HERSHEY, PA . — By raising $75,000 for Oil Heat Cares with the 2007 running of "Care to Ride," the oil heating industry ensured a warm winter for many in need. Topping last year 's total of $50,000, the event was held on a perfect spring day in Hershey, Pa. in late May and, for the first time, included a motorcycle ride to compliment the two bicycle rides and walk.
Oil Heat Cares is a Not-for-Profit Foundation that assists needy persons and organizations with the replacement of their oil-˛red heating appliances. Funds are raised to purchase heating equipment and National Association of Oil Heating Service Managers chapters and members identify those within their neighborhoods that need a temporary helping hand by installing the equipment at no cost to the homeowner.
"Care to Ride" founder and director, Don Farrell, Oilheating Journal, said he was overwhelmed with the result.
"We had challenged the industry to improve on last year 's total," Farrelll said. "To see that exceeded by 50% is astounding. The credit goes to the generosity of the corporate sponsors and the good people who came out and participated."
With the sun shining over the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, the bicyclists, motorcycles and walkers enjoyed a festive atmosphere of music and snacks before starting out on the day's events.
"Anyone assembled outdoors waiting for the Care to Ride Event to take place had to have felt the spirit of good will," said Judy Garber, chairperson of Oil Hear Cares. "I don't know if it was the incredibly beautiful sunny day or being with friends or raising an amazing amount of money, but it sure felt wonderful being par t of this event. Thank you Don Farrell for coming up with the idea and thank you to our many sponsors and participants."
The cyclists rode to the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association where they were greeted by Don Welcomer, convention and education director, and treated to an open house at the association's training school. The motorcycles took a long, scenic ride through the Pennsylvania countryside and rested at Cabela's Outdoor Outfitters' 250,000-sq.ft. retail store.
The walkers walked a local path for their 5-kilometer jaunt.
This year's overall and bicycle division winner was Roger Marran, Energy Kinetics, who raised $2,800. The top walker was Oil Hear Cares Judy Garber, $2,100 and the top position in the motorcycle division belonged to the duo of Kevin Bowman and Tom Laverty, $1,000. The top team was the Long Island Rough Riders, $2,400.
Care to Ride will hold its next event in Hartford, Conn., on May 19, 2008.
Sponsors included Peerless Boilers, Burnham Hydronics, Bradford White, Buderus, Crown Boiler, John Wood Water Heater, R.W. Beckett Corp., Riello, Taco, Thermo Pride, Weil-McLain, Wilo and Wohler USA.