A Bike Ride and Fundraiser for HIV/AIDS Service Organizations
The SMART Ride 10, a 165-mile, two day bike ride and fundraiser, will start in Miami on Friday, November 15, and end in Key West the next day, Saturday, November 16.
One of the foremost fundraisers for service organizations aiding people who are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, The SMART Ride (SMART being an acronym standing for “Southern Most AIDS/HIV Ride Twenty”, as in Twenty-O-Four, the inaugural year, or Twenty-Thirteen, the current year, among others) has raised $4.2 million in the last 10 years. $880,000 was raised in last year’s The SMART Ride 9, and organizers are hoping to break the $1 million threshhold for the very first time this year for The SMART Ride 10.
Many organizations throughout the state of Florida benefit from The SMART Ride’s fundraising. These organizations include Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center, which serves infants, children, women and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Broward County; Pride Center at Equality Park, which serves LGBT people with HIV/AIDS across South Florida; Metro Wellness & Community Centers, which works with the HIV-positive community (including the LGBT population with HIV) in the Tampa Bay area; Pridelines Youth Services, a resource for LGBTQ youth and their straight allies in Miami-Dade County; AIDS Help, which serves all people affected by HIV/AIDS in Monroe County; Miracle Of Love, helping the minority population with HIV/AIDS in Central Florida; and Comprehensive AIDS Program of Palm Beach County, the largest organization for people with HIV and AIDS in Palm Beach County.
This year, a record number of riders are expected to participate. What riders are expected to do is solicit donations for the cause. Each rider is expected to raise at least $1,250 in donations from friends, colleagues, family, and other well-wishers. Most people not only meet that criterion, but exceed it: The SMART Ride website notes that the average rider raises $1,800 before the ride date. The SMART Ride 10 leaves from Morning Star Renewal Center at 7275 SW 124th Street in Miami on Friday, November 15. The Center is a short ride away from US 1, which riders will be taking all the way to Key West.
Even though the rider registration period has now passed, you can still help The SMART Ride 10 organizers by donating your time and effort by making sure the event runs smoothly. This could range from cheering on the riders to offering Gatorade to fixing tires should something suddenly happen to a rider while on the road. E-mail [email protected] and ask them what you can do to help.