Three area women raised more than $5,300 for the Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity.
Cathy Aykens, Crosby, Heidi Wagner, Brainerd, and Sara Mattson, Baxter, trained and raised funds to prepare for the long ride that passed through Stillwater, Cambridge, Little Falls, Aitkin, Carlton, Pine City and Anoka.
The three gave a week of their time to participate in the Habitat 500 bike ride July 16-22, which was organized by the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. It's estimated that 82 riders raised more than $143,000 to build affordable homes for people living in substandard conditions.
"The seven days of biking was tough, but rewarding," Wagner said in a news release. "Our shortest day was 45 miles and our longest was 84."
For the ride, 85 percent of funds raised go back to the communities the riders designate. Operating costs of the ride are kept low by volunteers driving the gear truck, a bike mechanic and massage therapist donating their time for the week, HAM radio operators volunteering time, equipment and vehicles as support staff for the riders, and churches, schools and habitat affiliates along the route providing lodging and evening meals.
Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity builds or renovates homes with families in need in Cass and Crow Wing counties and on the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe lands. Volunteers provide time and skills to build the homes, reducing the cost. Habitat then sells homes to qualified families at no profit on a no-interest mortgage.
For more information about the program or to volunteer, call habitat's Brainerd office at 828-8517.
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