Bike-A-Thon supports local club, teaches kids to stay active
The Boys and Girls Club of Portage County will bring together families, co-workers and neighbors during the eighth annual Bike-A-Thon Saturday, Aug. 6, to raise money for club programs.
Registration begins at 7 a.m. at AIG, 3300 Business Park Drive, Stevens Point. Before Friday, July 29, registration is $25 for adults and $5 for youth under age 18 for long rides. After July 29, registration for long rides is $30 for adults.
The family ride event, which is four miles, is $10 for adults and $5 for youth under age 18. Boys and Girls Club members are free care of Mark Toyota Scion.
The registration fee covers a T-shirt, drawstring bag, water bottle and lunch. Go to www.bgclubpc.org/bike4bgc to register online. Sponsorship and pledge forms also are available online.
There will be four bike routes available, all of which begin and end at AIG, and a staggered start time for each. The 62-mile ride starts at 7:30 a.m. The 20-mile ride will begin at 9 a.m., the 13-mile ride starts at 9:30 a.m. and the four-mile Rich Johnson Family ride begins at 10 a.m.
From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. sandwiches and drinks will be provided and other activities will be available for participants.
Individual awards include Highest Pledge Total for youth and adult and Best Effort for youth. Team awards include Hearts of Gold award for the team raising the most money and Going the Distance for the most accumulated miles.
“The whole purpose of the event was to get these kids excited about biking,” said Brittany Von Ebers, director of development and marketing for the Boys and Girls Club.
“It’s cool to see the community come around and support it as well because then the kids have someone to look up to,” she said.
The kids involved do not normally get to partake in fundraising efforts, so this offers them an opportunity to be part of the process that provides so many programming options for them, she said.
“Right now all the kids and staff are raising money for Boys and Girls Club at their sites so they have little coin wars and stuff like that going on. And staff will dye their hair blue or shave their heads if they get to a certain amount so that’s kind of something new we’re doing,” Von Ebers said.
The winning club will be announced at the event.
The club encourages biking activities throughout the year in the form of the Bike Club, which happens during the after-school and summer hours at the eight different locations.
One of the leaders will take a group of kids different places in the community on their bikes such as an ice cream parlor or the park. The leaders teach safety precautions that the kids will be using during the bike ride such as signaling and wearing a helmet.
Von Ebers said they are working to make the kids comfortable with biking and show them a way to get around that is better for the environment and body than driving.
“It’s fun to see how excited they are about it. Sometimes they’ll set up little cone obstacle courses and weave in and out of them on their way to and from,” Von Ebers said. “We have to take turns on the bikes because maybe the orange shiny one is not necessarily there one day,” she said about kids using different bikes during club hours.
Helmets are required for the Bike-A-Thon. If youth do not have a bike or helmet, they can call 715-341-4386. Child Passenger Safety may be able to provide helmets.