Angel Ride set for Saturday

Participants in Angel Ride 2017 began their ride in Northend Riverside Park. This year, the Angel Ride-Run-Walk event offers people the option of participating in a bike ride or 5K run/walk, and will take place on Saturday, Sept. 29. Proceeds from the event will go to the Angels of Action to help feed children in Mecosta County. (Pioneer file photo)

BIG RAPIDS — Anyone planning to enjoy a bike ride or go for a walk this weekend also has the chance to provide food for hungry children.

The seventh annual Angel Ride-Run-Walk will be open for registration at 7:30 a.m. and the ride begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, beginning and ending at Northend Riverside Park in Big Rapids. Participants will have the option of biking 13, 26, 52, 72 or 100 miles.

People also have the option to participate in a 5K run/walk beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Northend Riverside Park.

The Angel Ride-Run-Walk is a fundraiser for Angels of Action, which provides backpacks of food and personal supplies to children throughout Mecosta County. These backpacks are provided to children on Friday so they have enough to eat over the weekend.

Joni Thompson, co-founder of Angels of Action, said the proceeds from the event will go toward feeding more than 670 children throughout the school year from 10 schools in the county.

“It’s an important event because it helps raise awareness in our county about child hunger,” she said. “This isn’t a problem that’s happening a nation away. It’s happening right here.”

Thompson said bikers will travel north out of Northend Riverside Park and will be able to stop for water and snacks at checkpoints along the route in Paris, Reed City, Hersey, Evart, Lake Station and Farwell. She added the entire ride will take place on a paved section of the White Pine Trail.

All participants also are required to wear a helmet and are asked to be off the trail by 6 p.m.

Thompson added when everyone returns to the park, there will be food and free chair massages available for riders.

In addition to in-person registration the morning of the event, people can register from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, at Northend Riverside Park, or online at angelsofaction.org/angel-ride-run-walk.

Those wishing to donate to Angels of Action, but not participate in the Angel Ride-Run-Walk, can make a pledge by donating online at angelsofaction.org.

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