“It’s cool and wet, and the spirit is warm,” says Earl Reimer, Director of Development for the Eden Foundation.
The 16th Annual Head for the Hills raised $121,000 and counting, but it was not an easy ride. This was the first year where weather has caused organizers to question whether the event would happen.
Reimer says, “had we called this thing off we would not have experienced this spirit that we have seen here today. This is a tell-tale, this is a benchmark event. This will be the year that we refer to as ‘remember when.’ That’s what we will remember about this day.”
Although the start was delayed, the route was changed, and some riders chose to opt-out, there were still 40 participants who showed up without pre-registering. Even more astonishing, the foundation saw their largest registration list at a total of 251 cyclists registered.
The Crystal Springs Hutterite Colony has been supporting the ride for years and this year they were the biggest fundraiser. On of their riders, Jonathan Kleinsasser, says the ride is “something we appreaciate from the colonies. There have been a number of people who came and sought help there, in fact, my wife is there now,” says Kleinsasser.
The engagement of the surrounding communities, and their impact on mental health support through this event make a world of a difference. Reimer says the ride “makes it possible to do the extra little things that the community would like to see. These are the things that make it possible to go the extra mile.”
Kleinsasser adds, “when you have a few leaders that are really passionate about something, it rubs off onto the next generation, on other people.”
Reimer would like to extend his thanks to everyone who supported the event, from sponsors, to donators, and riders alike. It is them who keep events like these driving forward (even through a bit of mud).
Original Post: https://www.pembinavalleyonline.com/local/community-spirit-shines-through-the-rain-at-head-for-the-hills