By Tian Lynn Ivey managing editor
This year’s event attracted over 800 bike riders and aims to raise $500,000. The highest amount ever raised in one year through Spin for Kids was $430,000. “We are aiming high for our 10th anniversary, but we think we can get there,” said Merrick Bonner, senior events coordinator for CTL, orchestrated a very special bike ride this year. Spin for Kids featured three campers who shared why CTL has been such a meaningful part of their lives and to kick off the bike rides.
McKenzie, a CTL camper who spoke at the event, shared her appreciation for the opportunities CTL has given her. “”I love everything about [camp] because I can participate in all the camper activities, just like kids at other camps. It is one ofthe happiest weeks of my summer!” said McKenzie. Gabriele, another CTL camper who spoke at this year’s Spin for Kids, shared her experience of self-discovery while participating in the CTL program. “Camp is the only place where I can be myself, believe in myself, become myself and begin to understand myself. I love camp!” said Gabriele. Mary, the third CTL camper to speak at the event, shared about the comfort she experienced at CTL by connecting with other children who faced similar challenges, too. “The first time I went to Camp Courage at Camp Twin Lakes, I got to see other kids my age who had differences with their faces too! I wasn’t alone!”
The post-ride celebration included food from T.Mac, custard from Shake Shack, and Beer from Sweetwater. Bonner encourages to community to give generously to CTL, reminding that CTL provides vital resources and experiences to 10,000 special needs children a year. “Camp Twin Lakes serves kids—kids with all different kinds of illnesses, disabilities and challenges, and we partner with 60 different organizations,” said Bonner. “We make a difference in the lives of children, from kids with cancer to kids with asthma to kids who are in the foster care system—we meet many different needs. Hundreds of bikers hit the pavement Sunday to help CTL continue serving special needs children. With five different routes, bikers were seen all over Morgan County Sunday, Oct. 18. According to the Spin for Kids website, “our riders’ fundraising efforts culminate in a fun and fulfilling ride that winds through the scenic backroads of beautiful Morgan County, Georgia.”
“Participants can choose from five scenic road routes: 5, 27, 47, 62 or 100 miles. Along each route, riders enjoy delicious homemade goodies and local fare at our rest stops, while our dedicated team of first aid, route marshals, and bike technicians keeps riders safe. Riders with young children can register their children to participate in Day Camp while their parents are out riding. After crossing the finish line, riders join family and friends in a celebration of their accomplishments including delicious food, beer, live music and a chance to explore Camp. After all, 100 percent of the funds raised by Spin For Kids riders help Camp Twin Lakes provide life-changing experiences for our campers, and that’s something to celebrate!” Donations continue to pour in after the event, so CTL will not have the final numbers on how much was raised until early November. In the last nine years, Spin for Kids has raised 2.5 million for CTL and sponsored more than 3,100 kids to attend the camp.