The vote is in! Everyone had a fabulous time on Saturday at the Food Pantry of Jeff Davis County’s Wheels/Heels for Meals charity bike ride and walk. The walkers enjoyed the perfect weather for walking and took the opportunity to walk the dogs featured by Grand Companions around the park. The riders enjoyed their rides from 5 miles to 88 miles. Those who road from the Food Pantry to Valentine and back were rewarded with special “88” tags. But it really did not matter how far anyone road, all agreed they will be back next year having had such a wonderful time. Even the volunteers have posted October 3, 2015 on their calendars. The Food Pantry raised over $23,800, representing about half the amount spent on foods which are distributed free to those families in need twice a month in Fort Davis and Valentine. To volunteer or donate, please call the Food Pantry at 432-426-3886 or check out the Wheels & Heels For Meals page for updates on this year’s event!
No Wheels? Use your Heels
Not a bicycle aficionado? Don’t own a bicycle? The Food Pantry of Jeff Davis County is adding a charity walk, Heels for Meals, to its 6th annual charity bike ride, Wheels for Meals, taking place on Saturday, October 4, 2014.
Walkers will have the opportunity to walk 2, 4, 7 or 10 miles from the Food Pantry at 609 Compromise Street, taking the foot path through town, out to the county park and back, depending on the walker’s chosen distance goal. The walk was added, says Board President, Karen Shew, “to give people an opportunity to raise funds for the Food Pantry who may not ride a bicycle. Adding the walk also coincides with the Pantry’s new “Healthy Food, Healthy Lives” program that provides healthier food items to clients and emphasizes a healthier life style through exercise.”
Wheels for Meals started in 2009 as a way to raise crucial funds to purchase supplemental foods and school lunch foods for Jeff Davis County residents and build awareness about hunger and the Pantry’s work. Bicyclists also start at the Pantry and may ride 14, 28, 44 or 88 miles on scenic route Hwy 17, to Hwy 166, and proceeding to Valentine on 505 and Hwy 90. Wheels for Meals is a fully supported ride with two “pit stops” and lunch in Valentine. In 2013, the Pantry added the “Princess Tour” for less accomplished riders who are bussed to Bloys Camp and then ride downhill 17 miles to the Food Pantry. All riders and walkers pay a registration fee and are required to raise $250.00 each, every dollar of which goes directly to support the Food Pantry’s services.
In the 2014 ride, the challenge is out to all riders to ride ALL THE WAY and become an official member of the “Crazy 88s”, and earn a special recognition. In the evening of the day of the ride, all riders, walkers, volunteers and official sponsors are invited to a celebratory cook-out where participants receive recognition for their accomplishments and gratitude from the Food Pantry’s board of directors.
To learn how to ride, walk, volunteer or become an official sponsor, see the Wheels & Heels for Meals page.
This fundraiser idea was brought to the Food Pantry by Margaret O’Donnell, who is now on the board. She had participated in many bike rides around the country and thought the Davis Mountains were a particularly beautiful place for a ride. The first ride was 2009 and it raised over $15,000 for our Food Pantry.
We strive to take great care of our riders and on the way, there are two pit stops which not only have food, shade but also portable toilets and wet towels for those hot riders. Then at Valentine, lunch is served with music and surprises. One year there was an apple bobbing contest!
In the early evening, riders, volunteers and sponsors gather at Rick and Margaret’s home to enjoy a marvelous barbecue. At this time dog tags are handed out to the riders for participating. Quite a few of our riders have one for every year we have held the event.