People take part in the inaugural Ride 4 RAN fundraiser in 2017. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Chilliwack cyclists to tackle 500 kilometre relay in Ride 4 RAN fundraiser

A major fundraiser for Ruth and Naomi’s Mission looks to raise $40,000.

The fourth annual Ride 4 RAN is coming up soon, raising money for Ruth and Naomi’s Mission.

While this year’s event will look and feel different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are two ways to help out a worthwhile cause.

For the adventurous, a 500 kilometre relay event on Sept. 12 will see local riders hitting the road at 4 a.m. and finishing up at midnight. The 500k will be broken up into 25 to 100k legs, with a route that starts and ends at Rosedale Traditional Community School.

“It’s a pretty big hike, but I’m a novice who enjoys biking for sure and if I make it through my 25k I will be a happy guy,” Ruth and Naomi’s Executive Director Bill Raddatz said with a laugh. “I’m out biking every night to get my legs get used to it, and getting used to the bicycle seat is an even rougher gig.”

Along the way, cyclists will be joined by a list of ‘celebrity riders’ that includes Chilliwack mayor Ken Popove and Squiala Chief David Jimmie.

READ MORE: Chilliwack has the highest rate of homeless women in B.C.

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The Community Challenge isn’t nearly so daunting. It’s open to anyone and will take place in many different locations with many different routes.

Between Aug. 29 and Sept. 12, RAN supporters can tackle a distance of their choice. Participants can ride alone, with a friend, with a team or as a family. Distances include a five km family fun ride, a 25k intermediate ride, a 50k challenge and a 100k Granfondo.

Cyclists are encouraged to gather donations for RAN, and post a picture to social media of themselves wearing a Ride for RAN t-shirt.

T-shirt pickup can be done at Jack’s Cycle at 45725 Thomas Road in Chilliwack, after registering online.

Tag @RuthandNaomis on Facebook or hashtag @ride4ran on Instagram, and top fundraisers will be in the mix for prizes.

The fundraising goal is $40,000 and as of Aug. 25 over $23,000 had been raised.

“We have two major fundraisers a year and this is one of them,” Raddatz said. “Going into the fall it’s critically important because we’re coming out of a dry season for fundraising over the summer. We’ve got to play catch-up and Ride 4 RAN helps us do that.”

When COVID-19 hit, Raddatz said Ruth and Naomi’s initially received a flood of donations, but that has petered out as the pandemic has dragged on.

“It’s been up and down,” he said. “But as the pandemic has continued on, the enthusiasm for giving has slowed down too. The longer we’re into it, the harder it’s getting. That’s what we’re noticing.”

Money from Ride 4 RAN will go towards the ongoing work of caring for and providing essential services for the homeless, those in addiction and those living in poverty.

“The money pays for many things,” Raddatz said. “It helps pay for our recovery programs. It helps pay for basics like food and clothing. Our clothing closet gets low on items sometimes and we use it for that.”

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