Bicyclists to ‘invade’ Springfield on Saturday

Some 600 bicyclists will arrive in Springfield on Saturday.

They’re taking part in the American Cancer Society’s Pan Ohio Hope Ride, which started Tuesday in Cleveland and will end 328 miles later in Cincinnati Sunday.

Local organizer Rick Benning tells me that’s the largest number of participants in the seven-year history of the event. There are 24 local riders — called “The Champion City Cancer Crushers” — who have been soliciting contributions and are ranked sixth in fundraising among teams. Money raised through the event benefits “Hope Lodge,” which helps children and adult cancer patients and their families.

Benning last year raised over $12,000, but modestly credits “my fans, my support.”

The bicyclists will leave the Columbus area Saturday morning. There’s a water stop at C.J. Brown Reservoir, before they arrive in Springfield around noon. Benning says they’ll attend an awards dinner at Wittenberg University’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation Center for the riders and volunteers that evening. They’ll stay in dorms on the campus overnight.

Benning says donations can still be made to “The Champion City Cander Crushers” throught the event’s website, panohiohoperide.org, which also has information on the event. He also gave credit to Springfield Regional Medical Center for its local support of the team and the event.

Youth event

Family and Youth Initiatives is holding a pair of what Executive Director Pat Banaszak calls “very important events” early next month. On Aug. 3, the local organization will present its fourth annual Safety Day at its New Carlisle office, 468 N. Dayton-Lakeview Road from noon to 2 p.m. Banaszak points out they’ll be addressing “a lot of safety issues our families don’t have answers for — things like bike safety, smoke alarms, nutrition, car seat safety and poison control”.

There also will be silent auctions, food, fun and prizes, plus exhibits and hands-on demonstrations. Another Safety Day will be held at their Springfield office, 815 W. Main St. on Aug. 19, and it will also include information on lead poisoning plus immunizations conducted by the Clark County Combined Health District.

FYI’s second annual Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium takes place at Wittenberg University on from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 6. “This is such a big issue”, Banaszak says. “I think we are (making progress)—it’s an epidemic.” The event includes a presentation by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office’s “Street Smarts Team” about street and prescription drugs, how they are packaged, how to find them and spotting the tell-tale signs exhibited by students who are using drugs, the tricks they use to hide and disperse drugs within schools, and how to ensure safe reporting protocols.

Banaszak points out the symposium is for parents and professionals, with continuing education units available. The $15 registration fee includes lunch.

More information on the Safety Days and the symposium is available by calling Family and Youth Initiatives at (937)845-0403, and at www.CommunityAllianceForYouth.org or calling (937)327-7552.

Finally, Keep Clark County Beautiful and the Springfield Community Beautification Committee are working to find the largest specimens of every native and naturalized tree species in the Clark County area. They would like you to send a description of tree locations, photos and contact information by July 31 to Project Chairperson Marianne Nave, 1602 W. main St., Springfield, OH 45504, or call(937)322-8865.

Contact me at Darryl.Bauer@cmgohio.com, or (937)328-0341.

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