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BIRMINGHAM - The 15th Annual TriStates 100 century bike ride is set for Saturday, June 3, with ride options of 100, 70, 41 and 27 miles.
Cyclists will take off from Bethel Baptist Church (3527 E. Cottonwood Road, Dothan) at 7 a.m. Online registration is now open at www.tristates100.com. Ride day registration also will be available beginning at 5:30 a.m. Participating cyclists and other supporters are encouraged to post about the event on social media using the hashtag #TriStates100.
The TriStates 100 century bike ride travels 100 miles across Alabama, Florida and Georgia, and offers cyclists a challenging ride experience. The TriStates 100 is designated as a 2017 Alabama Backroads Century Ride series event. Additional information about the series is available at www.alabama-backroads-cycling.com. The 70-mile route, the 41-mile route and the 27-mile route all traverse through scenic southeastern Alabama.
Event proceeds benefit the Dawn Pitchford Fund at Children’s of Alabama, the state’s only freestanding pediatric hospital. This fund benefits the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s, where 90 percent of children in Alabama diagnosed with cancer or serious blood disorders are treated. Last year, families in the Wiregrass region made nearly 7,000 visits to Children’s for a variety of injuries and illnesses.
The fund was created in memory of Dawn Pitchford, who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia at age 14 and treated at Children’s. Throughout her treatment, Dawn met children and families who were not only struggling with medical expenses, but also non-medical expenses.
“Dawn spent the money that people sent her to help other people. After her death, we felt it only fitting that the money she had accumulated from the generosity of our friends go to cause that was near to her heart,” said Dawn’s mother, Janice Pitchford. “We didn’t have enough money to set up a trust so the hospital helped us set up an account, the Dawn Pitchford Fund, which would help the non-medical needs of children with cancer.”
Last year, the Dawn Pitchford Fund donated $31,000 to Children’s thanks to the cycling community and event supporters.
“As [cyclists] put forth the effort to make this ride and sponsors give generously to support it, we will be reaching children and their families across our state,” Janice Pitchford said. “I encourage you to join us as we support a cause very dear to my heart and the heart of all parents who have set beside the bed of their child who is fighting the battle for their life.”
Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by US News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 46 other states and seven foreign countries last year, representing more than 676,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at childrensal.org.