The International Federation of Bike Messenger Associations (IFBMA) has announced the 2005 "Markus Cook Memorial Award" (MCA) for Services to the International Messenger Community.
One of Cook's visions was a fund to help injured messengers. In Mercury Rising #10 from 1994 he wrote:
"As I lay drugged and listless in my bed at General the day after a shoulder surgery, my roommate came in and told me he had just seen a group of Western Messengers on their way to visit a fallen sister, Andrea, who had her pelvis broken by a car. Damn, we keep those hospitals busy. This got me thinking about what SFBMA is and what it could be. We spend thousands every week at the same few bars. If a couple hundred people siphoned off a mere 5 bucks a month and dumped it into some kind of emergency fund thing, that would be $12,000 a year, to help people and invest and keep the fund going. Or maybe you could buy a t-shirt and get a membership card. This kind of thing has been discussed before over the years. Might work, I dunno...could strengthen the messenger community in a variety of ways."
This year's MCA recipient is Jean Andre Vallery of Sarasota, Florida, who is being honoured for his work with the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund (BMEF). Since March 2004, the BMEF has sent urgent financial aid to 29 injured bicycle messengers around the world.
The BMEF is a not-for-profit organization, based in Florida, set up by Jean Andre Vallery in 2001. It exists to provide messengers who have been injured and are unable to work, with financial assistance, namely an unconditional grant of $300.
For more information see www.messengers.org/ifbma/mca.html