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Cyclists to raise awareness, funds in cancer fight in 2010

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life in Butler County will add a new event to raise funds and awareness in the county in 2010.

Karen Higgins, a BCMS P.E. teacher and cycling enthusiast, is heading up organization of the Butler County Relay For Life’s First Annual Bike Ride, set for Saturday, March 20, 2010 and tentatively slated to begin and end at the Butler County Fairgrounds.

“This type of event is becoming increasingly popular and it is a great way to get publicity for Relay and to raise monies toward our goal,” aid Relay chair Galahad Smith.

According to Higgins, there would be three routes to choose from, including 15-mile, 33-mile and 62-mile courses through the rolling hills of northern Butler County.

Cyclists will pay an entry fee of $30, with the proceeds going to the Butler County Relay For Life.

“Anyone who wants to pay the fee, and simply ride a shorter distance in order to participate, is also welcome to participate,” Higgins said.

Once entrants have completed their route, they will sign back in and be awarded a T-shirt with the names of sponsors for the event printed on the back.

Sponsors will be sought to provide in-kind donations of food and drinks, or monies to be used toward purchasing such items.

Higgins is looking for willing, enthusiastic volunteers of all ages to help with the event.

Volunteers will be needed to man rest stops, patrol routes for riders in need of rescue, and to check and keep rest stops replenished in supplies.

“We can use school clubs who need community service hours, church groups, Scouts, cancer survivors – anyone willing to assist in making this event a success,” she said.

She said she anticipates “at least” 100 cyclists participating in the county’s first event of this kind.

“Once you have participated in one of these events for a charity, and you are rolling in that last stretch, and see those smiling faces cheering you on at the finish line, there is nothing else like it,” Higgins said.

“You know you are doing this to help someone. And you forget all about the aches and pains.”

The ACS Relay For Life in Butler County is set for May 7 at the Greenville YMCA. The 2010 goal is $100, 944 and a total of 40 teams.