the Trek has become a staple in Maine, with the number of cyclists and volunteers growing each year. More than 2,500 cyclists registered for the 2012 Trek Across Maine and more than 700 people volunteered.  The event is on target to raise $1.8 million making it the largest fundraising event for the American Lung Association nationwide.

For more on the American Lung Association of the Northeast’s Trek Across Maine, to register for 2013, or to make a donation that could save lives, visit biketreknewengland.org.