St. John's Classic Bike Ride
On Sept. 7 more than 40 bicyclists rode in the third annual St. John’s Classic, hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church in Mason City, Iowa. Cyclists could chose a 22-mile ride, a 50-mile ride, or a 100-mile “century” ride, a new feature this year.
It was a hot day, so some cyclists chose to take shorter routes than the ones they originally planned to ride. A few had to get a ride back to the church in the SAG wagon. However, five hardy souls went ahead and rode the century route despite the heat.
When the ride was over, bicyclists had lunch at the St. John’s Fellowship Hall and enjoyed music by two local bands, the rock group ZooLooDoo and the Sorta Jazz Sextet. So far the church has raised $2,212.80 through rider registration fees and private donations. An additional donation from UPS is pending.
St. John’s keeps 10 percent of the gross proceeds from the ride for church debt reduction. The rest goes to the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa, a not-for-profit organization that works to create a better future through brain injury prevention, advocacy, education, research and support.
St. John’s donates 90 percent of the proceeds from the ride to BIA-Iowa because Kacey Vaughan, son of church members Don and Jackie Vaughan, received a traumatic brain injury in a car accident in 2000.
Kacey, now 33, lives in Ankeny in his own apartment. A Brain Injury Waiver from the state of Iowa pays for people to come in and make sure he eats and takes his medicine.
Both Jackie and Don are members of the board of directors for BIA-Iowa. Jackie is in her third year as board president. Kacey was at this year’s St. John’s Classic to help out, along with church members and volunteers from BIA-Iowa.
BIA-Iowa donated bike helmets for both youth and adults, as well as T-shirts and other items, to be given away during the ride. The freebies were placed on a table near the sidewalk outside the church. Passers-by as well as riders were invited to help themselves. The bike helmets in particular were a popular item.
Almost everything for the ride was donated, so very little cash had to be spent on items such as bottled water, food for lunch, door prizes and the goodie bags for the riders.
Special thanks go to National Episcopal Health Ministries for donating the flashing safety lights worn by the bicyclists.
The annual ride is an ideal project for St. John’s because several members are passionate about cycling. It also fits in with our mission of “Reaching Out With God’s Love to Everybody.”
Mary Pieper is a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church.