COVINGTON - Anticipation is brewing for hundreds of local cyclists.
After all, Project Adventure Kids will hold its 20th annual Covington Century Bike Ride on Aug. 2.
The ride is designed to raise funds for the non-profit PAK group home, which houses more than 100 abused and troubled foster children.
The local group home has been mentoring young boys and girls for 27 years with an outstanding track record that has development director Donna Auchenbach singing its praise.
"I have worked with foster care kids for several years and I've never seen a place that does the right things with the kids like that place does," Auchenbach said. "Covington should be jumping up and down and be so proud to have an organization that's doing the right things for kids."
PAK is a residential program for displaced and homeless Georgia youth that incorporates adventure, academics and counseling in a structured group environment.
In 2006, the Covington PAK worked with 942 kids on its 130-acre campus. Currently, the operation oversees five residential programs for Georgia's youth, serving 142 kids each day.
Eighty percent of the children it works with are homeless, with nowhere else to turn to. Through many programs, PAK provides them with housing, food, clothing, educational services, medical needs, counseling services, life skills training and recreational activities.
But what makes PAK so successful year after year is the combination of a family setting, a caring team of adults and a non-restraint group process that empowers youth to communicate honestly, make decisions and take responsibility.
The group home has helped nine of its residents graduate high school and enter college because of the strong push toward education.
PAK also assists in making sure the children obtain jobs. It stresses self-esteem and makes sure they do in fact have a voice.
"In most foster care systems the kids feel like they don't have a voice, which is very sad," Auchenbach said. "But not at the Covington PAK group home."
Regarding the Century Bike Ride, there will be an entry fee for all riders. Funds will go toward the upkeep of the PAK campus that houses 14 group homes located at 396 Elks Club Road.
The bikers will start their 100-mile trek from Elk Club Road and ride through rustic rural Georgia and the communities of Newborn, Mansfield, Social Circle and Rutledge. The ride options include 30, 50, 80 and 100-mile courses for cyclists of all abilities.
Additionally, the courses are fully supported with rest stops every 15 miles. An air-conditioned and delicious spaghetti dinner will be served at the end of the race.
Volunteers and sponsors are still needed for the event.
For further information, contact Aaron Nicholson at (770) 784-9310 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.