SUPPORTING VETERANS' REHAB THRU RIDING and, HONORING WILLIE P LEE, Sr:
Ride 2 Recovery's Tampa Bay area local group, known as Project HERO Pinellas (PHP), is a riding group dedicated to helping injured veterans recover through cycling. The ultimate goal of these healing heroes is to participate in one of R2R's Challenge Rides - multi-day events that cover 350-450 miles.
Project HERO Pinellas is raising money to send 15 of its riders to participate in the first-ever Army vs Navy Challenge Ride. These riders are committed to ride from New York City with West Point cadets to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, from Sept 27-Oct 3, 2015, covering 420 miles!
This site is temporarily also honoring the passing of WILL LEE, Army Air Corps veteran, and father of one of PHP's ride leaders, Mitch Lee. His surviving children include Willie P Lee Jr, Shelia Fisher, Mitch Lee and Mike Lee.
Please help us support Will and these riders, as well as other wounded veterans, and allow them to participate in this epic Challenge Ride and overcome their personal challenges. By cycling, they have reinserted themselves back into society as productive citizens and some have reduced, or even completely eliminated, their medications. Many veterans have some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and find cycling the perfect antidote.
MEET THE RIDERS:
MONICA SEREDA served in the US Army and was medically retired due to PTSD and back, neck and spinal issues suffered during active duty. She rode her first Challenge Ride in March, riding 450 miles from Atlanta to New Orleans. She is a proud regular rider in Project HERO Pinellas. Monica recently has supported a number of injured veteran rides, including Ride 2 Recovery Honor Rides all across the country.
KELLY MCDONALD is a Project HERO Pinellas rep and ride leader. She founded the local Project HERO chapter after riding in three Ride 2 Recovery Challenge Rides, including one where she trained a blind veteran (Kathy Champion), who had never ridden a tandem before. Kelly provides over 400 hours of volunteer work each year, and was recently recognized by Fortune 500 magazine as a Raytheon defense employee volunteer.
KIM SIEWERT McALAVY is a US Army veteran having suffered a debiliating back fracture while on active duty. She has undergone 3 back surgeries and is now able to ride a recumbent bike. She loves riding with fellow veterans and Project HERO Pinellas riders. She is looking forward to her first Challenge Ride at the Army vs Navy Challenge Ride in September.
KIM BENOIT served in the US Army in the Ordinance Corps. She now works for the Veterans Administration, having done so for the past decade. She helps our injured veterans through the VA, but also as a rider with Project HERO Pinellas. She completed her first Challenge Ride from Atlanta to New Orleans this past March. Now she will ride in her second in September.
MITCH LEE is a US Army veteran having graduated from West Point and served as a Signal Corps officer. He followed his military service with 31 years in the defense industry, working for Raytheon Corporation. He now serves as a ride leader with Project HERO Pinellas, helping injured veterans recover through cycling. He has completed two Challenge Rides (Boston to New York City; Atlanta to New Orleans).
Lt Col (ret) KATHY CHAMPION lost her eyesight while serving in Iraq as an Army officer. She rides now as part of Project HERO Pinellas, having completed four 6-day 420 mile Challenge Rides. Having never ridden a tandem bike before, her first long distance ride was from New Orleans to Tallahassee, FL in 2013. She was trained by fellow rider, Kelly McDonald, a public volunteer who was only on her second challenge ride.
PAM KELLY is a member of Project HERO Pinellas, having served her country as a member of the US Army. Pam has serious physical challenges as a quadriplegic with use of one arm, but does not let them stand in her way, having completed the 6-day, 450 mile Gulf Coast Challenge Ride from Atlanta to New Orleans in March of 2015. She also competes in the Wheel Chair Games and the Gold Medal Valor Games.
NORMA LAING served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan, sustaining abdominal wounds and PTSD. She was literally on her couch unable to do the simplest of life's tasks. Then she found Ride 2 Recovery and cycling. She lifted herself off of her couch and began riding. Little by little she gained strength and overcame her challenges. She has now completed eleven 6-day 420 mile challenge rides. She is an inspiration to many other injured veterans, and especially her fellow riders in Project HERO Pinellas.
ANDY SU is an Army veteran who served in Iraq, sustaining several injuries including debilitating back issues, sleep apnea, arthritis of the spine, knee injuries, hearing loss and PTSD. His injuries prevented him from exercising as he normally did before his service. He began cycling though and plugged back into society. It was not easy but with hard work, dedication, and support from fellow vets, civilians and friends, he was able to overcome challenges along his recovery process. Now, he not only road cycles but has grown an interest in mountain biking which has additional challenges of its own. He now rides without taking meds and is one of Project HERO Pinellas' strongest riders.
BRUCE IVY is an Air Force veteran of over 31 years. He served in many locations all over the world, finishing at U.S. Central Command as Chief Master Sergeant. He currently still serves there as a civilian Pgm Mgr. He rode over 5,000 miles last year and is a happy addition to Project HERO Pinellas.
Cheryl Caves - Army Veteran
Brian Lembo - Air Force Veteran
Vicki Perez Osburn - Volunteer
Beth Thomas - Volunteer
Garry Tilden - Army Veteran