The 38th annual Anchor House Ride for Runaways has raised $566,985, organizers announced Thursday night.
Cyclists and support crew members collect donations from family, friends, colleagues and local businesses each year for the one-week charity bike ride that takes place in July. Houses of worship also collect donations, and area businesses sponsor the annual event.
The money raised from the ride supports Anchor House, the only shelter for runaway and abused children and teens in Mercer County. Anchor House runs a street outreach program, a shelter for young adults, and an apartment program. The non-profit also provides support services for foster families.
The participants in the annual ride gathered for a celebration at Rho Waterfront in Trenton Thursday night. Many of the cyclists donated gift cards to be given to kids at the shelter for the holidays, and some donated turkeys for Thanksgiving.
Anchor House Executive Director Kim McNear told crowd gather at Rho that an eight-year-old in New Jersey died because of child abuse and neglect this week. “Our doors need to remain open and our stance needs to remain strong that children do matter,” she said. “In a time where there is so much division in our country, I’m glad we can all come together and say that children do matter.”
The 39th annual Ride for Runaways will take place July 9 to July 15, ride organizers said. Applications will be available online starting on January 16.
More than 200 cyclists and support crew members participate in the 500-mile charity bike ride each year. Cyclists of all abilities participate in the ride and range in age from 18 to 70 and older, and everything in between. Participants begin training for the ride in the spring, logging about 1,000 training miles before the road cycling event.
The 2017 ride will include scenic routes and plenty of hills. The ride will begin in McHenry, Maryland, and the cyclists will pedal to Somerset, Pa., Altoona, State College, West Hazleton and Bethlehem before returning to Trenton.
For more information about Anchor House visit the organization’s website at www.anchorhousenj.org.