Bikers are invited to take a trip down the rabbit hole at the Kentucky Horse Park on Aug. 6 for an event to benefit E7 Kids Café.
Dubbed the Wonderland Ride, the bike ride has an “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” theme. But AmeriCorps VISTA member Tanya Roodhouse said they are looking for a white rabbit — or someone to dress like one — to lead the bike ride to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, which will have games, face-painting, crafts and snacks.
The goal of the event is to create a different kind of fundraiser, Roodhouse said. She was inspired by 5K races that other nonprofit organizations do, but she chose a bike ride — although runners and walkers are welcome — because Lexington is bike-oriented. The event will be in the Alltech Arena parking lot and along some other roads in the Kentucky Horse Park.
Lexington Fayette Urban County Government will host a bike rodeo during the event, Roodhouse said. Some bike helmets will be given away during the tea party.
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E7’s fundraising goal is $15,000. Money raised during the Wonderland Ride will benefit all of E7’s programs.
E7 serves almost 200 children a year through its after-school program for children ages 4 to 17 and its eight-week summer camp for ages 6 to 16. Last school year, E7 started a reading tutoring program at William Wells Brown Elementary. The program also emphasizes supervised outdoor playing, Roodhouse said. It also provides a meal to each of its students.
During the school year, the program runs from 3 to 5:30 p.m., and dinner is served at 5 p.m. During the summer, it’s noon to 4 p.m., with lunch at noon.
Bluegrass Bicycling Club vice president Ed Jennings said the club’s philanthropy committee sponsored 50 children from E7 to ride at Wonderland. The group saw it as a great opportunity to support E7’s work, he said.
Roodhouse, who used to be a teacher, said the experience of working at E7 is rewarding. She works with E7 employees and volunteers to meet the needs of kids, some of whom have real struggles.
“They don’t come back if you don’t make relationships with these kids,” she said. “I think that’s what I get out of this: just being able to teach these kids and to let them know that there is another future for them,” Roodhouse said.
If you go
When: Aug. 6. Registration is 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.; White Rabbit Chase begins at 9:30 a.m.; Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Kentucky Horse Park, Alltech Arena parking lot
Tickets: $20 adults, $10 children, $50 for a family of four ($5 for each additional child)