The SMART Ride raises largest one-year total in 15 years for HIV/AIDS research

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The SMART Ride, the only HIV/AIDS bicycle ride in the country of its size to donate 100 percent of funds raised to HIV/AIDS research, revealed Nov. 17 that it had raised a record $1,171,849 in its 15th year – the largest one-year total in the not for profit’s history.

Hundreds of riders from Jacksonville, Key West, Orlando, Palm Beach, Tampa Bay and across the nation completed the two-day, 165-mile bike ride from Miami to Key West Nov. 16-17. Each rider was tasked with raising at least $1,250.

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Metro Wellness & Community Centers celebrates 25 years with the Great Gatsby Gala

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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(ABOVEMetro’s James Keane gives Watermark’s Tampa Bay team a tour of their expansion project. Photo by Jake Stevens.)

ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Wellness & Community Centers will commemorate its 25th year during their annual gala on Nov. 11, and the community it does so much to support is invited to help celebrate the organization’s landmark anniversary.

Community members can attend the organization’s Great Gatsby Gala, held at the appropriately-titled Gatsby’s, from 7:00-11:00 p.m. in Clearwater. For $50, attendees will enjoy an open bar, dinner, dancing and live entertainment, with collected funds used to support “life-changing LGBT programs for the youth, seniors, and transgender members of our community.”

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10.5.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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On June 11, 2016, I was out celebrating the birthday of a co-worker and friend. We had plans to have dinner, see a movie and possibly hit a local hot spot to end the festivities. We had a friend with us who spent every Saturday night at Pulse and we were prepared for him to drag us older fellows out there.

The restaurant was crowded so the wait for the table was over an hour. This changed the course of the evening. We missed our movie and had to settle for a later, more obscure film called The Lobster. The birthday boy was ecstatic because we ended up seeing the movie he wanted to see anyway.

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14th Annual SMART Ride hits pause in Hurricane Irma’s wake

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA BAY | The SMART Ride (Southern Most AIDS/HIV Ride), the second largest HIV/AIDS bicycle ride in the country and the only one of its size to donate 100% of funds raised to AIDS/HIV research, will ride again this year—albeit later than normal.

The not-for-profit organization, which in its 13 years has distributed over $8.5 million to local HIV/AIDS charities like the Metro Wellness & Community Centers in Tampa Bay, was forced to postpone its 14th annual trek following the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: SMART Ride, the Pink Triangle and Ybor shows the love

By : Anonymous
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RIDE FOR A CAUSE

After a two day track full of blood, sweat and tears, across a 165-mile stretch from Miami to Key West, the 2016 SMART Ride is done. At the end of the ride, which was held Nov. 17-18, organizers raised $1,037,140, about $45,000 of which came from right here from Tampa Bay area cyclists.

SMART Ride got started in 2003 with less than 100 riders and raised $169,000, all of which went to HIV/AIDS organizations in Florida. Fast forward 13 years, and with SMART Ride now raising more than $8 million in total, all going back to HIV/AIDS groups in the state, they are the second-largest AIDS bicycle ride in the country.

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Guest Column: A ‘Smart’ Ride for good

By : Chris Rudisill
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Chris Rudisill-2010

Chris Rudisill

In 2010, I was still relatively new to Florida. My first year in St. Petersburg was spent getting immersed in the LGBT community, enjoying the beautiful sunshine and beginning to find joy in the immense cycling opportunities throughout our area.

In doing so, I heard other riders and new friends talk about this SMART Ride event—a two-day, 165-mile bike ride from Miami to Key West. Having never been to Key West before, my partner and I started to train for the 7th Annual SMART Ride, or Southern-Most AIDS Ride Twenty-ten.

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2013 SMART Ride brings $130K to Metro

By : Staff Report
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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.

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SMART Ride 2012 raises more than $860K

By : Jamie Hyman
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In its 9th year, SMART Ride has raised more than $860,000 that will be divided among seven HIV/AIDS support agencies across Florida.

See a gallery of photos from 2012 SMART Ride!

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