St. Petersburg – In November 2013, cyclists from across the country along with crew and volunteers traveled more than 165 miles by bike from Miami to Key West in the 10th annual SMART Ride. The event benefits charitable HIV agencies state-wide, including Metro Wellness & Community Centers.
This year, a record breaking $1,070,101.41 and 100% was guaranteed to direct services for those living with HIV in the state. Metro received $131,309.47.
We are so thankful to all of the riders, supporters, crew and donors in the Tampa Bay area and throughout Florida for making this happen,” said Metro CEO Lorraine Langlois. “The change that this makes in our clients’ lives is unimaginable.”
The funds provided through the SMART Ride help provide assistance for food, clothing, housing and medications for many in the area living with HIV. In addition, these funds are essential in providing adequate services where there are gaps in adequate state and federal funding.
In 10 years, the ride has raised over $5 Million, and 100% of that has gone directly to client services throughout the state.
“The riders and crew put so much of themselves into this ride every year,” said Priya Rajkumar, VP of Client Health Services at Metro. “I hope they all see the difference their hard work makes. It provides Metro the opportunity to look at all funding gaps and see how we can improve the lives of our clients.”
This year Metro will utilize some of these additional funds to hold a SMART Ride HIV Retreat for clients that will focus on support systems, overall health, physical and spiritual wellness.
Registration is currently open for SMART Ride 11.
“We hope that even more riders and crew will participate from our area in 2014 and we’re already gearing up for new and exciting events to assist them with their fundraising,” said Langlois.