A reason to ride

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 10, 2013

members of the Wings Cancer Foundation bike team take off from Andalusia’s Holiday Inn Express.

members of the Wings Cancer Foundation bike team take off from Andalusia’s Holiday Inn Express.

It was a grey day in Andalusia Wednesday, but a group of bicyclists traveling down Highway 84 represented a ray of sunshine for those fighting cancer.

The riders were passing through town Wednesday morning on the final leg of a ride that has taken them from Memphis to Rosemary Beach, Fla., all in an effort to aid the Wings Cancer Foundation’s continuing work to help cancer patients.

Prior to hitting the road, the group met outside of Andalusia’s Holiday Inn Express, where they spent their final night of the actual ride.

Wings Executive Director Chris West said the bike ride is just one of many things the non-profit organization does to help provide support for those fighting cancer.

“We provide emotional, physical and spiritual treatment so no one feels alone fighting this battle,” West said.

West said this year’s ride is the third annual outing for the event and included 18 riders that will have traveled 525 miles in five days by trip’s end.

“This is just a great way to give back,” West said. “We sat down three years ago and just said, ‘What can we do to help somebody?’”

Also participating in Wednesday’s leg of the ride was Kelli Meacham with the Pink Heals Movement.

Meacham, who retired from law enforcement, said she would be following the riders in a vehicle to make sure they have everything they need on the road.

Meacham said partnering with the Wings Foundation was a natural fit for the Pink Heals Movement.

“We call them our ‘pink family,’” Meacham said.

Both groups are non-profit agencies working to raise money for the treatment and care of cancer patients.

West said the Wings Foundation has raised more than $100,000 this year, but donations are always needed.

The Wings Foundation team departed Andalusia around 9 a.m. Wednesday, with a planned stop at the Florala State Park before ending their journey in Florida.

To get involved with or donate to the Wings Foundation, visit www.wingscancerfoundation.org For more information or to donate to the Pink Heals Movement, visit www.pinkheals.org