Riding for AIDS research
By Ron VandenBoom
A 575-mile bicycle trek is being planned this summer to raise money for AIDS research and Havre riders have been invited to join the festivities.
The Montana AIDS Vaccine Ride will be the first of three rides scheduled for this summer in Montana, Alaska, and Canada that are expected to include more that 6,000 riders and raise more than $4 million for AIDS research.
The Montana ride will start in Missoula on July 30 and is scheduled to conclude in Billings on Aug. 5.
According to Bragman Cafarelli, media spokesman for Pallotta Team Works, a company that specializes in organizing fund raising events for charitable projects, proceeds from the ride will go to three AIDS research teams Dr. Irvin Chen of the UCLA AIDS Institute, Dr. David Ho of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and Dr. Rafi Ahmed of The Emory Vaccine Center.
In past years Pallotta Team Works has also organized the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Days, and Tanqueray's AIDSRidesUSA. Since its inception in 1994, Cafarelli said the company has netted more than $150 million for breast cancer and AIDS causes.
Havre volunteers are being sought as riders and as crew volunteers who will assist in providing gear transport, water and snack stops along the route. A camp with showers, meals, entertainment, and medical services will also be established every night of the trip.
This is the second year for the Vaccine Ride which last year consisted of only one 510-mile trek between Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska. That trip raised $4.1 million in net proceeds, Cafarelli said.
Cafarelli said no Havre volunteers have yet elected to participate in the event, but he's hoping to attract several riders from the area before the ride begins.
Cafarelli also said that riders who chose not to ride the entire 575 miles are under no obligation and can complete as much, or as little, of the journey as they want.
For more information, to sign up, or to make a donation on-line, call (888) 553-4567 or go to the Website at www.vaccineride.org.