April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Hope Ride helps charities raise money for causes

By HSJ Online [email protected]

The annual Hope Ride is is always fun for its participants, but it is also important for the charities it helps support.

Hope Ride will be holding its 29th annual event on Saturday throughout the area, starting at Hauser High School.

Paul Ashbrook, organizer of the annual event, said one of the things that makes the ride unique is that it is not focused on one single charitable cause. Instead, many different groups benefit by helping with the ride, giving the groups a sense of ownership in the event.

"This is just a good arrangement, I think," Ashbrook said. "They are not just putting time in but it is time for something they are passionate about."

He said one of the changes this year will be turning over the morning breakfast to the Hope Volunteer Fire Department. Hauser's Dollars for Scholars will handle the lunch and a local Scout troop will be providing the root beer floats after the ride is over.

"Our main fundraiser this year is our local Hauser High School Dollars for Scholars," Ashbrook said. "They use that for scholarships for graduating seniors out here at Hauser High School and even kids who are in their second and third years of college, benefit from Dollars for Scholars.

"Another main benefactor is our local ministerial association, the Flat Rock-Hawcreek Ministerial Association, who use their money for poor relief. They get all the sponsor sales and it is a nice way to put back in our community."

Ashbrook said there is also the biggest team contest, which sends funds back to food pantries in communities who bring in the biggest team. That prize is $2,000 for the top team. But every team of five riders or more will get a donation to their food pantry and Ashbrook said they are expecting 30 teams or more this year.

He said organizations such as Little League, Future Hauser Jets Basketball, Hauser baseball and various church groups also benefit.

Ashbrook said there are still volunteer opportunities available on Saturday. He suggested people could help serve meals, especially lunch on the Town Square.

"Probably the biggest thing that folks can do is just share the road," he said. "Certainly if you are out with your farm equipment or if you are out driving, just be patient. We will have a crowd. We will have several hundred riders."

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