Writer / Matt Roberts
On September 16, motorcycle riders, their families and community supporters of Angelcare will meet for the sixth annual “Rita’s Ride”. The ride will begin at Mann’s Harley-Davidson in Edinburgh and end with a family-friendly luncheon at Apple Works in Trafalgar.
All proceeds from the event will benefit Angelcare, a faith-based non-profit organization devoted to assisting teenage girls facing a crisis pregnancy. Angelcare President Yadi Garcia hopes to involve all of Johnson County in the ride and increase awareness of the work the organization does.
“The idea is that families and supporters can wait for the riders at Apple Works, where they have a petting zoo and playground,” Garcia says. “And then we can all join together for the luncheon (provided by City Barbecue).”
The ride started in 2012 with about 10 riders and has grown tenfold since then.
“This is the first year that we’ve partnered with anybody to host the event,” Garcia says. “We’re really trying to promote it to the whole community, not just motorcycle riders.”
The entry fee for the ride is $20 for a single rider or $30 for doubles, which includes the price of lunch. Those who wish to join for the lunch only can pay $10 per person or $25 for a family of four.
Angelcare has been working on the issue of teen pregnancy since 2000, but for the last several years the group has focused on creation of a live-in facility for teen mothers in Trafalgar. The structure will provide a home for up to 12 girls during their maternity, with a live-in staff addressing the new mothers’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
“We were able to purchase four acres with the help of churches, donors and the community, and we hope to have construction completed by the end of this year,” Garcia says.
The home will be supervised by two live-in house mothers and an executive director. Though the babies and their mothers won’t continue to live at the home after the birth, Angelcare will continue to support the families through counseling, mentoring and instruction for up to 15 months.
“The mission of Angelcare is to save two lives — that of both the baby and the mother,” Garcia says.
The idea for the project came from former President Rita Norwood, who passed away in August of 2016. The fundraiser was formerly known as the “Ride for Angelcare”, but the organization renamed it “Rita’s Ride” in her honor.
The event is one of only two fundraisers held annually by Angelcare, with the other being a banquet and silent auction held in the spring. The organization receives monthly support from Johnson County churches and businesses but is soliciting help through the “Friends of Angelcare” program, where individuals can commit to ongoing financial support.
Tickets for Rita’s Ride and information on Angelcare are available on their website at Angelcare-inc.org.