Folks on Spokes ride and walk raises money for mental health

On Sunday, Sept. 27,  hundreds of cyclists, runners and walkers will take to Fowler Field in Milford for the 24th annual Folks on Spokes | Folks on Foot Ride, Run, Walk for Mental Health to benefit Bridges…A Community Support System, Inc.

“Last year, some 400 participants and dozens of volunteers came together to raise nearly $28,000, and to increase awareness of the critical need for community-based mental health services,” said Bridges’ President & CEO Barbara DiMauro. “We are very fortunate, and extremely grateful to have the support of so many individuals and businesses in Milford and the other areas we serve. This event is a meaningful way for people to help those with mental illness, and to stand up for the need for improvements to the mental health system.”

Proceeds help Bridges provide mental health, addiction and primary care services to children, teens, young adults, adults and families from  Milford, Orange and West Haven, and several surrounding communities.

The non-competitive bicycle tour allows riders to choose route distances of 5, 10, 20, 40, 50 or 66 (Metric Century) miles. The scenic shoreline routes are marked with the familiar blue and white FOS road signs and include several rest stops with water, fruit and energy bars, donated by Whole Foods of Milford.

Tony’s Bikes & Sports will be on hand to help cyclists with repairs.

The 5K race for runners and walkers, sponsored by Subway Restaurants, follows a route from Fowler Field to Fort Trumbull Beach, Milford and back. Prizes will be awarded for the top finisher in each age category, 12 and up.

A one-mile Kids Fun Run for children ages 5-9 is new this year. Proceeds from the 5K and Kids Fun Run go directly to help children and families who need intensive, in-home psychiatric services.

Registration and check-in begins at 7 a.m., with staggered start times throughout the morning for the rides and 5K.

Lunch is provided to all participants, courtesy of Napoli Deli.

Musician John Ciambriello, who has appeared at local venues including Milford restaurants and the Woodmont Farmers Market, will play from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Ciambriello is also a staff member who works with young adults in Bridges’ Young Adult Services program based in West Haven.

Major sponsors to date are The Milford Bank, Barrett Outdoor Communications, Milford Transit District, Napoli Deli, Subway, Schuster & Driscoll and Tony’s Bikes and Sports.

Commemorative dri-wick t-shirts are guaranteed for participants who register by Aug. 31.  A limited quantity of cotton t-shirts for those who register after or the day of the event are available on a first-come, first serve basis. Prizes will be awarded to riders and walkers who raise funds from their personal fundraising page for their ride, run or walk.

Volunteers are also welcome for registration, t-shirt and lunch tables, rest stops, set-up and clean-up.

Registration fees are $45 for adult cyclists and $35 for 5K runners or walkers. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are $10 for both events. Day of event registration fees are $50 and $40 for adults.

Online registration is found at http://folksonspokes.bridgesct.org. For more information, or to volunteer or sponsor call Marcy Hotchkiss, 203-878-6365, ext. 359, or email mhotchkiss@bridgesmilford.org.