(San Bernardino, Calif.) When talking about San Bernardino, its reputation often precedes it. Words like poverty and crime roll off the tongue too easily. Then came the worst massacre in the United States since 9/11 and the City of San Bernardino was once again in the news. And the news was not good.
Ray Anderson, a business coach by trade and Salvation Army advisory board member, knew the negative images of his city were indelibly etched in the minds of people around the world. Adding terrorism to the list didn’t help. He wanted to see San Bernardino celebrated, not mourned or worse, ignored.
On the eve of his 70th birthday, the wheels started turning.
“We want to turn a negative image into something positive and uplifting,” Anderson said. “I’m committed to a personal effort to demonstrate that one person acting in faith can change the course of a family, a neighborhood and a community.
“Specifically, I want to do something to unite people behind the transformation of San Bernardino and show off the good sides of the town. I just turned 70, so how about I bike 70 kilometers through the city?”
Anderson, along with San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis and Major Dan Henderson of The Salvation Army Corps will cycle their bikes through San Bernardino in the 70:70K Ride on Saturday, October 14.
The goal is to raise $70,000 to purchase and rehab up to four houses for The Salvation Army’s “Path to Prosperity” program. Through the program men have a safe, sober home to live in while they compete their education, a job training and maintain a job, while rebuilding their “spirit, family and life.”.
“The Path to Prosperity program is a final step to transform men with little hope into contributing members of the community,” Anderson said.
A goal of 250 cyclists, led by San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis, will navigate through the city and pass by some of the spots that make San Bernardino unique.
The ride cruises along Historic Route 66, passes by the Little League West Regional Diamond, Cal State San Bernardino, San Manuel Casino, the International Airport, the 66ers San Manuel Stadium and ends at San Bernardino City Hall.
“The goal is to help men in trouble rebuild their lives through education or job training and return to society. Instead of costing us $45,000 a year, recovered men can now contribute $30,000 or more to our local economy every year,” said Anderson.
People can participate in a number of ways. Everyone is invited to ride along. Riders can ask friends and family to support their effort with an on-line donation at various levels.
“You can contribute directly to the campaign at The Salvation Army link: http://7070ride.weebly.com. The website includes information on registration, donations and background,” said Anderson.
The cost to join the 70:70 Ride is $70 per rider.
For more information, on the 70:70 Ride call Cesar Gomez at (909) 230-292. For information on the Path to Prosperity Program call the San Bernardino Corps headquarters at (909) 888-1336.
Men seeking help to overcome drug or alcohol addiction can call The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers at (909) 889-9605 in San Bernardino County or (951) 940-5790 in Riverside County.