From 2014 to 2015, the distance from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to the Addressing the Challenges of Poverty conference shrank by nearly half, and things were looking easy for Chuck Holt, Tim Rogers, and the Together Initiative cyclists. This year’s destination doubles last year’s distance, but that hasn’t stopped the Together Initiative from planning its third pedal-powered journey to the conference.
Twenty cyclists (including five first-timers) and four support drivers will travel to the annual gathering of educators and practitioners working to improve the lives of people in poverty. The trip begins September 23 and will take three days, putting the cyclists in Orlando just in time for the pre-conference reception. Most of the riders will cover the distance in a relay format, but four cyclists, including a grandfather/grandson team, will ride the whole trip.
After this trek, Together Initiative cyclists will have logged more than 2,500 miles riding between their Pennsylvania starting point and Addressing the Challenges of Poverty conference destinations in Nashville, Cincinnati, and this year’s destination: Orlando. The Together Initiative, a Pennsylvania nonprofit in the Lancaster area, brings churches, school districts, businesses, and counselors together to work for the common good using Bridges Out of Poverty concepts.
The planned route covers 1,104 miles in eight U.S. states and includes use of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel in Virginia. Holt and Rogers expect the trip to take three days and say the group will stop and spend the first night in North Carolina, 405 miles from Lancaster. The next night’s stop is a mere 397 miles farther down the road in Georgia.
The group hopes their ride raises awareness and adds to the momentum they’ve built in previous years. They have also set up a Be Bold Lancaster page with the United Way that tracks their progress and accepts donations. The Together Initiative’s Facebook page shows that this year’s cycling team has been training hard. A spokesperson for aha! Process said, “We can’t wait to welcome this remarkable team to Florida! And anyone is welcome to register and join us September 25–27 in Orlando for the Addressing the Challenges of Poverty 2016 conference.”
About Together Initiative
The Together Initiative is a collaborative effort of like-minded organizations and individuals in the Pequea Valley community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, working together for the common good. In bringing the educational sector into cooperation with the faith-based community plus nonprofit and governmental agencies, the Together Initiative is making new inroads in the Paradise Valley community. Together they have built a food ministries center, renovated an old elementary school, refurbished park buildings, sponsored aha! Process Getting Ahead workshops, tutored summer school students, hosted community block parties, and much more. For more information, visit togetherinitiative.com.