History of P4P
In early 2009, Viktor Ohnjec planned a long-distance ride from West Chester, PA to his parent’s home in Montreal, Quebec. A short time later, Viktor recruited a fellow cyclist, Mike Van Ryn to ride along with him. Mike’s brother, a local business owner, caught wind of their adventure and offered to pledge a dollar to the local SPCA for every mile Mike rode. The ride quickly gained the attention of the local cycling community, the media and residents and soon more money came in on behalf of the ride. Eventually, nearly $2000 was raised to benefit the Chester County SPCA with the help of many friends who contributed. Not bad considering this was not a charity ride.
In 2010, Viktor and Mike were at it again. They founds cyclists to ride some or all of the segments from West Chester, PA to Ogdensburg, NY on some of the most picturesque roads in the country. They climbed over mountains and glided through valleys. They meandered along rivers and crossed-over clear-running streams. They pedaled through State Parks and Game Lands and met some truly wonderful people along the way. Most of all, everyone on the ride and who were involved helped to provide and care for the stray or neglected animals living at their local SPCA or Animal Rescue/Shelter. The result – over $5000 in donations received and from a broader audience!
In 2011, Mike, Viktor, and Gary and several others rode in Pedaling4Paws. The third annual event resulted in over $11,000 being collected for local SPCAs and animal rescue/shelters along the route. The event included local businesses acting as collection points for their local SPCA/shelter and local riders getting more and more involved. The media coverage was similar to 2010 but the weather was distinctly less hospitable with some form of rain each day. Though the weather did not deter the core group, it did reduce the day-of participation, but not the spirit of other local riders and businesses. Like always, we posted Blog entries and when done, uploaded a bunch of photos on Facebook of the 5 day trek. Please enjoy them!
2012 took Pedaling4Paws to a whole new level with custom jerseys, matching t-shirts and most importantly, even more benefits to shelters. A whopping $17,000 was raised by Pedaling4Paws through direct contributions to the supported shelters! We had 14 people who rode the entire 5 days and had over 100 riders over the course of the 5 days who participated by riding with the group at some point. Our media coverage remained strong with countless television, newspaper and radio interviews and reports.
2013 saw the group size and impact increase. With over $27,000 raised through direct contributions to the supported shelters and 20+ riders, Pedaling4Paws grew. It also introduced 3 separate raffles for 3 separate shelters and included more local community support than ever before. By the close of the ride itself, there was already talk of expanding to separate rides in northern California through Oregon, Kentucky-Ohio, and Florida.
Were we surprised – try stunned! Were we proud, absolutely!Although the 2013 Pedaling4Paws Ride is done, the donations and raffles are not at the time of this writing. We can’t wait to tell you how much we helped raise, but there’s still time for you to help – act now!