Next month Lori and I and a bunch of Levenger staff members will Loop the Lake for Literacy. You’re invited to come along—virtually or otherwise.
“Loop the Lake for Literacy” is a charity bike ride that some dedicated souls here in South Florida started last year, with me as one of their champions. Levenger, as you may know, is headquartered in South Florida’s Palm Beach County.
The ride is on the shores of Lake Okeechobee, that large doughnut in the center of the Florida peninsula, and the cause it supports is one close to my heart, the nonprofit Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County.
If you’d like to come and ride yourself, we’d love to have you join us. The event takes place Saturday, February 25th. You’ll find all the details on the event website.
You’ll be in for a most rewarding experience. Just make sure you register in January, because on February 1st the prices go up.
That the Literacy Coalition does important work I know first-hand, because I’ve tutored some of the people the Coalition reaches. I once asked the 25-year old Mexican gardener I was tutoring why he was studying his English so hard. “I would like someday to get a job indoors” was his reply. I’m happy to report that he did get that job indoors, moving carpets at a furniture retailer.
I’ve also tutored some of the migrant workers in Belle Glade, the agricultural town on Lake Okeechobee. Believe me when I tell you how rewarding it is to see the delight in the faces of migrant-farming moms when they’re able to move one step closer to helping their children with their English-language homework.
The downside is that all the fine programs that the Literacy Coalition runs, and which I’ve been personally involved with, have waiting lists and budgets that don’t allow for more teachers and more hours. And yet, few dollars work harder to support economic development, public health and safety than those invested in literacy.
Pedal with mettle
The ride is actually many different rides the same day—from short distances of 15 miles for casual cyclists, to the entire loop of the lake, of approximately 115 miles, for the experienced, hardcore road-cycling enthusiast. Detailed descriptions of each ride option are on the website.
For Loop the Lake, I do my best imitation of Lance Armstrong and go the whole doughnut. Loopy? You bet. But worth every pedal for the cause it supports.
If you’re not able to join us in person but would like to donate by sponsoring my ride, I promise to do you proud. Just click on the Steve Leveen account, and know that you have my heartfelt thanks.
If you want to know how this cycling event came to be, there’s a (short)story behind it that you might enjoy reading.
And then, just imagine if you couldn’t read this.
That’s why I get Loopy for literacy.