Crazy, cool way to raise money

Published 10:11 pm Monday, February 26, 2018

A lot of folks would call riding 100 miles on a bicycle in one day crazy.

Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane? Crazier still.

But Mark Wilder plans to do both back-to-back, and he doesn’t mind if you think he’s insane. He’s going to do it anyway to raise money for and bring attention to the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure fundraiser on April 28.

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The location change the association undertook for the fundraising ride this year has afforded the opportunity for more people than ever to participate in more different ways than ever. When it was just a bike ride, basically the only ways to participate were to ride or volunteer.

This year, however, the ride has changed location from King’s Fork High School, where it has been located the last few years, to the Suffolk Executive Airport.

More space at the airport will allow for a 5K run/walk event, so even people who don’t have a bicycle or just don’t want to or can’t ride can actively participate and help out the American Diabetes Association.

There will also be an expanded health fair and education area, where more spectators — who attend the event for free — can learn more about how to prevent, detect and manage diabetes and related health conditions.

But there are some, like Wilder, who are taking even more advantage of the new location.

Skydive Suffolk, a popular skydiving destination in the region, is located at Suffolk Executive Airport. And Wilder and a few other riders will ride 100 miles and then immediately climb into an airplane and jump out.

Some might call it crazy. Wilder calls it checking something off his bucket list.

“I wish it was April 28 tomorrow,” he told a News-Herald reporter last week.

The event is still two months away, and already the location change is allowing more participation in new and different ways and generating lots of buzz. It remains to be seen if the switch will be a total success, but we’re loving it so far.

The American Diabetes Association does lots of education on diabetes, advocates for those with diabetes and funds research for the cure, so we encourage all Suffolk residents to support the Tour however possible.

Visit diabetes.org/hrtdc or call 424-6662 ext. 3269 for more information on the event.