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ADK Unite food pantry fundraiser is back

LAKE PLACID — The second ADK Unite — a virtual running, walking and cycling event dedicated to raising funds for Tri-Lakes community food banks — is back with a twist.

“It started last year with a desire last year to help our local food banks at a time when they were really struggling because the pandemic hit in the spring of last year and people were really hurting and the food banks were really struggling to keep food on the shelves,” Doug Haney, event organizer and Bike Adirondacks owner, said.

“We started this event as a way to raise money for them in order to keep the shelves stocked. It was so successful last year, the outpouring and the engagement in the event was so big, it just didn’t make sense to do only one year.

“So, we decided to bring it back as an annual thing and try to fund food banks on a more annual basis rather than a one time shot in the arm.”

The inaugural event drew 280 people from 62 different cities and 16 states, according to a press release.

Folks in California, Texas, Florida, Minnesota and Virginia ran, walked or rode their bike to support Adirondack community food banks.

In addition, more than 28 businesses signed up to sponsor and when the sponsorship window closed, those who missed it, donated money anyway.

Last year, ADK Unite raised just over $4,000, which benefited the Lake Placid Ecumenical Food Pantry, Saranac Lake Interfaith Food Pantry, Tupper Lake Community Food Pantry, Waverly Food Pantry (St. Regis Falls), JCEO at Black Brook, Jay Town Hall (AuSable Forks), Wilmington Ecumenical Food Pantry, Clifton-Fine Community Food Pantry (Cranberry Lake), St. Paul’s Food Panty (serving the towns of Franklin, St. Armand and Brighton) and Keene Food Pantry.

“And this year our goal is to double that,” Haney said.

“The difference between last year and this year, we’ve started a team aspect of it. People are encouraged to sign up and either join or form a team of up to 15 people.”

Throughout the month of May, participants will walk, run or bike and keep track of their mileage for the whole month.

The individual with the most miles, the team with the most miles, and the business team with the most miles will win prizes.

“Of course, all of the proceeds from registration go directly to the food banks,” Haney said.

“And the event itself has a number of business sponsors who are sponsoring the event but much of their sponsorship is going to donate directly to the food banks as well.”

The event website is https://www.bikeadirondacks.com/events/adk-unite “They’ll click ADK Unite, and there’ll be registration there,” Haney said.

“Once they’re sign up, they can choose if they want the event T-shirt or not. Then, they’re only responsibility is just to get out and be active during the month of May, have fun and help us raise money for our food pantries.”

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