I know it’s a bit a cliché but gee this year seems to have flown by, and we now find ourselves just two sleeps away from the annual visit from Santa.

 I, like so many other people have spent lots of money buying gifts for friends and family and then crossing my fingers that they’ll be enjoyed and used by their recipients.

 Often it’s the unexpected gifts that are the most appreciated and that’s why I wanted to reflect on the generosity of so many people in helping me raise $3,500 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in the past few months.

 Many of you will know that I took up road cycling last year so I could participate in the JDRF Ride for a Cure in January 2009 and again this year I put my hand up and said I’d participate in the ride that takes place in the Barossa Valley on Saturday, 16 January 2010 (just over three weeks away).

 Back in August I started my fundraising efforts and was touched every time I received a donation. I’ve nearly raised the $3,500 and it’s been solely through the generosity of my family, friends and business colleagues. All I did was send emails throughout my network asking for help.

 It really shows the power of mobilising your resources. I’ve also been surprised that the people I expected to donate didn’t, and those that I didn’t expect to, did. How does that work?

 And then there’s those who promise, promise and don’t ever quite get around to it. If you’re in that category it’s not too late. Go to

 http://ride.jdrf.org.au/firstdata/nicolarutzou

 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I recommend you take up cycling for your New Year’s resolution. It’s great fun, terrific exercise and very social. I’ve made heaps of new friends.

 Nicola