Kulpsville, Pa. – Micheldy Pierre struggled through her college classes and it looked like she might lose her financial aid and not be able to return to school. But rather than quitting, she registered for more courses and committed herself to her studies.
She sought help from tutors, professors, and staff members at The Anchorage, where she lives with other teens and young adults.
At The Anchorage, Pierre attends house meetings, does daily chores, meets with a case manager and attends life skills training several times a week. She also works full time to save money for when she leaves and lives on her own.
“Micheldy is committed to succeed. It is not uncommon to see her running out of the house at 6:30am to take her little brother to school,” said Anchorage worker Stacy Basara. “She often buys him clothing and school supplies. Micheldy always accomplishes all of this with a smile on her face, and always has a joke for us, and a schoolbook in hand.”
Pierre, 20, was presented with inaugural Douglas C. McCune “It’s For The Kids” Memorial Award Friday night at the Anchor House Ride for Runaways banquet.
McCune, a 16-year Anchor house ride veteran, was killed when he collided with a car on the last day of the 2011 ride. The new award was created in recognition of his dedication to Anchor House and its mission to serve runaway, abused and neglected children. McCune, a scientist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, was a top fundraiser for the charity.
The Douglas McCune award will be given annually at the ride banquet to an Anchor House teen who has demonstrated many of McCune’s qualities, including humility, hard work, academic achievement, and a concern for others.
“We know Doug, in his humility, would not want an award in his name,” said Anchor House ride co-chair Melanie Schranz, “But we are fairly sure Doug would be okay with us honoring an Anchor House kid.”
The 167 cyclists and more than 30 support crew members on the 34th annual ride learned at the awards banquet that as of Thursday, their efforts have earned Anchor House more than $370,000 so far. Donations will keep coming in for several weeks.
On Friday, the cyclists pedaled 81 miles from Lancaster, Pa. to Kulpsville, Pa., passing Amish farms and climbing rolling and steep hills on the longest day of the ride.
Saturday the cyclists will bike 55 miles to Hopewell, where they will gather for a picnic at the home of Dorothy Dutko before pedaling the final 10-mile leg of the journey to The Lawrenceville School. The final ride celebration will take place at 3 p.m. on Tiihonen Field. The ceremony is open to the public.
“This week as you pedaled on our behalf, you helped to trumpet and call to action the plight of our kids that are abused, neglected and homeless so that things could change,” Anchor House Executive Director Kim McNear told the cyclists. “On behalf of countless children and youth, we thank you for your commitment to them.”
“As you coming riding back into Lawrenceville, there will be a lot of people cheering and very excited to see you come home.” she said. “Some people will be family or friends. Some will be complete strangers to you. Some will be the very reason you did all of this. Our kids will be there cheering for you, the way you cheered for them all this week. Those cheers and hand claps will be their way of saying thank you for a job well done.”
Krystal Knapp is a cyclist on the 34th annual Anchor House Ride for Runaways. For more information about Anchor House or to make a donation visit www.anchorhouseride.org or call (609) 278-9495.