By Stacey Dresner
AMHERST – Craig Kannel has ridden in the University of Massachusetts Hillel’s “Ride to Provide” for the past five years and has chaired or co-chaired the Ride for the past four years.
On Sunday, Oct. 14, Kannel will ride again in the 6th Annual Ride to Provide, the bike ride that raises funds for environmental programming and community service trips for UMass Hillel students.
Kannel first got involved when Rabbi Saul Perlmutter, director of UMass Hillel and founder of the Ride to Provide, recruited him to ride in the first event six years ago.
“Saul has been the soul of the ride from when he first conceived of it until now,” Kannel said. “He has tirelessly worked to get sponsors and often comes up with creative ideas about how to improve the ride.”
This year the Ride, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., features 9, 18, and 36-mile routes through the picturesque countryside of Amherst and surrounding towns. Riders will enjoy a rest stop at the base of Mount Pollux with food, refreshments and live music. New this year is a two- mile walk option around the UMass Amherst campus. After the ride or walk, a post-ride celebration will be held at the Hillel House with lunch, prizes, free chair massages and a raffle.
Kannel said he enjoys participating in the Ride to Provide year after year.
“The ride brings together many people and groups from all over the Pioneer Valley and beyond for a good time and for good causes,” Kannel explained. “It gets people outside enjoying our beautiful part of the state and each other.”
Volunteers are still needed for the Ride. Responsible teens and adults are asked to help. Volunteer opportunities available include registration, rest stop greeters, traffic control, sag wagon drivers, and children’s activities.
When teams of fine or more riders register from a synagogue, day school, youth group or other non-profit organization, all team registration fees and funds raised can be split 50/50 between your team’s organization and Hillel.
Last year’s teams raised over $5,000 for their non-profit organizations.
“The ride has grown over the years,” Kannel said.
“The biggest change has been working with other Jewish groups to raise money together for both Hillel and other groups by splitting the money we raise.”
To register for the Ride to Provide, visit www.umasshillel.org/ridetoprovide. To volunteer or for more information, contact Courtney Pupkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 297-2454