FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Media Contact: Russ Florence or Tahira Taqi, (405) 602-2000
Texas Media Contact: Doug Harris or Sophia Macris, (713) 522-4273
CROSS-COUNTRY BIKE RIDE PLANNED TO RAISE $11 MILLION
FOR ADULTS WITH INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
3,500-Mile Journey Begins June 6 in Oregon, Concludes August 3 Near Washington, D.C.
HOUSTON (April 14, 2016) – A team of cyclists from Houston and around the United States this summer will embark upon a 3,500-mile ride across the country to raise money and awareness for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The campaign, known as PURSUIT FOR THOSE WITH disABILITIES will raise $11 million for The Center organization, a nonprofit that has been serving Houston for more than six decades. Cyclists will stop at similar nonprofit agencies in cities along the route to share best practices, raise awareness and jumpstart a national effort to attract more attention and resources to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Pursuit is led by David Baldwin, an energy executive in Houston who has long championed The Center and its clients. Along with his wife Maire, Baldwin has assembled a team of more than 200 volunteers, riders, sponsors and support staff to drive the effort.
“The life expectancy of adults with developmental disabilities has doubled over the last few decades,” Baldwin said. “The population has grown and the needs are greater. The Center, and most of its peer agencies around the country, was not built to accommodate adults with such needs. Nationwide, as a society we are ill-prepared to serve this population adequately – in facilities, resources and care. This population has been under-served and overlooked for too long.”
“Other good causes, such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, have rightfully seen a surge in awareness and attention in recent years. Each of these efforts has been spearheaded by a national movement. It’s time that our citizens, philanthropists and lawmakers begin giving support and attention to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. PURSUIT FOR THOSE WITH disABILITIES will give them that platform.”
The ride begins June 6 in Oregon, and will conclude Aug. 3 in Maryland. Along the way, riders will pass through Portland, Boise, Yellowstone National Park, Badlands National Park, the Twin Cities, Madison, Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before ending near Washington, D.C.
Riders are encouraged to participate through fundraising with three scenic “ride-along” legs: Jackson, Wyo., to Badlands National Park (560 miles); St. Paul, Minn., to Chicago (500 miles); and Pittsburgh to northern Maryland (165 miles). Several clients of organizations that help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are expected to ride portions of the route, as well.
Baldwin and the Pursuit team will participate in events in major cities along the way, to bring awareness and raise money for the cause.
In May, organizers will unveil Mission Control, a repurposed high-tech activity room at The Center in Houston, where the public can track progress of the cyclists, ride along on stationery bikes, and sponsor their own organized rides for corporate, school and civic groups.
Baldwin emphasized that this is about much more than a bike ride.
“This is a journey in every sense of the word,” he said. “Thirty-five hundred miles is a long trek, but it’s nothing compared to the challenges that this population faces every day.”
Sponsors and more information will be announced in coming weeks. For more information, visit www.pursuitride.org.
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