The Ride for Refuge is a family-friendly cycling fundraiser that partners with 175 or more charities to raise needed operating funding for their work with the displaced, vulnerable and exploited. Since 2004, the ride has raised more than $5 million through the hard work of thousands of riders and volunteers in locations across Canada and select American states.
This year, there were 797 teams and 5,188 riders for the Oct. 5 event.
Locally, a Ride for Refuge was hosted by Spring Lake Wesleyan Church, and consisted of 27 teams and 152 riders. Each team was able to designate which human trafficking organization they would be raising money for and which route/distance their team would be riding. There were four routes to choose from: five miles, 15 miles, 30 miles and 51 miles.
The eight-member "OutSpokin' Refuge Riders" team opted for the 51-mile route and partnered with The Hope Project. The project is in the process of opening a rehabilitative home for girls, ages 11-18, who have been victims of domestic sexual trafficking.
The "OutSpokin'" team raised $6,125 for The Hope Project, which was fourth in the nation for the most money raised. One of the team members, Jon Sorber, raised $2,535, which was seventh in the nation for the most money raised by one rider.