“I’ve heard United Way people talk about ‘Give-Advocate-Volunteer’, but it didn’t really sink in until about halfway into the ride. It was at that point that it made sense – I was being an advocate by participating, and volunteering my time for a purpose bigger than me.”
In September 2009 Mike Demos set out on his 100-mile ride while his wife, Tracy, followed as his sole route support. Mike had been challenged by DTE employees to ride his bike to work in Mt. Pleasant, MI, from his home in Kentwood, MI. Mike had accepted the challenge, with the stipulation that DTE employees support him by making donations to United Way. Mike completed the solo century ride and in return, DTE Energy and DTE staff pledged $7,000.00 to United Way of Isabella County for distribution to agencies that offer utility assistance. Interest and excitement surrounding the ride was apparent, and planning for the second year of Ride United began.
Ride United has grown tremendously! United Way of the Lakeshore and DTE Energy partnered for Ride United 2012. 31 participants were recruited who chose to ride either a 50 or 100-mile route to help raise funds and awareness for a healthy and active lifestyle. The event raised $13,000 to be invested within health initiatives in Muskegon, Oceana, and Newaygo counties. United Way of the Lakeshore and DTE Energy is excited to announce the partnership with The Heart of West Michigan United Way of Kent County to present Ride United on September 13, 2013.
“I knew going into the ride that it would be tough, but I couldn’t have been happier with the support and how it all turned out, especially at the finish! I’ll definitely be on the lookout for it again next year.”