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Ride for AIDS raises $286K

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More than 250 riders completed the annual two-day Ride For AIDS Chicago, which started Saturday morning, July 10, on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston and ended—about 200 miles later—on Sunday afternoon, July 11.

The largest fundraiser of the year for the Test Positive Aware Network ( TPAN ) , the 2010 ride raised more than $286,000. Brian Harder was the top individual fundraiser ( $7,200 ) and Richard's Riders—a team of 25 riders led by Lakeview resident Richard Cordova—was the top fundraising team, bringing in about $39,000.

"This was the best Ride ever for multiple reasons, including the number of riders [ who participated ] , the funds raised and the overall camaraderie among participants," said Rhett Lindsay, TPAN's associate director of special events. "We couldn't be happier. We moved the event from June to July, which helped increase [ the number of riders ] and overall involvement. The move allowed the riders more time to train."

Broadcaster Alex Perez from NBC Chicago was the host for the opening ceremony. Sheila Simon, an avid cyclist and the Democratic candidate for Illinois lieutenant governor, rode the first two legs—about 25 miles.

"It was nice to have both [ figures ] involved," Lindsay said. "Sheila said she'd like to participate next year."

Marc Chavez, from Richard's Riders, was emotional when he returned to Evanston. "This was one of the toughest, hardest things I've ever done in my life. It also was the most rewarding thing I've done in my life," Chavez said. "Coming across the finish line was something I'll never forget.

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