People from across the United States collectively pedaled 67,500 miles in one week this past July as part of the 20th Anniversary Habitat 500 Bike Ride. Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity was one of the organizations receiving a portion of the funds raised through this year’s Habitat 500 bike ride event. The Habitat 500 is a 500-mile bicycle ride with 135 bikers and 40 volunteers that traveled through south-central Minnesota this past July 14 – 21 — all in order to raise funds and awareness for the need for safe, decent and affordable housing.
The Habitat 500, an annual fundraising bike ride organized by Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota, gives riders the chance to build a cycle of hope for families around the world from the seat of their bicycle. This year’s 20th Anniversary fundraising goal was to raise $300,000; the event has already surpassed this goal by raising over $365,000. Breaking all past fundraising records for this event has helped create additional affordable housing opportunities for low-income families throughout Minnesota and the world.
Habitat 500 riders are required to raise a minimum of $900 to participate in the ride, but many raised much more. Each rider designated their funds raised to Habitat for Humanity affiliates of their choice. Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity received a total of $2,139.61 from this event that will directly impact home construction for more families in Cass and Clay counties.
“The money raised by the Habitat 500 for the affiliate will support the two homes Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity is building in Fargo this year,” said Rob Rich, Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity Executive Director. “We are thankful to Team Double Aces: Moorhead Ace Hardware owner Mandy Peterson and Ace Hardware manager Sarah Volness for representing Lake Agasssiz Habitat for Humanity on the ride and using this unique opportunity to raise money for our organization. Their personal connection to our mission is heartwarming.”
Since the Habitat 500 bike ride’s inception in 1993, over $4.86 million dollars have been raised for Habitat for Humanity home construction, contributing to the 2,000 homes built by Minnesota affiliates.
Participants during this year’s 20th Anniversary Habitat 500 biked 50 to 100 miles each day on the ride, often in 90+ degree heat. The route began in St. Louis Park from the build site of the 2,000th Habitat home in Minnesota. The group next traveled to Hastings, New Prague, and Hutchinson (with a 100-mile loop), and continued on to New Ulm and Mayer before circling back to end in St. Louis Park.
Riders spent two nights in Hutchinson, where they had the opportunity to participate in the Habitat 500’s bike.home., a Habitat home that riders helped build. This year’s bike.home. is also Minnesota’s 2,001st Habitat for Humanity home. Riders worked in partnership with the Crow River Habitat for Humanity affiliate and the Wolff family, a single mother with five children who was selected as a partner family, to celebrate the construction of this landmark home. Ride participants fundraised $40,000 through the Habitat 500 for the bike.home.