The Pratt & Whitney Power Spinners put their wheels in motion for a good cause during the Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour on Oct. 19-20, and in the process, raised over $30,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The 20-member team from P&W AeroPower was led by retiree Bob Fleming, the team captain who has been participating for nearly 20 years in the annual fundraiser. The team was joined by over 2,000 riders who raised $1,850,187 for the MS Society. The funds collected not only support research for a cure tomorrow, but also provide programs that address the needs of people living with MS today.
"The ride was challenging, rewarding and lots of fun. It has become an annual highlight for many of us, and we certainly will be doing it again next year," said Fleming, who passionately supports MS fundraisers because his daughter is afflicted with the disease.
The Bike MS Tour is dubbed one of Southern California's premier charity events, featuring one of the most scenic and beautiful routes in the country. The ride began in Orange County, continued along the beautiful Southern California coast and finished at Mission Bay in San Diego.
The P&W AeroPower team proudly wore their new team jerseys boasting the P&W eagle emblem. "The jerseys were met with great fanfare and lots of compliments," noted Fleming.
"It was certainly a memorable cycling adventure. The weather was beautiful - perfect for riding - and the scenery was spectacular," said Howard Powell, a longtime employee who has been participating in the rides for the past five years.
During this year's event, Powell completed 100 miles over the course of two days. However, the Pratt & Whitney Power Spinners team had riders of all levels, who had the option to participate in rides totaling 30, 100 or 150 miles over the two-day event.
"Many of us are avid riders who participate in training rides throughout the year to prepare for the event," Powell said. "The ride can be grueling at times, but the challenges we faced were nothing compared to the people with MS who face hardships every day of their lives."
Nonetheless, he said the ride was safe, enjoyable and had rest stops every 15 miles. A special thanks to Chip Everson who once again provided the team with great support with his SAG support at the start and finish of each day's ride.
"We encourage employees to join up with the Pratt & Whitney Power Spinners for this great event in the future," said Powell. "It is a very moving, yet rewarding experience."