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Moose Members Bike 48 Miles to Raise Money for Mooseheart School

By Viatra Baker
Click Photo to Enlarge


The participants getting ready for their 48 mile bike ride from Woodstock IL to Mooseheart IL



The weather was perfect for a bike ride!



Women of the Moose Grand Chancellor Barb McPherson enjoying herself along the way!


MOOSEHEART, IL, Sept. 18Every year as summer fades into autumn, we've come to expect bold changes. We know that the high heat of summer will be replaced with cooler temperatures. The green grass will start turning brown, providing a perfect canvas for the spectacular transformation of vivid red, purple, yellow, and orange leaves that will emerge.

Last Saturday (9/14/13), fifteen members of Woodstock Lodge #1329 followed in nature's cycle and completed spectacular changes of their own. These dedicated men and women faced the daunting challenge of a 48 mile bike ride from their own lodge to Mooseheart, all with the intention of raising money for the school renovation project.

The Mooseheart Challenge, as this event came to be appropriately named, actually started three years ago when Chairman Bruce Bailey challenged himself to stay active.

"I couldn't ride the bike around the block," Bailey said, when asked about his inspiration for the event. "At 55 years of age at that time, I needed and wanted to push myself to get active. I knew if I opened up my big mouth [and pledged to bike 48 miles] I would have to back it up."

When Bailey first proposed his idea of a 48 mile bike ride as a fundraiser for Mooseheart, he was met with reservations.

"The first words out of Grand Chancellor Barb McPherson's mouth were 'Are you crazy?' When she found out we raised over $10,000 last year, she challenged us to raise $15,000 this year," Bailey said. "So I challenged her to ride with."

This year, Women of the Moose Grand Chancellor Barb McPherson not only rode 25 miles alongside the group, she led them down Route 31 on their last stretch towards Mooseheart.

"It was very emotional," McPherson said. "Bruce said I would get a feeling like I have never had before. Well, I thought to myself, I drive through those gates every day and I know what it feels like - but this was very different. As I led the riders down Route 31 and saw our support group cheering from the hill, I had tears in my eyes. I did it, we as a group did it. And hopefully, the final results will be $15,000 or more for our school. It's about the kids!"

These fifteen men and women serve as a perfect example of what it really means to be part of our fraternal family.

"The awareness of Mooseheart and what we as Moose members really do is the biggest reward," McPherson said. "This is quite an accomplishment, to be one of only 6 Lodges in the country to raise $25,000 for the school. It has brought our Lodge and Chapter closer together and has instilled the fraternal bond that is lacking in so many. We are a much closer group now because of it."

And so it can be seen that when members truly "Go the Distance," like those from the Woodstock Lodge/Chapter, they provide the Mooseheart kids the opportunity to turn over new leaves and transform into something spectacular, much like the beautiful transition from summer to autumn.

"My wish is that Lodges around the country will start their own Mooseheart Challenge," Bailey said. "Whether it is a bike ride, 5k walk, etc., I encourage our members to get active again in our fraternity. There is so much we can all do when we come together."


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