Quincy News

Midnight Ride for Hunger gets big boost from Blessing

Bob Daly poses at Clat Adams Bicentennial Park on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. Daly is the creator of Moonlight Bike Ride, which serves as a fundraiser for Horizons Soup Kitchen. | H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 16, 2019 12:01 am

QUINCY -- Bob Daly looks at what will transpire Saturday and can't help but smile.

"This is always the Quincy community at its best," Daly said.

It's hard to argue that point, considering the 8 p.m. Moonlight Ride for Hunger will generate an expected $50,000 for the Horizons Soup Kitchen and its ongoing mission to combat hunger in the Quincy community.

As many as 600 bicycling enthusiasts will take part in the event, which over the course of its first three years has grown by leaps and bounds.

"It's all come together," said Daly, 60, an executive at contemporary Christian radio station WGCA-88.5 FM. "It's exciting. Every year there are challenges, but you just get through them."

This year's ride has been boosted by a $25,000 donation from the Blessing Health System. Other community contributors are Madison-Davis Bicycle Shop, Red Cactus Salsa, Rethink Media Group, WGCA, WGEM, Gardner Denver, Knapheide, Adams Fiber, Refreshment Services Pepsi, Kunes Country and O'Connor Wealth Management.

The partnering organizations will help this year's Moonlight Ride raise almost five times the funding the 2018 event did when $11,000 was generated.

The ride itself is broken into three events -- 4-mile, 11-mile and 19-mile routes -- to offer participation not only to various age brackets, but different levels of experience for the bikers taking part. Home base for the ride will be Clat Adams Park.

All three distances will include trips across both the Quincy Memorial and Bayview bridges.

Daly has been biking for about 40 years, and this has become one of his all-time favorite events.

"It's a ride, not a race," he said. "The idea is to enjoy yourself and help others at the same time."

Sarah Stephens, executive director of Horizons, has nothing but praise for Daly's work to establish and build interest in the ride.

"Bob is the Energizer Bunny for this," she said.

Stephens said Daly had knowledge of a similar event in St. Louis and used that background to lay the groundwork for the Quincy ride.

Stephens feels the pieces all fell together when they did for a reason. She said Horizons was approached several years before the birth of the Midnight Ride for Hunger involving a similar type of event, but some potential concerns led her to pass on the idea at that time.

Three years ago, when the idea resurfaced, she felt the time was right, especially with Daly's involvement.

"We just knew this is a God-ordained event," Stephens said. "It has been a beautiful partnership with Blessing and others who have helped."

For more information about entry fees and routes, contact WGCA at 217-224-9422. Registration can be done at wgca.org.


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