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Friday, June 27, 2014

Heroes of the Week: ACT Ride 12 Volunteers

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Founded in 2003, the ACT Ride is a four-day, 300-mile charity bike ride to raise money for and awareness about the nonprofit AIDS Network. The funds raised by the event are targeted to the Madison-based group’s educational programs, prevention services, pro bono legal services, a food pantry and needle exchange program, to name a few. ACT Ride’s route this year highlights the eastern boundary of the AIDS Network’s 13-county service area.

“The energy of the riders and crew is overwhelming and reminds people that HIV/AIDS affects every community, every age and does not discriminate,” said ACT Ride 12’s Steering Committee Chair Ellen Hebron. “The ride’s motto is ‘Courage, Compassion, Commitment,’ and we strive to embody those tenets everywhere we go.”

More than $3 million has been raised in the previous 11 rides, with an average annual return of over 80% due to its low overhead. The event is completely run by volunteers with the exception of one AIDS Network staff point person.

“The ride is fully supported by a volunteer crew who do everything from providing sweep support for the riders out on the route, marking the route so riders know where to go, running camp, cooking, manning stops on the route in public parks and providing medical support,” Hebron said.

ACT Ride 12 will be held Thursday, July 31-Sunday, Aug. 3, and the more riders, the better. For those interested in participating, visit actride.org to register. The ride also needs more volunteers on nearly every crew; volunteer opportunities are also listed on the website above. In addition, fundraising is vital and sponsors and donations are always appreciated. For volunteer or donating questions, contact steeringcommittee@actride.org or call 608-252-6540 (ask for Katie Childs).