Cycling through Pelham has never been better for charities across North America, in the first annual Niagara Ride for Refuge.
The event began after Tim Kyte rode in the Hamilton chapter of the Ride for Refuge last year. Seeing the potential along the scenic roads of Pelham, he teamed up with Lisa Vandenhaak and Matt Bradbury of Pelham Friends Church.
“I kind of wanted to do more this year, so I came into contact with Matt and Lisa. The three of us decided to work on this together and it turned out to be something pretty special.”
Organization was made simple with the help of representatives from Ride for Refuge. Weekly conference calls and online help made preparation for the event simple. That also included recruitment of over 175 charities — including Niagara’s Open Arms Mission.
“It’s really beneficial because many of the charities in Niagara couldn’t be able to provide the financial support to host such a large event,” Kyte said. “Lots of people getting together to discuss each others charities and why they are riding is one of the most exciting part about this event. So many people with a passion to make a change is great.”
Since 2004, the ride has raised more than $5,000,000 through the hard work of thousands of riders and volunteers located across North America. Vandenhaak, in her first Ride for Refuge, was happy to help organize such an important event.
“I’ve just been really excited to help out local charities and charities across the country. You’re getting a chance to help out people across the world by simply riding your bike.”
Kyte says any charity can get involved with the project which is what really drew his interest. After watching so many events with one single focus, this event provides the same pedestal for a charity, but on a much larger scale, benefiting a wide-variety of causes.
“They’re just a great organization,” Vandenhaak said. “They provide everything for us while also doing so much good for charities everywhere.”
For more information on the ride, visit www.rideforrefuge.org/location/niagararegion.