‘Race to respond’ to raise funds, awareness for IOCC

- People suffering from war, poverty or natural disaster often need the endurance of a cross-country cyclist just to survive. So for its 10th anniversary, International Orthodox Christian Charities is sponsoring a long-distance bicycle tour across the United States to raise awareness about the people it serves worldwide.

Leading the “Race to Respond” will be Jim Angelus, an Orthodox Christian layman and New Jersey advertising professional who has been riding bicycles since he was a youngster growing up in Manhattan. Angelus and a team of four other cyclists will start their cross-country tour from New York City on Aug. 3, 2002, with a goal of raising $250,000 for IOCC.

“For ultra-cyclists like myself, the challenge to race cross country in just 21 days at a pace modeled after the Tour de France provides the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance,” Angelus said. “It’s a matter of riding so you can cover the distance. It’s a matter of riding smartly.”

The IOCC benefit is not a race in the traditional sense but a long-distance test of endurance. What’s more, it is intended to highlight IOCC’s daily “race” to respond to the needs of people suffering from war, poverty and natural disaster.

The cycling team expects to cover 12 states in 21 days, for a total of 3,500 miles. The planned race route, which Angelus continues to refine, winds through northern and central portions of the United States. At strategic stops in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Denver and other cities, a team of IOCC volunteers will make presentations about the mission of IOCC. The closing celebration will take place in San Francisco.

While Angelus has been seeking equipment sponsors for the race, IOCC has been seeking corporate and individual sponsors. For more information or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, visit the official Web site at www.iocc.org/racetorespond or call IOCC toll-free at 1-877-803-4622.