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Rotarians donate $13,500 bike rally funds locally

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CEDAR HILL – On Wednesday, Aug. 19, the Rotary Club of Cedar Hill was delighted to have the opportunity to distribute $13,500 of the money the group earned with the Head for the Hills bike rally held last May.

In total, the participants numbered over 1,000 riders, and the club will distribute $30,000 in funds in the coming year.

At a regular Wednesday Rotary meeting, the club distributed the following funds:

Cedar Hill Library, $ 1,000; Cedar Hill Food Pantry, General $2,500; Cedar Hill Food Pantry, School Supplies $500; Bridges Safe House$2,000; Brighter Tomorrows $500; International Museum of Cultures $1,250; Cedar Hill Education Foundation $1,000; IEEW Peace through Business Program $500; Rotary Foundation Polio Plus $1,000; Wheel Chair Program $750; Tri City Animal Shelter $500; and Trot $1,500.

The Cedar Hill Food Pantry services more than 1,000 residents in the Cedar Hill Independent School District per month. The current economic state added 103 new ‘clients’ to their role in July, and the numbers continue to increase.

"The Rotary donation will purchase eight tons of food from the North Texas Food Bank," commented pantry director Gene Sims.

Bridges Safehouse provides transitional housing and hope for homeless pregnant women and victims of sexual assault.  Along with housing, Bridges supplies their clients with clothing, personal needs, and much needed emotional support. In 2008, Bridges served 57 women and 34 children, and the need is so much greater this year.

"The Zula B. Wylie Library truly appreciates this generous donation from the Cedar Hill Rotary Club. The funds will allow us to obtain new materials to entertain and educate our voracious readers of all ages," said Traphene Hickman.

Therapeutic Riding of Texas (TROT) serves DFW adults and children with disabilities by providing a program of recreational horsemanship with therapeutic benefits in areas of socialization, posture, balance, mobility and an overall improved quality of life. Bruce Weatherford, president of TROT, thanked Rotary for the contribution, which will fund a scholarship for one individual.

The mission of Brighter Tomorrows is to empower survivors of domestic and sexual violence by providing support and counseling services for women and children in Dallas County. Neicy Howard-Jones accepted the check, and added that their agency has seen a 71 percent increase in need within the Best Southwest communities.

The Cedar Hill ISD Education Foundation raises and distributes funds to improve the educational experience of area students.

Teachers and school administrators prepare grant applications to compete for the Foundation’s annual donations.

The International Museum of Cultures’ mission is peace through cultural understanding. Toward this goal they hold an annual summer camp for grade school children, and the Rotary donation helps administer the event and pays for several scholarships to the camp.

Polio Plus is Rotary International’s drive to eliminate polio from existence, which is currently enjoying a matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This contribution will serve to help reach the ‘matching’ goal. And the Wheelchair Foundation supplies mobility to the infirmed in third world countries. Rotary clubs across the nation serve at that Foundation’s largest contributors.

Rotary raised the funds and materials to execute the rally through sponsor contributions of money and goods.

"Our profit came from the fees paid by the 1000 registered riders. Without our sponsors, we couldn’t get this event done," Judy Pluto, rally co-chair commented.

Cedar Hill Rotarians put in 10 months out of every year planning and executing the Head for the Hills bike rally, which is scheduled for May 8, in 2010. It is a major effort that requires over 200 additional volunteers from friends, family, church groups, CHHS athletic teams, several municipalities and other volunteer organizations within Cedar Hill. When it comes to the Head for the Hills bike rally, the community pulls out all the stops and everyone works together to make it happen.

Wednesday’s wonderful opportunity to distribute some of the funds is what it is all about.

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