Published February 16, 2006
Amigos for Christ is holding the sixth annual “Pedal for the Poor” charity bike-a-thon on Saturday, April 22, and this year the group will partner with BodyPlex, Sonic, and the City of Suwanee to also offer a fun run.
The hour-long bike-a-thon portion of the day will benefit the Buford-based nonprofit’s work in Villa Catalina, Nicaragua, home of 120 impoverished families displaced by the mudslides of Hurricane Mitch in October of 1998.
At Suwanee Town Center Park, the daylong spring event will begin with the Suwanee Amigo 5-K Run at 8 a.m. followed at 9:30 a.m. by the Pedal for the Poor bike-a-thon. Teams of 10 or more will ride their bikes for one hour to fulfill pledges from families and friends. They will receive free T-shirts for their participation and be eligible for exciting prizes, including mission trips to Nicaragua, which will be awarded to the team leader and rider who raise the most funds. The rest of the day will include free entertainment by Chip Houston, a moonwalk, a rock-climbing wall sponsored by Adrenaline Climbing, face painting, concessions, and general fun, running until 4 p.m. Craft and business booths will be set up.
Team leaders, riders, and sponsors are needed for this event, and Amigos for Christ invites families, neighborhoods, schools, and church groups to consider participation.
Amigos is in the process of moving the 120 families out of temporary plastic shelters and into 500-square-foot cement block homes on 7,200-square-foot lots with gardens being constructed in Villa Catalina. The village in construction is located on 51 acres acquired by the nonprofit in 2003 to relocate these Nicaraguans from paltry, dirt-floor shacks near the city trash dump of Chinandega. Amigos will also lead mission trips throughout the year to Nicaragua to help with this and related projects, and continues to seek groups and individuals to join the trips, as space is available. A list of scheduled trips can be found on their Web site.
The organization, which was established in 2000, has contributed approximately $14 million thus far to aid the Nicaraguan poor by opening schools, building homes, providing health care, and training residents in business practices and farming and other forms of development. About 97 percent of money goes directly to programs. In Villa Catalina and two other villages Amigos operates feeding centers where children can receive food if they regularly attend school, helping to educate and empower the next generation.
To sign up for the activities at the April 22 event, call Tessa at (770) 614-9250 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For directions and more information about the organization, visit the Web site at www.amigosforchrist.org.