Children riding bicycles in the cold damp weather Oct. 17 to raise money for Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) met a hero who is going to ride across the state for the same cause next year.
First Baptist Church, Charlotte, and Elizabeth Baptist Church in Shelby joined forces to “Bike for Change.” It was Elizabeth’s first time joining First Baptist, which has raised $88,940 in seven years, including a record $17,876 this year.
Elizabeth is the home church of Jay Westmoreland, the First Baptist member and BCH trustee who organizes the ride.
“I was particularly delighted to see the ‘multiplication effect’ as Elizabeth joined with us this year,” Westmoreland said.
He said Elizabeth Baptist is tentatively planning a similar event in Shelby next year and would invite other local churches to participate.
Children met Chris Boone, the man who holds the speed record for riding the entire 470 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway in just 29 hours and 36 minutes.
To support BCH during its 125th anniversary year next September Boone will attempt to break the 564-mile Murphy to Manteo speed record of 41 hours.
As BCH development officer Lewis Smith says, “Where there’s a wheel, there’s a way.”
BCH will organize special events related to the anniversary and that ride, and Boone is going to begin a blog at www.biblicalrecorder.org so friends can track his training progress. Boone, 44, with his wife, Lisa and son Zach, are members of Rebels Creek Baptist Church in Bakersville.
Huddled with warm coffee and donuts, parents helped Westmoreland arrange children on the track by age group. After a couple laps on the wet track at Northside Baptist Church everyone’s jacket sported a broad wet stripe up the back.
Boone signed autographs and encouraged the riders. After riders had “dried off the track” Boone took a few laps with them. A triathlete, Boone owns a landscaping and a building stone company, and Lisa is director of nursing for the Mitchell County Hospice.
Other churches interested in holding a similar event can contact Westmoreland for helpful planning details.