"Chain Gang Ride" recruiting cyclists
For immediate release
July 21, 1999
Impact Church of Christ in Houston is accepting
applications for Abilene area cyclists to participate in the
annual 350-mile Chain Gang Ride from Houston to Abilene.
The Chain Gang Ride will raise funds for Small Steps
Nurturing Center and Impact Youth Development Center, two
youth programs of the Impact Houston Church of Christ,
located in Houston's inner city. Organizers expect to raise
The cyclists are scheduled to travel from Houston to
Abilene Aug. 4-7. The Chain Gang Ride will be fully supplied
with support vehicles, regular water and snack stops,
medical personnel and comfortable nightly motel rooms.
Evening meals will be provided by churches in Caldwell,
Gatesville and Brownwood.
This year, cyclists are invited to join the Chain Gang on
Aug. 7 for a 70 mile, one day ride into Abilene from
Brownwood. Cyclists will depart from the 4H Camp on Lake
Brownwood/ FM 3021 at 6:30 a.m. Lodging can be arranged for
the night of Aug. 6.
Upon arrival in Abilene Aug. 7, the cyclists will be
honored at a reception, hosted by Abilene Christian
Charlie Middlebrook, a missionary in residence in the
Department of Missions at ACU and Impact Houston minister,
had cycled the 350-mile trip several times already when
David Pratt, a Houston business consultant who took a class
at ACU under Middlebrook in 1995, suggested he put his
effort toward a good cause.
In August, 1995, the Chain Gang Ride rolled out its first
six bikers to raise $35,000 for Small Steps and to celebrate
Middlebrook's 50th birthday.
Participation more than doubled to 16 cyclists in 1996,
and to 45 cyclists in 1997.
Participants of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged
to join the Chain Gang Ride. Several teens as young as age
14, ACU students, alumni and the Dyess Air Force Base
Cycling Club have been part of the growing number of
Small Steps Nurturing Center and Impact Youth Development
Center evolved from the work of a group of inner-city
Christians at Impact Houston Church of Christ who saw an
opportunity to strike at the root of the problems affecting
the inner city by practically applying the Good Samaritan
Small Steps was begun by Christians who believe that
every child is special and deserves a helping hand when life
is difficult. The center provides children, ages 2-5, a
strong foundation for entering school. Instructors teach the
fundamentals of numbers, letters and colors along with a
positive self-image supported by a nurturing environment.
Developers of the program are Dr. Marianna Rasco, chair of
ACU's Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, and
Melanie Copelin, an ACU graduate and director of the
The Impact Youth Development Center is a safe place for
teens, ages 14-18, to go after school and on weekends to
prepare for service and leadership in their community.
Caring adults equip the teens who were once part of city
gangs or who have few positive influences in their lives
with life and job skill training, computer training, and
math and reading tutoring.
Both programs are "not for profit" organizations,
depending solely on outside financial support. The Board of
Directors chose not to solicit or accept funding from the
federal government. All donations are fully tax
Each cyclist is required to pay an application fee of $50
and all applications must be received by August 1. The
application fee for students and seniors is $25. Each
cyclist is responsible for raising a minimum of $500 in
pledges. For the one day Brownwood ride, a minimum of $150
To participate please contact ride sponsors at Biketown,
(915) 677-2453, at 1433 S. 1st St. in Abilene or the Bike
Pedaler in Brownwood at (915) 646-1497. Applications also
may be obtained by calling (281) 370-8014.
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If you are a member of the media who would like more
information about this release, please contact Tom Craig,
director of media and community relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 915-674-2692.
- Last update: July 21, 1999
- This page is maintained by Tom Craig,