The charitable cycling team G-Riders will hold its annual “Cheers Charity” on Feb. 9, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. However, for the last several years, the team had used Reed’s Sports Bar in Blue Bell as the event location, which happened to close in March 2012.
This year’s event is being described as a kickoff to the already popular charity event, as it will now take place at the Penguin's Pub, located at 355 York Road in Warminster.
According to team captain, Dan Gleason, the event has been known to raise up to $10,000.
“It’s our main fundraising tool,” Gleason said. “If we don’t do good, then we can’t give much back to charity.”
Gleason, a Harelysville resident, points out that the ‘Cheers Charity’ event raises funds for not just one worthy organization, but also several that G-Riders teammates support. He explains that the G-Riders' 40-plus member cycling team, didn’t want to narrow their efforts to just one charitable organization.
Going the Extra Mile
Gleason, who lends his name to the “G” in G-Riders, started out by participating in the Bike MS: City to Shore Ride, benefitting the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. He took his first ride in this event with a team of six or seven other cyclists, approximately 11 years ago.
Gleason said that a few years later, the team started growing in membership, as well as interests with other charitable organizations. Rather than choose one organization each year to support, Gleason said the team decided to branch out.
In order to pay for the various entrance fees often associated with charitable cycling events, the team created the annual “Cheers Charity” fundraiser to work as a bank that would distribute funds as needed throughout the year.
According to the G-Riders Facebook Page, the team has raised over $70,000 for charities since its formation.
This year, the Feb. 9 event at Penguin’s Pub will feature raffles for computers, Flyers tickets, restaurant gift certificates, as well as other attractions.
According to the G-Riders’ website, its large membership is comprised of an assorted group of individuals, mostly from Bucks and Montgomery counties, who enjoy having a great time no matter what. Gleason emphasizes this point by saying the criteria to join the team is not as stringent as other charitable cycling teams.
“You don’t have to be able to do the ‘Tour de France,’” Gleason said. “You just have to want to support charities and have fun.”
But, with so many charities and a growing membership, Gleason and the board of directors for G-Riders, have worked out a “points-system” that would reward members for their service to the team.
Gleason said that members who participated in organizing G-Riders events or helped in promotion of the team through its monthly meetings and website maintenance, would have more donations given to their charity of choice.
As listed on the website, G-Riders-supports both national and local charities, including:
- National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
- American Diabetes Foundation
- Indian Creek Foundation
- Several cancer-related charities
- Hero Scholarship Foundation
- Irish Pub Daniel Faulkner Fund
While Gleason said he is grateful for the continued growth of G-Riders, he recognizes the difficulty in the increasing responsibilities of the team each year. However, Gleason, whose father, the late Philadelphia Police Sgt. Daniel Gleason, was killed in the line of duty, said he recalled how charities have greatly supported and helped he and his family as a child in their time of need.
“When I was younger, it meant a lot,” Gleason said. “It’s my turn to give back.”