Emmaus says its recent 35th Cycle for Shelter broke records with more than 300 cyclists, volunteers, supporters and staff participating and raising $193,000 from the cyclists’ supporters and business sponsors
Cyclists peddled along the Merrimack Valley backcountry roads and the New Hampshire Seacoast and finished rides at a cookout at Northern Essex Community College.
“What a spectacular day! The threat of inclement weather loomed over us with the severe storm forecasted for Saturday. We were blessed with a glorious early fall day, full sunshine, a light breeze and temperature in the 60s. We couldn’t have ordered better weather,” said Gretchen Arntz, Emmaus’ chief development officer.
This year, cyclists participated in one of four routes: 100, 62, 35 or 15 miles and pledged to raise a minimum of $250 for Emmaus. On average, each cyclist raised approximately $875 through their fundraising efforts—a 31% increase over last year’s average.
A highlight of the event was a short performance by Suriel, a rising rap artist who lived in the Emmaus Family Shelter with his mother and sister when he was 12 years old. Suriel spoke of the positive impact living in the shelter had on his life and how it helped him to develop the drive and persistence that have contributed to his success. He said that performing at Cycle for Shelter with his mom and sister in attendance was a “full circle moment” for him.
Emmaus offers emergency shelter, permanent affordable housing and supportive services to individuals and families, and relies upon this annual event to raise money for its shelters. It owns and operates 99 units of permanent affordable housing, serves approximately 80,000 meals annually, provides supplemental food on a regular basis to those residing in Emmaus housing and helps people find jobs and connect to a wide range of supportive and educational services.