Wheels to Succeed will host its seventh annual “No Such Thing as Impossible” bike ride fundraiser March 8 at the West Feliciana Parish Sports Park in St. Francisville.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Wheels to Succeed program of the McMains Children’s Developmental Center, a nonprofit established in 1954 that is affiliated with United Cerebral Palsy and is a partner agency of Capital Area United Way.
McMains provides physical, occupational, speech and educational therapy services as well as social work and psychological services to children with disabilities, according to a news release.
McMains holds recreational events throughout the year that include holiday parties, an annual canoe trip, Capable Arts camp and the Wheels to Succeed bicycle event.
In May 2007, McMains partnered with Tiger Cycling Foundation to form a new program called Wheels to Succeed. Under the direction of program founder Ashley Leach, a cycling enthusiast and physical therapist, Wheels to Succeed grew tremendously in just a few years and developed into an ongoing fundraising program that donates all proceeds toward purchasing adapted three-wheeled cycles for children with physical disabilities, the release said.
With help from the late Baton Rouge philanthropist Jairo Álvarez-Botero, the program has raised tens of thousands of dollars and has provided dozens of children with adapted bikes.
The March 8 fundraiser will celebrate the 100th bike awarded as a result of the program as well as the life of Álvarez-Botero, the founder and president of Álvarez Construction Company who was also an Army reservist, husband, father, grandfather, entrepreneur, athlete and cyclist, artist, avid gardener and cancer survivor who immigrated from Columbia.
Álvarez-Botero, who died in 2013, authored “No Such Thing as Impossible: From Adversity to Triumph,” an autobiography.
According to the release, it was Álvarez-Botero’s vision that all children have the opportunity to know the joy of riding a bike, including children with physical disabilities.
At Wheels to Succeed events, children with disabilities can try out specially adapted bicycles, tricycles and handcycles as well as have the opportunity to ride their own bikes.
Families are invited March 8 so their children can use their bikes or be evaluated and measured for an appropriate adapted bike and added to the Wheels to Succeed waiting list. An adapted bicycle demonstration booth will be set up the day of the event.
Since the program began, 105 specially adapted bikes have been awarded to children in South Louisiana, according to the release.
Specially adapted bikes can cost from $600 to $6,000 but families only pay the cost of shipping; however, in the case of refurbished or pre-owned bikes, families do not have to pay any shipping costs, according to wheelstosucceed.org.
Families must sign up at the bike demo booth the day of the event to receive credit for attending.
The fundraiser will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 10166 W. Feliciana Parkway with adult cyclists participating in 10- to 75-mile bike rides for the cost of a $45 donation if registering prior to March 7. If registering the day of the event, the registration amount is $50. Check-in starts at 7:30 a.m.
The 75-mile ride begins 8 a.m., the 40-mile ride at 9:30 a.m. and the 10-mile ride at 11 a.m.
At noon, youth under age 10 of all abilities can participate in a free parking lot fun ride, while children 10 and older can participate in a free 1-mile fun ride.
To register for Wheels to Succeed, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/7th-annual-no-such-thing-as-impossible-bike-ride-tickets-14505270655.