AEC Hosts First Annual Bike-a-thon

AEC Hosts First Annual Bike-a-thon

Benjamin Dub'e joins Jackson Doggette, Jr., and Melvyn Hayden, III as they prepare to start a ride.

Benjamin Dub’e joins Jackson Doggette, Jr., and Melvyn Hayden, III as they prepare to start a ride.

Allegheny East Conference (AEC) leaders recently completed the first iRideAEC bike-a-thon, part of an initiative to raise $1 million for the long-term sustainability of the AEC school system.

Story by LaTasha Hewitt

The bike-a-thon included a 14-day journey to each of the 11 schools in the AEC territory, spanning five states and the District of Columbia on bicycles. Jackson Doggette, Jr., the main biker and AEC’s attorney, came up with the idea and traveled more than 850 miles on the journey. Melvyn Hayden, III, pastor of the Pine Forge church in Pa., accompanied Doggette on most of the trip.

Judy B. Chiles-Dent, education superintendent, and Shayla-René Little, project manager, manned the support and gear (SAG) vehicle, and provided water bottles, “quick fuel” snacks and made sure the riders had everything they needed.

The team stopped off at each of the 11 schools in AEC, where roaring crowds of students, faculty, staff and members of the local community greeted them. Each school provided the SAG vehicle with water, Gatorade, coconut water and fresh fruit, and happily sent the riders on their way. AEC Women’s Ministries volunteers from the respective area provided the team with a dinner meal.

David Starks, a member of Dupont Park church in Washington, D.C., also joined the riders for two days. José Wagner a member of the Macedonia church in Chester, Pa., provided encouragement and advice, along with a willingness to serve on the Project Team for 2016 and beyond. Plans are already underway for the 2016 bike-a-thon. Visit iRideAEC.org for more information.

Feature photo: Henry Fordham, AEC president, prays for safety and protection at the start of the iRideAEC bike-a-thon.