PHOTO CAPTIONS: Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour participants and supporters will arrive on Ferris State University’s campus Friday, July 27, as part of the 32nd annual event to raise funds for Make-A-Wish Michigan. As many as 1,000 people will spend the night on campus, with the University Center and the Student Recreation Center to house these guests.
The Student Recreation Center and University Center buildings will begin bustling with activity Friday, July 26. That activity will increase during the early hours of Saturday, July 27 as Ferris State University hosts Wish-A-Mile Bicycle WAM 300 Tour participants and their supporters.
Shana Beisiegel, reservation specialist for the University Center, said there will also be fifth-wheel campers and trailers staged in Lot 13, that evening, as 700 to 1,000 visitors arrive on campus. Riders and support crews will begin rolling out of Big Rapids at 6 a.m. Saturday, July 27 on the third leg of their three-day, 300-mile tour, which concludes in Marshall on Sunday, July 28.
“We serve a late-afternoon meal in the Quad Café for all the cyclists and their support teams, knowing there will be hundreds of riders and a larger number of guests to host than we had last year,” Beisiegel said. “Dining ends at 8 p.m., and since everyone is seeking a good night’s rest, we will have lights out in our building and the Student Recreation Center at 10 p.m.”
Justin Harden, interim director of the Student Recreation Center, said while their locker room facilities are available for WAM cyclists and supporters to use, event organizers of this event provide shower trucks to serve at each tour stop.
“Participants fan out across the center to make themselves comfortable for the night, but the majority of them will set up beds or sleeping bags on the gym floor,” Harden said. “We expect veteran WAM riders will be glad to learn that recent facility upgrades included air conditioning in that area.”
The Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour is the largest fundraising event for Make-A-Wish Michigan. This year is the 32nd annual offering of a Lower Peninsula passage to and from Traverse City. Riders and their support teams can prepare for the leg from Big Rapids to Grand Ledge with breakfast starting at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, July 27 in the University Center. All campus-based tour activities will conclude by 8 a.m. The WAM tour returns to the Eaton Proving Grounds, in Marshall, on Sunday, July 28 for the Heroes Hurrah, a celebration that runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.