Last Wednesday a group of cyclists left New York City with a plan to ride to Niagara Falls in just five days. Their goal? Raising awareness and money for the non-profit group Sanctuary for Families, who provide support for victims of domestic and gender violence.
The five bicyclists arrived at Niagara Falls late Sunday afternoon, completing a 500-mile trip. Ashley Tsai helped organize the event with her husband, who happens to be an avid bike rider. She is an analytics director who volunteered at Sanctuary for Families for 9 months prior to the ride.
“What they did for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking really made an impression on me,” said Tsai. “We have been thinking about ways to help raise awareness of the agency as well as funds.”
Tsai’s husband, Nelson Lin, led the small group of riders on what he calls one of the most difficult rides he has ever taken part of.
“Although this ride is long, biking is much easier than domestic violence,” said Nelson. “Sanctuary for Families is able to do wonderful things for the survivors of domestic violence through their services and programs.”
John Wyeth has worked with the nonprofit agency for years. He’s excited to be actively promoting the group’s effort away from his desk.
“What I generally do is fundraising from foundations and government, and doing something more than that, because I don’t get to work directly with our domestic violence clients or children… actually getting out and being on the road, it just makes me feel like I’m doing something tangible to get the word out on this issue,” said Wyeth.
One of the cyclists, Tim Prosser, traveled all the way from Sydney, Australia to take part. He does rides like these all around the world and says a lot of people in corporate jobs get personal satisfaction out of riding for charity.
“They usually train for three or four months before hand. You can’t just ride 100 miles out of the gate,” said Prosser. “You need to be able to train for it. It often involves a lot of early mornings in the park on your own or in a small group. It’s actually quite a big build up.”
The group hopes to do more rides like this for Sanctuary for Families in the future.
The ride raised close to $10,000 dollars.