Warm temperatures meant this year’s Polar Bear 100K and 50K bicycle rides on Jan. 12 weren’t very polar. But the weather boosted turnout to a record 660 riders, and that meant a record $10,000 check for the ride’s main beneficiary, the Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson.
The 15th annual Polar Bear Ride is organized annually by the Rocky River Road Club, a group of about 85 cyclists from around the area. The club’s polar bear himself delivered the donation to Ada Jenkins executive director Georgia Krueger on Friday.
The ride and the club’s support for Ada Jenkins Center involve a real team effort. Rocky River Road club member Jim Mead of Davidson said members have come to understand how important the center is in helping families in need in the Lake Norman area. And the club’s board members were excited when this year’s ride allowed their biggest donation ever. (The previous largest was $6,000.)
Ms. Krueger accepted the check Friday, but she also was among the riders on Jan. 12, who pedaled through the rain and fog around the north Mecklenburg/Lake Norman area.
“It’s been a great partnership for us,” she said Friday. “This has been one of the staples (in Ada Jenkins Center’s annual budget). It’s one of the things we can look forward to every year.”
She said the money will go directly to the center’s programs, which include the LearnWorks after-school program, free medical and dental clinics, a food pantry and other human services. “It will go to support families, because we are a holistic service,” she said.
The Polar Bear ride takes place on a Saturday in early January every year, and begins and ends at the Ingersoll Rand corporate campus, off Beaty Street in Davidson.
Besides the Ada Jenkins Center, this year’s ride also provided smaller donations to a list of other area nonprofits: Corriher Grange Community Center, Wind River Spiritual Center, The Spokes Group, Knox Chapel, Trips for Kids, Thyatira Presbyterian Church, and Coddle Creek Church.
Ada Jenkins Center, http://adajenkins.org/
Rocky River Road Club, http://www.rockyriverroadclub.org/
See previous coverage of the Polar Bear Ride on DavidsonNews.net.