Dickinson cyclist group rides 200 miles, raises $4,300 for St. Jude's
“Riding together with a positive, supportive and energized group of people was truly a wonderful experience. They showed up ready to ride, and to encourage each other. They needed no motivation from a cycle instructor, they just wanted to be a team and raise some money while they grew as individuals with the support of their team.”
DICKINSON — As a way to raise awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital , an eager group of Dickinson cyclists mounted their bikes and rode 200 miles in a single month. More impressive still, the ride raised $4,300 to help support medical research.
The Youthful Yetis, which consisted of 22 people, completed the fundraiser in January, with donations flowing into the first week of February. The group met at the West River Community Center during regular cycle classes.
For her first time, Lisa Pavlicek, the cycle instructor for this fundraiser, was asked by a WRCC member of ways they could get more time on the bike and reach a goal of 200 miles in a month. Pavlicek noted that it would be “fun to join her.”
“It is not something I’ve ever done before. I am a regular cycle instructor, on a regular schedule. Not for special events. And, I’m not an experienced fundraiser for events. Usually, I just contribute financially if I really like a cause,” Pavlicek said. “But in this case, I was uniquely positioned to help raise money and awareness for the cause by also doing something I already knew how to do.”
Originally, the team had set out for an individual goal of raising $200 and riding 200 miles. However, the Youthful Yetis pooled their strength together, combining all their miles and dollars for a team victory, Pavlicek noted.
“Each person took their personal goals seriously,” she said, explaining, “So even though the team may have already raised the total for the group, or ridden the group totals we needed, each person really wanted to meet or exceed their own personal goals for themselves. Some people raised way more than $200 and some pedaled way over their goal of 200 miles. It was so amazing to be in the company of motivated and supportive people who supported each other throughout the month. There was not one person who met their goal without having the team (even those who hadn’t met their goal yet) cheer them on. It was really motivating. Many people were riding that could not have imagined getting close to 200 miles in a month. They put in much more effort than they would during a normal month.”
Karen Boswell, another group fitness instructor, also stepped in to lead a couple of classes and lend support when Pavlicek wasn’t available.
St. Jude had this national fundraiser previously established. Pavlicek recounted that kicking off this fundraiser in Dickinson for this cause was a no-brainer.
“Raising the money for this charity was an easy decision. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital is absolutely an (honorable) institution which has impacted families in our own community. Many of the team selected a child or family to support or ride in honor of during each ride,” she said. “... Everybody in the group (in the world, perhaps) knows and loves a child that we would want to see supported by this organization if they ever needed it. Helping others really does contribute to personal growth in return. It really showcases that contributing just a little bit can make a big impact when you combine it with other people also doing their small part. Together we can make a difference and that feels good.”
As the instructor for the Youthful Yetis, Pavlicek learned how social media posts that detailed progress reports kept the entire team accountable in reaching its goals.
“The response of our individual connections was amazing. It was inspirational to receive donations from close, or maybe not so close, connections who also loved and supported the cause we were riding for,” she said. “Supporting the mutual cause brought us closer to our friends.”
Pavlicek added, “Riding together with a positive, supportive and energized group of people was truly a wonderful experience. They showed up ready to ride, and to encourage each other. They needed no motivation from a cycle instructor, they just wanted to be a team and raise some money while they grew as individuals with the support of their team.”