The Rotary Club of Santa Cruz Sunrise finished a 3 day, 200 mile bike ride Saturday, September 30, 2017, and raised over $200,000 for LEO’s Haven, Santa Cruz County’s first inclusive playground! This “Epic Bike Ride”, known affectionately as Jon and Ken’s Most Excellent Adventure, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year with a rousing send off by none other than Supervisor Bruce McPherson, who has been “sending off the riders” for each of the last 20 years.
As the very tired 3-Day riders rode into the finish line party located at Lighthouse Bank, they were met by a similarly tired group of riders, on various adapted bikes customized to suit their individual needs. These many riders, most of them children, had ridden on a One Day Ride on the River Levee. The two groups of riders meet with smiles and tears as they all enjoyed the incredible feeling one gets from a major accomplishment.
The adaptive ride was coordinated with Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP) who provided the adaptive bikes. For some of the kids who came out on Saturday it was the first time on a bike!
“I had no idea how much fun it would be riding with these kids on the river levee. I usually only see them in the clinical setting,” said Karen Gosling, occupational therapist, past Rotary president, and ride organizer.
Nearly every member of the Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary Club participated in the event, with many members working for months to make it a success! The funds were raised through generous sponsorship from many community members and businesses, and the finish line party included auctions and a raffle. These funds were then double matched — first through a very generous Rotarian and then matched again by another private donor. In all, $200,000 was raised for LEO’s Haven.
Not only was this a record-breaking fundraiser, but it helped to raise awareness of the need for inclusive playgrounds for all children, showcased adaptive bikes, and allowed families to enjoy a magical Saturday afternoon.
A great time was had by all!