SMART Ride 2015 raises nearly $1 million for HIV/AIDS organizations

By : Ciara Varone
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Miami – 383 bicyclists from 24 states and one from Ottawa, Canada pedaled 165 miles from Miami to Key West Nov. 13 and 14 for The SMART Ride, the annual Southern Most AIDS/HIV Ride, raising almost $1 million for those affected by HIV and AIDS. Now in its 12th year, the event has collected over $7.3 million total, donating every cent of that to the cause.

“That gives me goosebumps, just knowing that what we do is unique and that we attract so many different people from so many different places,” says Glen Weinzimer, The SMART Ride’s founder, adding that as of press time, he’s still receiving donations from the 2015 event.

Broward House, the Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center, METRO Wellness & Community Centers, Pridelines, AIDS Help, FoundCare and Miracles of Love, Inc. are the seven principal agencies that receive funds. TSR’s 10% Lifeline program disburses 10 percent of funds raised to additional agencies throughout the year.

These organizations use the money raised to send children and adults to camp, give bus passes to people who need access to medication and health care and offer education on prevention.

This year, the riders and about 300 crew members dealt with record-high temperatures. A medical team was assembled to help those pedaling through the intense heat stay hydrated. But sweltering weather didn’t stop participants.

“It’s almost indescribable and it’s extremely rewarding to see so many unique individuals come together with one passion in mind,” Weinzimer says.

Visit TheSmartRide.org to donate or sign up for the 2016 ride.

Photos by Stephen Lang.

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