No stopping 22nd COBYS Bike & Hike

By on September 12, 2018

Despite steady rain that cancelled portions of the 22nd annual COBYS Bike & Hike was a bright day for COBYS Family Services.

More than 200 supporters walked three miles through the streets of Lititz in a steady downpour on Sunday, Sept. 9.

The route was revised to avoid a soggy Lititz Springs Park. By the end of the day donors had established a new income record of more than $141,000 for COBYS ministries. The figure is expected to grow.

“We knew the weather would impact attendance,” said COBYS Director of Development Don Fitzkee, “but we weren’t sure about income. We were thrilled that people gave so generously. It was a great day!”

The increase in income marked the 20th consecutive year of growth for COBYS’ signature fundraiser. Since its inception, the Bike & Hike has raised more than $1.4 million for COBYS ministries.

In addition to the walk, the event usually includes two bicycle rides and a motorcycle ride, all staged from the pavilion at the Lititz Church of the Brethren. The rides were cancelled due to a flood advisory, and the event was moved inside to the church fellowship hall.

Top fundraisers of the 22nd annual COBYS Bike & Hike (from left) were Mari Cunningham, Londa Brandt, Floy Fitzkee, and Lucy de Perrot.

A number of would-be riders walked instead, or came to donate and pick up a t-shirt. In addition to 210 walkers, many others stopped in for fellowship, ice cream, or to bid on the Silent Auction that ran throughout the afternoon. Total attendance was estimated at 350, down from 601 people who walked or rode last year.

Taking the weather in stride, planners jokingly changed the event name to “COBYS Soak & Hike” and Fitzkee encouraged participants to “make memories” as they trudged through puddles. He later joked that although participation was down, the event established a new “indoor attendance record.”

Contributing to the day’s success was record business support. More than 100 businesses provided cash or in kind donations of auction items, door prizes, or food and supplies. Cash sponsorships from businesses exceeded the last year’s amount by $11,000 and the previous best by $6,000. The auction generated $4,921, nearly $1,000 more than last year. Participants pay a registration fee and/or raise money from sponsors. Mari Cunningham, of West Lampeter Township, established a new individual fundraising record with total pledges of $12,525. Other top fundraisers were Floy Fitzkee, Manheim, $6,685; Londa Brandt, Manheim, $5,810; and Lucy de Perrot, Lititz, $3,900. Four Church of the Brethren youth groups earned gym and pizza nights by raising at least $1,500. They were: Little Swatara, Rehrersburg, $10, 462; Mohrsville, $5,031; Mountville, $1972; and West Green Tree, Elizabethtown, $1,556.

Motivated by Christian faith, COBYS educates, supports, and empowers children and adults to reach their full potential. COBYS carries out this mission through foster care and adoption services, counseling, and family life education. COBYS is celebrating its 20th anniversary as an adoption agency in 2018 and finalized its 500th adoption this spring.

About Cory Van Brookhoven

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