The Andover Townsman
---- — Since its inception, the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge Wilmington Kids Bike Ride has raised more than $100,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Jimmy Fund. But coordinators Sue Hendee and Carolyn Priem are looking for more.
With the help of Hendee’s college roommate, Andover High School physical education teacher Sheila Salois, the PMC Wilmington event will now be known as the PMC Wilmington-Andover Kids Ride.
The ride pedals off on Sunday, May 19, and organizers are hoping to attract 200 cyclists from preschool through grade 6 to help raise another $18,000 to fight cancer.
Andover Public Schools is promoting the event through the distribution of fliers and presentation of videos by the elementary physical education department.
Andover has always been a part of the event, Hendee says. High school field hockey coach Maureen Noone has had her team run the face painting booth at the ride for several years.
Hendee said she is good friends with Salois and Noone and the two have helped her with the ride since it first started in 2006.
“Our numbers have dropped off in the past couple of years, so in an effort to get more kids participating, the Andover Public Schools has agreed to promote the ride,” Hendee said in a release. “While the ride is available for anyone in the area, we are hoping for a good showing from the kids of Andover.”
The ride takes place on Carter Lane in Wilmington, on the grounds of the Boutwell Elementary, West Elementary and Wilmington Middle Schools. Carter Lane will be closed to all vehicles during the ride, and children will ride the 1-mile loop around the schools as many times as they choose.
Kindergartners and first-graders will start the day off at 9 a.m. by riding for 30 minutes. Second- and third-graders then will take to the course from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m., with fourth- through sixth-graders finishing things off from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.
Preschoolers can ride their tricycles, bikes and big wheel riders or can be pulled in a wagon on the “Tykes on Trikes” obstacle course on the Boutwell School tennis courts from 9 to 10 a.m.
In the time between rides, participants can enjoy a free hot dog, face painting, a DJ, raffles and other refreshments while cheering on the cyclists.
All riders are required to register on the event website (www.kids.pmc.org, click on Wilmington-Andover ride) for a $10 fee, and raise a minimum of $25. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Those raising $250 and above will be recognized as a “Heavy Hitter” and will receive a special prize from the PMC. The three participants who bring in the most will receive a prize donated by the Wilmington Kiwanis Club. All registrants will receive an event T-shirt, water bottle and goodie bag.
A pre-registration day will be held on Saturday, May 18, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Boutwell Elementary School to allow people to pick up their goodie bags and avoid lines at registration the following day.
For more information, or to make a donation in support of the ride, go to www.kids.pmc.org and click on Wilmington-Andover ride or check out Pan-Mass Challenge Wilmington/Andover Kids Bike Ride 2013 on Facebook.