Cyclists help make wishes come true one mile at a time
Nearly 1,200 cyclists are testing their strengths in Michigan this weekend in an attempt to raise millions of dollars for kids with life-threatening medical conditions.
About 1,000 of those riders will be starting their journey in Traverse City on Friday morning at 6 a.m. from Traverse City East Middle School.
Itâ??s all part of Make-A-Wish Michiganâ??s 27th annual Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour (WAM).
The riders started arriving in town on Thursday afternoon. Many are staying at Traverse City East Middle School over night as they prepare for the tour.
Theyâ??re going to be riding 300 miles of Michigan countryside for three days, ending at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Sunday.
Many of the riders and volunteers who participate in the tour are wish parents, friends, and community members whoâ??s lives have been directly impacted by the Make-A-Wish experience.
â??Iâ??ve been doing it for seven years,â?? said Steve Perna, of Clinton Township. â??My son was diagnosed in 2007 with leukemia and received a wish. A friend of ours at his cancer center was involved with this ride and talked me into riding and after the first year I was hooked. And my goal every year now is to raise one wish in order to give back to the families that raised money before us.â??
The second portion of the Wish-A-Mile tour starts on Sunday in Brooklyn where another 300 cyclists will ride for 50 miles.
The event concludes on Sunday in Brooklyn with a Heroes Hurrah, where wish kids will award the cyclists with medals as they cross the finish line.
The Wish-A-Mile Bicycle tour is Make-A-Wish Michiganâ??s largest fundraiser. Organizers hope to raise $2-million.