PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Cyclists hit the road this past weekend to benefit eight children for Candlelighters’ “Ride for a Child” fundraiser.
Dick Hartung founded Ride for a Child 20 years ago after his daughter Jill died from cancer. “Candlelighters” help families of children with cancer, ranging from emotional to financial assistance.
Cyclists who participate in Ride for a Child are assigned to teams, like Team Sol or Team Phoenix, and stay connected to them on the road.
“It’s a good time and it’s quite a bit to overcome,” said Brandon Johnson, the owner of Johnson RV. “But in the back of your head you know you’re riding to support these children that are going through such a horrific period in their life.”
Normally, cyclists would see the kids in person during the ride but the pandemic has changed that.
Johnson — who is a longtime rider — stepped in with a solution. His company donated tablets to the children to help them “connect to their loved ones and to connect to those riding as well, hopefully raising their spirits.”
“I think it will be a great way to connect with the children on the ride, really show them what we’re doing for them,” said Ride for a Child Chair David Leslie.
Also due to the pandemic, Ride for a Child cyclists are riding on their own through a “ride-it-your-way” approach.