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United Methodist Church of the Dunes Hosting Haiti Bike Ride | Business

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United Methodist Church of the Dunes Hosting Haiti Bike Ride
United Methodist Church of the Dunes Hosting Haiti Bike Ride

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. Cycling enthusiasts are being urged to register now for “Haiti Ride 2013”.

The annual bike ride raises funds to support villagers and residents in the island nation of Haiti, as it continues its rebuilding efforts in the wake of the 2010 quake, three recent hurricanes and cholera epidemic.  United Methodist Church of the Dunes (UMCD), at 717 Sheldon Road in Grand Haven, will serve again as the host site for the bike tour.

Haiti Ride 2013 will be held from Wednesday, June 12 through Saturday, June 15.  There are two designated charities the ride is supporting in Haiti this year:  Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI) and United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM).

Event organizers are UMCD members Roger and Gayle Cox of Grand Haven.  They have planned two registration options for participants in this year’s bike tour.

Option one is the opportunity for bikers to participate in the four-day ride.  The daily routes follow:

  • Day One:  Wednesday, June 12 – Musketawa Trail, Ravenna, Marne and Spring Lake
  • Day Two:  Thursday, June 13 – Ferrysburg, Muskegon, Whitehall and Montague
  • Day Three:  Friday, June 14 – Grand River, Allendale and Port Sheldon
  • Day Four:  Saturday, June 15 - Holland

Those people who register for the four-day ride have the option to stay at UMCD in Grand Haven.  Breakfast will be provided each day for four-day riders as part of their registration fees.  Participants must provide their own sleeping bag and air mattress.  Inside showers and an outside vehicle parking area are available at the church.  Bikes may be parked inside the church each night.  Registration fee for the four-day ride is $100 and is due at the time of registration.  Anyone signing up to ride all four days is expected to raise a minimum of $400 more in pledges and donations toward Haiti-designated projects.

Option two is available for persons who wish to sign up for a one-day ride. Registrants may pick their day of choice on any of the bike tour days, June 12-15.  Registration fee for the single-day ride is $30.  People who register for the single-day tour are expected to raise an additional $100 in pledges and donations.

This year, bicyclists will ride a SPOKE type course, with Grand Haven serving as the hub.  Each day, riders will travel a new spoke, with optional routes covering various distances like a 30, 60 and 90 mile route.  Riders will be able to choose which one they will ride that day.  Supplies and gear vehicles will also be spread out along the routes to provide directions, snacks, fluids and aid riders needing mechanical or physical assistance.

HAITI-SPONSORED PROJECTSThe 2013 Ride for Haiti’s support of HAPI and UMVIM will provide specific support to men, women and children throughout Haiti.

HAPI is an initiative of The Advance that was co-founded in 2007 by West Michigan Conference Council on Ministries staff office manager Valerie Mossman-Celestin and Paul Prevost, a former mayor of Mizak, Haiti.   It is a United Methodist Women-supported project that was founded as a fair trade artisan co-op focused on spirituality and creativity.  HAPI’s strategy focuses on marketing artworks created by Haitians to support women’s economic development and empowerment.  The philosophy of the program is that women are most likely to invest in the education and health of the children, thereby breaking the cycle of generational poverty in Haiti.

UMVIM in Haiti promotes, encourages and enables Christians to exemplify Christian love in action through short-term mission service at home and abroad.  UMVIM provides opportunities for service by developing and nurturing relationships with domestic and international leaders.  UMVIM responds to the needs of local communities and provides comprehensive training resources for team leaders in Haiti to help them prepare their teams for the mission field.

Cyclists participating in this year’s Haiti Ride will collect pledges from friends and co-workers prior to the ride.  All money is turned into the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church.  The Michigan Area Haiti Task Force (MAHTF) helps distribute the money to the organizations directly involved in Haiti relief efforts.

“I am happy to report that approximately $3,315 has been distributed to each of our three Haiti projects from last year – HAPI, Grace Children’s Hospital and UMVIM for youth scholarships.  Grace Children’s Hospital is into a matching grant drive right now for the new hospital, so by sending it to Grace the money will be doubled,” said Roger Cox, Haiti Ride organizer and member of UMCD.

This year’s Haiti ride is also dedicated to the memory of pastor Ed Mohr of Gobles United Methodist Church, who passed away following a car-bicycle accident on September 11, 2012.

Anyone interested in registering to participate should do so by going online at:  http://www.haitiride.org/  Those having questions should contact the event organizers via e-mail, as follows:  Roger Cox:  rgcox2@gmail.com; Gayle Cox:  rgcox3@gmail.com