West Valley Century will host three events to promote participants to get healthy while benefiting the community’s youth. The Century / Metric Century and 30-mile bike ride allows residents and participants a chance to pedal through the scenic valley farmland up towards the canyon elevations near Diablo Grande. All proceeds will benefit P.R.I.D.E. to help maintain scholarships for students of the Patterson Joint Unified School District.
To help increase awareness for the event, PHS seniors Emily Bingham, Tina Oliva and Kiara Jo’b jumped into the fray to help tackle the community project as part of their exit exam program, also known as the PREP Project.
To help increase community participation and awareness for P.R.I.D.E., the girls came up with an idea to host a 5K bike ride alongside the West Valley Century. They believed that adding a 5K near the downtown region will entice more people to join in the future and not associate the Century ride as a daunting task for the faint at heart.
P.R.I.D.E. representative Dave Santos said this will be their third time running the event, but adds that it’s their first sanctioned ride.
“The girls are super,” said Santos. “They’ve been doing a great job and have helped handled many of the affairs. It’s amazing, the level participation and volunteers associated with this project.”
“Everyone is doing a great job with West Valley Century. It’s great to work with them,” added Bingham. “I wanted to do something that we could have fun with, and this gives us a whole lot of opportunities to talk with important people.”
“It’s all business and official,” said Oliva. “We want to get the high school involved because it is a great event that benefits the community and the schools. We wanted to make sure the 5K could start in a place that is easy to get to, and encourage everyone to participate. Not a lot of kids can drive up the canyon, so it’s important to have something for everyone.”
Since the summer, the group of girls have been racking their brains and their resources for ways to help the project along. Since then, the girls have not only succeeded in creating a free event, a 5K for families, but also persuaded Wal-Mart to donate two bicycles — a mountain bike and a beach cruiser — for a raffle contest to benefit P.R.I.D.E.
“There are a bunch of high school students that are selling tickets right now, and we’ve had a lot of success,” said Bingham, who regularly meets up with Wal-Mart and City staff to ensure the project comes to fruition.
The girls suggested that raffling off a mountain bike and beach cruiser would entice many different types of cyclists, regardless of speed or skill, and encouraged everyone from families to friends to ride for fun and community profit. The girls also wanted to be sure the tickets were inexpensive and decided that the raffle tickets should only cost a dollar apiece for anyone under any budgetary constraints.
The girls decided that the start and finish line should be located at Wal-Mart, which is centrally located in town and offers a variety of amenities nearby. McDonalds will also provide goodie bags featuring a variety of healthy, local choices, including bags of Stewart and Jasper Almonds.
As an added bonus, Wal-Mart will also be hosting a Lifestyle Fair, which offers anemia screenings, diabetes education, blood pressure screenings, hypertension education, poison control education, cycling tips and games and prizes for children.
“This is the first real organized bike ride for P.R.I.D.E. and West Valley Century,” said Santos. “All these organizations are coming together to benefit the community. We want this to continue and improve and hope to see that bike riding will grow and be popular.”
“We want to educate people on cycling,” said Bingham. “It’s not a race, it’s a ride!”
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Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org