With summer well under way, Center on Halsted like many is turning towards recreation, a core tenet in our mission of advancing community and securing the health and well-being of LGBTQ people. Throughout July we will be highlighting events, activities, and initiatives that support the vitality of our community through healthy living.
This coming weekend, Center on Halsted is joining with other organizations and individuals to complete the Ride for AIDS Chicago, a two-day bike trek spanning 200 miles from Chicago to Lake Geneva and back again.
“It’s an event that takes a village,” says Johnny Engelbreit, Center on Halsted Ride for AIDS Chicago (RFAC) team captain and Director of Operations for the organization. This is Johnny’s second year participating in the ride and his first as captain. “The efforts of everyone involved, from the riders to the crew and all of the volunteers are so tangible. We really are making a difference!”
As a community partner in the event, team proceeds are shared with Test Positive Aware Network, the event’s producer, to support HIV/AIDS and STD services.
“Work in HIV and AIDS is only one facet of the work we do at Center on Halsted,” says Modesto Tico Valle, CEO of Center on Halsted. “The Ride provides us with the opportunity to put the larger scope of our work into context and also acts as a moment of education and learning for us all.”
For Ing Sweson, Associate Director of Behavioral Health Services at Center on Halsted and first-year rider, the 200-mile ride is viewed as a challenge to overcome. “The Ride has proven to me that preparation can produce tangible results,” he says. “My efforts, from the training rides to fundraising asks and events have shown that I can make a difference. It’s a great setting to realize your potential.”
With the weekend approaching, there are still ways to get involved! Donate to one of our riders or the team as a whole. The event is still looking for crew members as well.