BIG RAPIDS – The grind of a 300-mile, three-day trip from Traverse City to Chelsea makes Ferris State University an ideal stop for a large group of ambitious bikers cycling for a great cause.
The 22nd-annual Wish-A-Mile 300 will bring about 900 bicyclers to Ferris on July 24 as a stop en route to their final destination. The bicycle ride is designed to raise awareness and funding for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan. The tour begins Thursday, July 23, and finishes Sunday, July 26. Last year through generous contributions, WAM granted wishes to more than 200 children from Michigan facing life-threatening medical conditions. This year, WAM hopes to make 250 wishes come true.
Anticipating the bikers’ arrivals, Ferris officials have begun making necessary preparations to provide food, shelter and lodging for WAM bikers during their stay in Big Rapids. As classes are still in session at Ferris, bikers will have interactions with students, summer campers, faculty and staff while enjoying meals at Westview Dining Center inside the Rankin Student Center.
“In addition to this being for such a great cause, the Wish-A-Mile bike tour also is of great benefit to our University as we welcome the bikers, have them experience our campus and have them interact with our students in one of our dining halls,” said Dan Burcham vice president for Student Affairs. “To have so many visitors coming to our campus and interacting with our students and summer campers is going to be a great experience and one we look forward to.”
Many of the bicyclists will be camping overnight in the Student Recreation Center.
“Ferris is so happy to have been chosen as a stop on the tour,” said Debbie Sweet, reservation specialist for the Rankin Student Center. “We think this is a great and noteworthy opportunity for Ferris to do something for Make-A-Wish and for our students, faculty, staff and summer campers.”
From Traverse City, the tour makes a stop just north of Cadillac in Boone. On July 24, the tour makes its overnight stop at Ferris. Bikers leave Ferris en route to Greenville for lunch followed by an overnight stay in DeWitt on July 25. The following day, the bicyclists move on to Mason for lunch before arriving at the fairgrounds in Chelsea where the tour concludes.
“The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan is so grateful to work with Ferris State University and the entire Big Rapids community,” said Merideth Allard, who is director of public relations for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan. “WAM wouldn’t be such a success without the support of the Ferris State team. Thanks for all you do to make Michigan wishes come true.”
The mission of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan is to grant the wishes of children who have life-threatening medical conditions to bring hope, strength and joy into their lives. Since 1984, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan has granted wishes to more than 5,600 children in Michigan thanks to the generosity of individual contributors, special events, corporate donations and sponsorships, grants, planned gifts and more. To learn more about Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan, visit www.wishmich.org.