Biking and mixing to benefit Best Buddies Challenge
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Zack Daniels, marketing manager based at the main office of Central One Federal Credit Union in Shrewsbury, is preparing for the 100-mile bicycle route from Boston to Hyannis Port for the 15th annual Best Buddies Challenge. The key word for him is “challenge.”
“I hadn’t ridden a bicycle since 2000,” he shared. “This is going to be a huge undertaking for me.”
Participants can choose to run or walk in a 5K race, or ride a bicycle for 20, 50 or 100 miles. Daniels has run 5K races, but he opted to pedal outside of his comfort zone.
“The bicycle ride caught my attention and I put it on my bucket list to accomplish,” he said.
Daniels researched several charitable causes. He decided to support Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization of volunteers that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“This nonprofit seems to give the most money back to the actual program,” he said. “They have 1,500 chapters in middle school, high school and college campuses, and it includes people with disabilities in all aspects. I can only imagine how difficult it would be for individuals like this in school. Best Buddies must be a godsend for them.”
Registered participants are offered training in advance. Daniels plans to attend the training sessions each weekend up to the day of the event, Saturday, May 31.
“Just trying to get over 25 miles has been quite a challenge,” he said.
Daniels is also preparing to raise funds with a Best Buddies Mixer to be held Tuesday, April 22, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at Brew City in Worcester. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and deejay Joe Tomlinson of Music by the Minute is donating his time and tunes. While there’s no admission charge, guests are encouraged to donate to a silent auction and raffle.
“I’ll ask people to buy a sleeve of raffle tickets for $25 and then they can select which prize they’d like to win,” Daniels explained.
Among the prizes are items for sports fans including tickets to New England Patriots and Red Sox games, and autographed memorabilia. Items of interest to country music fans include concert tickets for Rascal Flatts, Sheryl Crow and Gloriana at XFinity Center in Boston; and Chris Young at Indian Ranch in Webster.
So that the mixer organizers can plan accordingly, guests are asked to email an RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniels is looking forward to a successful mixer and ride.
“My number one goal is to complete the ride,” he said with a laugh. “My number two goal is to complete the ride in less than six hours.”
His other goal is to raise at least $2,500 for Best Buddies. Donations can be made online here.
For more information about Best Buddies, visit bestbuddies.org.
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