Mitch's Mighty Riders win first placeMitch’s Mighty Dickinson Riders Team No. 1, led by team captain Mitch Hintz, raised $20,381 to capture first place in the 14th annual Medcenter One Great American Bike Race held recently at Bismarck’s Century High School.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Mitch’s Mighty Dickinson Riders Team No. 1, led by team captain Mitch Hintz, raised $20,381 to capture first place in the 14th annual Medcenter One Great American Bike Race held recently at Bismarck’s Century High School.
The fundraiser included 100 teams of 10 riders each who biked a combined 16,109 miles in an effort to raise money for families who have children with cerebral palsy.
Additionally, Mitch’s Team No. 2 raised $1,900 and his Team No. 3 raised $1,300. When totaled, the GABR raised more than $220,000, according to a press release.
“Mitch’s team took first place for the fifth year in a row,” said his mother Donalda Hintz. “He thanked the community and said he could not have taken first place without the support of Dickinson.”
Hintz also is the son of Mike Hintz and a senior at Dickinson High School. He has cerebral palsy — a disability caused by a lack of oxygen at birth. In mild cases, cerebral palsy produces a slight awkwardness in movement. In more severe cases, like Hintz’s, it affects limb control and speech and makes everyday living difficult.
Donalda Hintz credits the success of Mitch’s teams to a community effort. For example, the students and staff at Dickinson’s Roosevelt School donated $413 to Mitch by having a hat, sunglasses and sweats day. The fundraiser was organized by Donna Abrahamson’s fifth-grade class.
The school became involved because Donalda works there as a playground supervisor. The fifth graders went around to each class, collecting quarters to participate in the day, said Abrahamson.
“They were welcome to donate more, which a lot did,” she said. “We like to help anyone at our school who is in need.”
The top individual fundraiser was Dickinson’s Jason Lachenmeier from Mitch’s Mighty Dickinson Riders. He raised $14,109.
“Jason raised an enormous amount of money from our community again. He did it in five weeks,” said Donalda.
Also confined to a wheelchair, Lachenmeier used an arm bike to put on 7.9 miles in the 25 miles allotted to each rider, she said.
“The race is awesome. It’s so organized. You don’t touch the speedometer,” said Donalda Hintz.
For his efforts, Lachenmeier received the Lindsay Trauger Memorial Spirit Award. In his years of involvement with the race, the Dickinson native has raised more than $58,000 for the Great American Bike Race, according to a press release.
The GABR generates dollars to pay for medical services and to purchase equipment such as wheelchairs, communication devices and adaptive tricycles.
“Mitch got a new handicap-accessible van in 2008,” said Donalda.
Instead of physically lifting Mitch and the wheelchair into the van, a button is pushed and he can drive the wheelchair into the vehicle. It’s allowed Mitch to go places with his friends, who can drive the van, she said.
Tressy Wiley, Medcenter One Foundation director of annual support, expressed her excitement regarding the event.
“No matter how many times I have been involved with the race, the same feelings of excitement, joy and competition are all around you,” she said. “It is so hard to explain. I can only invite everyone to come and be a part of this wonderful day.”
The Great American Bike Race has grown to be the largest fundraiser of its kind in the United States, according to the press release. Since it began, GABR has raised more than $1.2 million.
For a complete list of results, visit the website, medcenterone.com/gabr.
Hintz recently received another award for his efforts with the GABR. Nominated by a DHS counselor, he was one of 10 winners in the “Kids With a Heart” program hosted by Dickinson’s Prairie Hills Mall.