Action Cycling Atlanta is Holding a Patrons’ Party Saturday, March 28, as Part of Run Up to This year's AV200 Fundraising Bike Event (May 16-17)

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March 28 Patrons' Party thanks those who ensure 100 percent of rider funds raised go to AIDS research and service organizations

Leon Morales

Leon Morales

Action Cycling donates 100 percent of participant funds to local AIDS research and charities.

Action Cycling Atlanta is holding a Patrons’ Party Saturday, March 28, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at a private home in Midtown Atlanta. The all-volunteer group produces the AIDS Vaccine (AV) 200 ride to benefit AIDS vaccine research at the Emory Vaccine Center and local AIDS service organizations.

“This is an opportunity for us to thank our patrons and sponsors, because it is their support that enables us to donate 100 percent of participant proceeds to the great organizations doing AIDS research and other work related to ending the pandemic,” says Leon Morales, Action Cycling Board President. He notes that sponsors and patrons are still being added, so the Patrons' Party is a great opportunity for additional supporters to come on board and be recognized for the key role they play.

Morales says the 13th annual AV200, which will take place May 16-17, has a goal of raising $275,000 this year. Cumulatively the group has raised more than $1.7 million for the Emory Vaccine Center, Jerusalem House and Positive Impact.

The March 28 Patrons’ Party will of course include food and beverages, but also a silent auction, and opportunities for participants to become involved in the ride in any number of ways. Jewelry Designer Mark Edge is opening his home for the event. Patrons’ Party sponsors are No Mas Hacienda and Cantina and STEEL Restaurant & Lounge. To RSVP for the event, please contact Action Cycling President-elect Scott Drinkard, sdrinkard(at)actioncycling(dot)org.

AV200 Sponsors thus far include: Atlanta Cycling/Great Escape, McKesson, Peachtree Bikes and Piedmont Periodontics. Potential sponsors are still being added and can contact Action Cycling steering committee member Sam Morgan, sponsorship(at)actioncycling(dot)org for more information.

The two-day, 200-mile bicycle event travels from Emory University to Eatonton, Ga. in the Oconee National Forest and back to Emory. Participants include individual riders and relay teams, with support from a volunteer crew. The group wants 160+ cyclists to participate in this year’s event. Registration for the AV200 itself is open. Riders, teams and donors can register and contribute by visiting http://www.ActionCycling.org.

In addition to the central 200-mile event, Action Cycling has added two one-day rides, as well as a half-day experience: “If you are interested in riding but don’t want to commit to the longest ride, we hope you’ll consider the 35-, 62- or 100-mile rides,” says Chris Arrington, Co-Ride Director, who also notes that non-riders can get involved by volunteering and raising funds, including helping staff one of the many pit stops along the routes.

“Thanks to our generous sponsors and patrons, Action Cycling is able to donate 100 percent of all funds raised by participants to local AIDS service organizations and AIDS vaccine research,” says Co-Ride Director Tina Chang. “These unrestricted funds fill funding gaps that cannot be met through grant dollars alone. In fact, the Action Cycling board and steering committee recently heard a terrific presentation by principal researchers at the Emory Vaccine Center and it is amazing to not only hear about their work, but also how AV200 funds are an integral part of it!”

“Building public awareness for HIV/AIDS vaccine research is challenging,” Morales says. “Raising money for an AIDS Vaccine is difficult. And making the commitment to accept these challenges is a serious one, but we make it fun – and rewarding – by creating great events throughout the year – like this Patrons’ Party – leading up to the big rides in May. And I can tell you from my past involvement that the sooner you register, the easier it is to raise funds.”

The Emory Vaccine Center is one of the largest academic vaccine centers in the world and is renowned for its expertise in cellular immunity and immune memory.

Patrons’ Party silent auction items are being provided by: Brick Store Pub; Fifth Group Restaurants; Mama Bath + Body; MetroFresh; Richie Arpino - Photographer; and The Cook’s Warehouse. (List in formation as of March 12.)

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