LAURINBURG — Gray Gilbert loves to cycle and give back to his community.
On Saturday, the 82-year-old Laurinburg man gets to do both.
Gilbert will join hundreds of other bike riders for the 15th annual Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County fundraiser — Bike to Build.
“It’s a great event …. its a fundraiser for Habitat that allows them to build homes for people who need it,” said Gilbert, who has participated almost every year and joined the fundraising committee in 2013.
Gilbert has enjoyed biking all his life, but actively started riding around 10 years ago. During the summer he will ride about 40 miles a day. He said he loves coming to the event and seeing all the different people who share his enjoyment of cycling.
“It’s a lot of fun to put on in the community and people coming out to cycle is really nice to see,” Gilbert said.
Chris Carpenter, the executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County, said that Gilbert is wonderful for the program.
“He will go participate in the ride and when he gets back he’s straight to volunteering,” Carpenter said. “He’s a really great guy and a big help to our event.”
Currently, they are around 90 participants registered for all of the events, but Carpenter says most of their participants will register Saturday morning.
“Where else can after you finish a run or a bike ride will you have a buffet waiting for you,” Carpenter said. “We’ll have food from Jersey Mike’s, Jerry’s, Captain Larry’s, Wendy’s, and so much more so many people have donated food for us.”
There will also be a free event t-shirt, participation medal, as well as awards given to the first overall finisher in both the men’s and women’s 5k and 10k divisions. Runner’s finishing first in their age group will also be awarded.
People can register on-site starting at 7 a.m. and the first of the bike races begins at 8:30 a.m. and the runs begin at 9:15 a.m.
There will be a 64-, 32-, 21- and 10.5-mile bike race, which riders can register for $25 or $20 each for a team of four or more. The cycling races are not meant to be competitive. There will also be a 5K run/walk and a 10K walk/run which costs $25 to register. There is a discount for students with the price dropping to $10.
“I’m excited for everyone to come out and have a great time, we’re having a wide variety of events that anyone from kids to seniors, everyone can participate,” Carpenter said.
The event hopes to raise $20,000 and Carpenter thinks the nonprofit will make its goal.
Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County has built a total of 47 homes in the county since it was established in 1992.
The starting line for the events will be at the W.R. Dulin Center at Scotland Memorial Hospital.
To register go to the Habitat office at 2340 McColl Road, Laurinburg or visit biketobuild.org. For information on the Bike to Build Fundraiser, email [email protected]
Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171