JOLIET | Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow is rallying local bicycle enthusiasts from all levels — experienced cyclists to occasional riders — to join a trek that will help in the fight against child sexual abuse.
“Stop the Cycle of Abuse” is a six-day, 360-mile bicycle ride that begins in Hoffman Estates on Oct. 16 and ends in St. Louis on Oct. 21. The goal is for participating riders to raise $150,000 to support programs and services provided by 39 Children’s Advocacy Centers throughout Illinois, including the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in Joliet.
Will County cyclists do not have to ride the entire 360-mile route along historic Route 66. They may choose to ride only the second stage from Joliet to Pontiac, a one-day ride of about 60 miles.
• The second stage of the ride begins at 8 a.m. Oct. 17 in front of the Will County Courthouse, 14 W. Jefferson St., in downtown Joliet. The one-day ride ends in Pontiac with free transportation back to Joliet provided by Amtrak for riders and their bikes.
• Cyclists also may choose to pedal other stages of the ride, which is sponsored by the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois.
• Those who choose to ride a single stage in “Stop the Cycle of Abuse” are asked to raise a minimum of $200 in pledges and donations. Those who wish to ride the entire race will be asked to raise $1,000. Registration costs $35 per rider.
• Cyclists may register as individuals or as part of a team. Stops are in Joliet, Pontiac, Bloomington, Springfield, Staunton and St. Louis.
• To register or for more information, visit www.stopthecycle.net or contact Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois at (217) 528-2224. Information also is available by calling the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center at (815) 774-4565.
“This bicycle ride is a healthy and fun way to raise awareness and funding for nonprofit agencies that play a critical role in the fight to protect sexually abused children,” said Glasgow, who founded the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in 1995. “I look forward to giving our local riders a great send off for a worthy cause on the morning of Oct. 17.”
Glasgow established the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center to improve investigations of child sexual abuse cases. The center’s professionally trained and compassionate staff performs victim-sensitive interviews when there are allegations of sexual or severe physical abuse. Children’s recorded statements have been used in the successful prosecution of hundreds of predators. The center’s staff also provides information for medical and counseling services to assist children and their families in the healing process.
“Stop the Cycle of Abuse” is championed by Antioch residents John Frugo and Lynette Garrett, who rode more than 2,000 miles across the United States in 2012 and raised more than $12,000 for Children’s Advocacy Centers in Illinois.
“We are so pleased to be working with John and Lynn to create a signature event for Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois to support the 39 CACs throughout Illinois,” said Billie Larkin, executive director of CACI.
She added: “This event is a fantastic way for individuals and potential sponsors to get involved at many levels. Whether biking 60 miles or 360 miles, each person has the chance to make a positive difference in the lives of children they may never have the chance to meet.”
In 2012, more than 10,000 children were referred to Illinois CACs for victim-sensitive interviews, medical and mental health services and advocacy and case coordination. An estimated one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18.
The ride will conclude at the St. Louis Charter School in St. Louis on Oct. 21, where more than 1,000 students and teachers will rally to greet participants as they finish the event.