The holiday season is in full swing, and while it is a time for family, friends, shopping, merriment, and a bit of excess in all areas of our lives, the holiday season is also the time when many people count their blessings by remembering those less fortunate. This is the time of year when charities receive the highest volume of gifts, be it cash or tangible items, so it’s no wonder many organizations plan their galas and online or direct mail appeals for this time of year; it’s truly the season of giving. We want to show the universe we are grateful for all we have.
While Nona Cycle is known for our weekend rides in the Lake Nona area, most notably our Sunday Signature Ride, we have an enduring history of supporting our community and beyond throughout the year through participation in local charity rides. In the three years since a few guys who shared a love of cycling came together to form Nona Brew Crew (our original name), we’ve grown to more than 1,000 members from all throughout the Central Florida area and have raised more than $155,000 in support of local and national charities.
Each October, Nona Cycle members support Ronald McDonald House Charities by raising funds and participating in Ride for Ronald. In three years, Nona Cycle members have raised nearly $36,000 in support of the organization’s cornerstone program Ronald McDonald House, providing a home away from home for families with children receiving treatment at hospitals and medical facilities in Orlando.
Members also support the October Think Pink! Ride organized by Winter Garden Wheel Works and, last year, had the largest team participation in the St. Cloud-based JHOP race/ride.
On Dec. 8, Nona Cycle supported the second annual Ride With a Santa holiday toy drive and ride benefitting local families who otherwise would not have presents for their children. Nona Cycle member Angel Ledesma was profiled in a previous issue of Nonahood News, sharing how he and his wife, Carla, turned their passion for helping those in need into an annual holiday event benefiting hundreds of children and families.
Nona Cycle’s main focus for fundraising as a team is Tour de Cure, held each March beginning and ending at Lake Nona Town Center. Tour de Cure rides are held throughout the country, and last year, the Lake Nona ride raised more than $1 million in support of diabetes awareness, research and prevention.
Here are some startling facts: More than 30 million Americans are living with diabetes, 84 million people are living with prediabetes and 90% don’t even know it, and every 21 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes.
This isn’t a problem, it’s an epidemic, and the American Diabetes Association is committed to helping those living with this disease thrive. Tour de Cure is the premiere fundraising event for the organization, and Nona Cycle is proud to support their efforts.
Nona Cycle is the top non-corporate fundraising team, both in number of participants and dollars raised; in three years of participation, members have raised and contributed $119,600 with our highest amount, $46,500, raised this past March. Our goal for the March 29, 2020, Tour de Cure is $50,000. It should be noted that the funds we raise are contributed by friends, family members, co-workers, and ourselves – Nona Cycle is not an organized dues-paying group, so each member pays a registration fee to ride and is responsible for their own fundraising. We care about our neighbors and want to make our community a better place to live; through cycling, we are able to make a difference.
Everyone knows someone who has been affected by diabetes. I’m sure you can say the same – perhaps you or a loved one live with this disease.
During this season of giving, when our hearts are grateful for all we have – good health, adequate food, safe shelter, and more – the members of Nona Cycle ask you to support our efforts to raise $50,000 between now and March 29. Your gift will support diabetes advancements in research, programs and education, and advocacy efforts in your community and beyond.
If you are a cyclist and want to join our Tour de Cure team or wish to make your donation to an individual member, you can find Team Nona Cycle at: http://main.diabetes.org/goto/NonaCycle.
All of us in Nona Cycle wish you a wonderful holiday season and all the best in the coming year!