DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Mike Cooley has been planning a 142 mile bike ride from Cincinnati to Dayton. When he heard about the tragic mass shooting in Dayton, he decided to make his ride more meaningful.
“I’d been planning bike ride for months now and when what took place happened, I was just trying to think of a way I could raise funds. It popped in my head that maybe there’s a way to raise money on the bike ride I’m already doing,” explained Cooley.
Cooley was also heavily touched by the story of Lois Oglesby, and how her death was leaving behind two young girls.
” I think I probably connected with [her story the] most because… I have a little one at home and it just kind of hit me like ‘I don’t know how you would even explain to your child you’ll never see your mom again,'” said Cooley.
Cooley’s Ride for Lois begins Labor Day weekend. He plans to take the Little Miami Scenic Trail starting in Dayton to Cincinnati. He says this is one of the most taxing rides he’s ever made, but it’s in an effort to bring the community together.
So far, he’s raised more than $1900 using the fundraising platform, PledgeIt. This will be combined with the $40,000 already raised by the Miami Valley Community Action Partnership.
Cooley is also partnering with local businesses and entrepreneurs to raise more money. He says that a local photographer has offered to give a free photo shoot to the first person who pledges $2 for every mile he plans to travel.
“The community has really come out, maybe more-so over the past week, to support the local businesses as we kind of work through this. It’s just like Dayton Strong all over again,” said Cooley.
For a link to Cooley’s fundraising page, click here.
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