FLEMING ISLAND – Paul Anderson Youth Home, a fully accredited and licensed program dedicated to offering help to young men facing serious trouble or incarceration, is holding its 18th Annual Paul …
FLEMING ISLAND – Paul Anderson Youth Home, a fully accredited and licensed program dedicated to offering help to young men facing serious trouble or incarceration, is holding its 18th Annual Paul Anderson Bike Ride on Saturday, July 8, through Friday, July 14.
Expanded from five to seven days this year, five young men from the Home are set to cover more than 520 miles on an ambitious route that begins at the PAYH campus in Vidalia, Georgia.
The group will ride from Waycross, Georgia to Fleming Island on Sunday, July 9. A day later, they will head to Ponte Vedra Beach.
For nearly two decades, the Paul Anderson Bike Ride has commemorated a foundational moment in the history of the Paul Anderson Youth Home. At its founding in 1961, the former Olympic gold-medal winner decided to ride a bicycle from Vidalia, 1,200 miles to Omaha, Ne. His motivation then was the same as the five young men share today: to raise funds and awareness of the mission to give troubled young men a second chance through Christ. More than 60 years later, PAYH celebrates over 1,400 lives changed through a process of recovery, restoration and redemption.
“Paul was an incredibly determined man, so when he decided to ride a bike 1,200 miles to Omaha, I felt it was Christ working through him. All these years later, I get the same feeling when these strong young men take to the road, keeping Paul’s legacy of faith and fitness alive,” said Glenda Anderson Leonard, Co-Founder and President of PAYH.
The five riders, like all other young men at PAYH, have been working to overcome a range of challenges, including emotional issues, substance abuse, legal trouble and spiritual deficiencies. The physical challenge of riding more than 520 miles over the course of seven days exemplifies their newfound mental strength and physical fitness, essential elements of the PAYH program. They also honor God through their transformation and achievement. Additionally, riders are sponsored by donors to raise funds for the youth home.
“It takes character to volunteer for this ride, because it is not easy. This endeavor honors the young men’s commitment to changing their lives, accepting the Lord’s word, and the memory of Paul, who was such a gifted athlete,” Anderson Leonard said.
The funds raised allow PAYH to carry out its mission more effectively of helping troubled youth. Supporters can meet the riders, contribute to their success, and become a part of the PAYH family at payhbikeride.com.
To learn more about the Paul Anderson Youth Home and family resources, visit payh.org.