Students from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent recently rode their bikes 50 miles with purpose for a cause.
Organized for the fourth year by student Daniel McIlduff, the group of students, named "Black Squirrels Riding Against Poverty," raised money to donate to Habitat for Humanity of Portage County to help create a world where everyone has a decent place to live in Portage County.
This year's riders included fourth-year rider Matt Aberegg, third-year riders Sarah Ludwig, Michael Burkey and Grant Wang and first-year riders Alex O'Daniel, Danylo Lavrentovich, Athea Murray and Matthew Grissom. Also riding the entire route this year was Matt's dad Ed Aberegg.
The route began at Longcoy Elementary School in Kent and continued along the Bike and Hike Trail through Munroe Falls, Silver Lake, Stow and Sagamore Hills to its terminus at Alexander Road in Cuyahoga County.
The group then turned around and rode back. Bag lunches were eaten at Brandywine Falls, where all enjoyed a well-deserved break before getting back on their bicycles and finishing the ride.
Also providing assistance and supervision were Daniel's parents, Ed McIlduff, who rode the entire route, and Barb Wendel, who provided support and gear help from a vehicle, as well as carrying lunches, cold water and sports drinks.
Upon receiving the donation, Habitat for Humanity of Portage County executive director Brian Reitz remarked, "Daniel is a true example of putting good intentions into action and making a difference in your own backyard. We appreciate all the hard work of the students and parents."
Black Squirrels Riding Against Poverty in the fourth annual fundraiser are Kelli Harrod in front, and in back, from left, Matt Aberegg, Daniel McIlduff, Alastar Seed, Richard Underwood, Ed McIlduff, Alex O'Daniel and Ed Aberegg.