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Community bike ride helps students

By: Laura Newell Telegraph Staff Writer
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It’s time to ride your way to helping local students. On Saturday, May 8, the Project 680 organization will hold its second “Biking for Socks” community bike ride to benefit homeless middle school and high school students in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District. The ride starts at 9:30 a.m. at Hagen Park, 2197 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova. “We really want to provide something that is relevant to the students and helpful,” said Ryan Lundquist, Project 680 founder and activist. “It’s neat because this project is all grassroots. No one is being paid. We are doing this because we want to.” Two bike rides will be available. A slow ride lasting about 20 minutes both ways and an advanced 30-mile round-trip ride. The goal for this year’s ride includes raising more than 2,000 pairs of socks and at least $783. Riders can bring socks or $10 donations to the ride. “The money raised is for a discretionary fund for the Folsom Cordova District Liaison for Homeless Services,” he said. “It will be used on an as-needed basis when interacting with kids in her caseload.” Last year’s bike ride raised 3,144 pairs of socks. Lundquist said the Folsom Cordova Unified School District had 680 documented cases of homeless students in 2008 and now there are 783 cases. Homelessness is defined as “an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate residence,” he said. The students served by the school district are living in unstable places like motels, in homes without a parent or legal guardian, in homes without power or water, in RVs in parking lots, in cars, in tents, on the streets and more. “It’s not easy for students going to school and living in these kind of circumstances,” Lundquist said. “Life is hard enough as a teenager, so it’s nice to do something meaningful and helpful.” Project 680 is being featured as part of the package for Rancho Cordova’s selection as a finalist for the All-America City Award, he said. “We can’t solve every problem. But this is a good positive start,” Lundquist said. “We just want people to come out, show support and have fun.” * * * KNOW AND GO What: Community Bike Ride Where: Hagen Park, 2197 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova When: 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 8 Cost: Sock and money donations Info: project680.org