Through the generosity of local bicyclists and sponsors, more than 1,500 local kids usually receive a pair of sneakers each year through a fundraising ride.
Organizers of ReidRide, which returns Saturday, Aug. 19, have distributed thousands of pairs of shoes since 2009. Reid Health Foundation partners with local social service agencies such as Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County, Amigos and Girls Inc. to reach children who need shoes in the communities the health system serves.
Every $20 registration buys a pair of tennis shoes for a local child, and school-aged children in grades K-12 can participate in ReidRide at no charge.
However, community members don’t have to ride their bicycles to help the cause. Donations of any amount are welcome.
In addition, the organizers need about 150 volunteers to staff the ride outside the Richmond hospital, where it starts and ends, and along the route. Several Wayne County first responders will be placed in intersections, slowing traffic where needed.
Last year’s ride drew 315 participants, with 101 of them riding a new extended 30-mile route. The event is open to families, leisure riders and avid racers.
Three options are offered for this year’s ride: a family friendly route (8 miles), the full route (15 miles), and the extended 30-mile route.
Riders will start the longest route at 8 a.m., the full route at 8:10 and the family route at 8:20.
Since its creation, nearly 7,000 ReidRide participants have traveled 122,478 miles and raised almost $719,000.
In addition to buying shoes for kids, the foundation aims to address other local health needs throughout the year.
For instance, planning has begun for the second Kaleidoscope Ball on March 16, 2024. The gala benefits cancer care and prevention. This year’s inaugural event, which raised awareness of preventive screenings, netted more than $75,000.
ReidRide routes at a glance
Starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, riders can choose the 8-mile family route, or travel 15 or 30 miles from Richmond to Webster and/or Williamsburg.
All riders will turn west out of the Richmond hospital at 1100 Reid Parkway, cross Chester Boulevard and continue west on Industries Road to the Cardinal Greenway.
Families will ride to the Tingler Road trailhead, while the 15-mile route takes the trail to Pleasant Plain Road. Both sets of riders will then head onto Flatley Road, Tingler Road West, Union Pike and back to Industries Road and Reid’s campus.
The extended route will go 12 miles to the Newman Road trailhead northwest of the Williamsburg area, then onto Carlos, Davis Meyers, Round Barn and Pleasant Plain roads before taking the shared return route.
For more information about riding, or to donate without riding, call 765-983-3102 or visit reidhealth.org/foundation.
A version of this article appeared in the August 9 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.