More than 20 residents living in Macomb County, including several from Shelby Township, participated in the virtual Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour to raise money for Make-A-Wish Michigan.

More than 20 residents living in Macomb County, including several from Shelby Township, participated in the virtual Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour to raise money for Make-A-Wish Michigan.

Photo provided by Paul Nasr


Cyclists ride in virtual bicycle tour to help Make-A-Wish Michigan

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published July 30, 2021

Advertisement

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — More than 20 residents living in Macomb County, including several from Shelby Township, participated in the 34th annual Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour to raise money for Make-A-Wish Michigan.

In total, nearly 600 cyclists from across the state will participate in the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, which is being held virtually this year. Traditionally, riders bike 50 or 300 miles for the organization’s largest fundraiser; however, there is no mileage requirement for this year’s virtual event.  

Whether someone rides a Peloton daily or cycles on a road, they can participate in this year’s virtual event.

Keith Brownlee, of Shelby Township, is participating in his 10th Wish-A-Mile this year.

“WAM is the best weekend of the year. We really look forward to seeing everyone each year, (and) we’re looking forward to riding again this year,” he said in an email interview.

He said he first rode in the Wish-A-Mile because the son of one of his childhood friends had received a wish.

“We even had a star placed in his honor in the ‘Silent Mile.’ This is near the end of the tour, and it honors the far too many kids that are now gone that received a wish,” said Brownlee.

He said that riding 300 miles in three days is difficult, but it is nothing compared to what the “wish kids” and their families go through.

“When your wish kid puts that medal around your neck at the finish line, all the aches and pains are washed away. I’m really looking forward to getting back to riding with all of our friends in 2022. We are WAM team ‘For The Kids,’” said Brownlee.

Under normal conditions, the Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour would have taken place July 22-25 in person, as riders biked the 50 or 300 miles to raise funds to help grant wishes to Michigan kids who have critical illnesses, but due to COVID-19, this year’s WAM was a virtual event held through Sunday, July 25.

Make-A-Wish Michigan expects to grant about 120 life-changing wishes to Michigan children this summer alone. Funds raised by Wish-A-Mile riders are vital to the organization’s ability to make wishes come true. To learn more about the Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour, visit wishamile.org.

Since 1984, Make-A-Wish Michigan has granted more than 10,000 wishes to Michigan children with critical illnesses. Based in Brighton and with an office in Grand Rapids, Make-A-Wish Michigan is funded through community support.

Sherri Collins, vice president of marketing and brand advancement for Make-A-Wish Michigan, said that wishes would not be possible without community support.

“As our largest fundraiser, the Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour, sponsored by Eaton Corporation, is vital to our ability to grant transformational wishes to Michigan children. This summer alone, 120 Michigan children battling critical illnesses will experience the life-changing power of wish because of supporters like our WAM riders. Even in the midst of a pandemic, our WAM community is stepping up to help make wishes come true, and we couldn’t be more grateful. The community of love and support that surrounds our wish kids and families inspires me every day,” said Collins in an email.

The 120 wishes being granted this summer are possible because of a combination of fundraising efforts and are not all attributable to WAM fundraising.

For more information, visit www.michigan.wish.org.

Advertisement