Despite the difficulties of riding in her first 10-mile event, Ana Villa was among the first to return to the starting point at the First Baptist Church.
“It was awesome,” said Villa on Saturday during the 13th annual Cove House Classic Bike Tour.
“I am trying to get back into shape and what better way to do it than with something I really enjoy. Plus, it’s for a good cause.”
About 115 people participated in the event, which raised nearly $3,000 for the Cove House Emergency Homeless Shelter. Since June, the nonprofit has already served 100 residents, said Matt Moore, a member of the board of directors and organizer of the bike tour.
While the nonprofit currently provides two to four weeks of housing for homeless residents, it plans to eventually provide long-term housing.
Moore said the group hosts the biking event as a way to bring awareness to poverty and homelessness in the community.
“We want them to know that the Cove House exists,” Moore said. “For some people, homelessness isn’t even on their radar until they see a homeless person. Our goal is to provide a place for the homeless to go so there are not as (many) in the community.”
Villa said it’s “awesome” that people who are not fortunate enough to have their own home have a place to go.
“It’s the community trying to help the community and you don’t see that much anymore,” Villa said. “It’s a good thing to know that there’s people out there that can come to the Cove House (if they) need help and that (the nonprofit’s) doors are always open to them.”