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AV200 bike event on track for biggest year yet

From left, Action Cycling Atlanta Board President Leon Morales; Jonathan Russell, Director of Development, Emory Vaccine Center & Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine; and Harriet Robinson, PhD, vaccine researcher.
From left, Action Cycling Atlanta Board President Leon Morales; Jonathan Russell, Director of Development, Emory Vaccine Center & Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine; and Harriet Robinson, PhD, vaccine researcher.
The 12th ride of the Action Cycling Atlanta AIDS Vaccine 200 thanks patrons, adds new one-day ride options, and continues to recruit riders

A successful Patrons’ Party puts Action Cycling Atlanta (www.ActionCycling.org) on track for its best year yet. 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. 

“We did really ell at the event,” says Leon Morales, Action Cycling Board President. “We collected over $5,000 from Patron Contributions and a bit more than that from the Silent Auction, for a total of more than $10,000 from the event. Just as important, it was an opportunity to thank the patrons and sponsors who enable us to contribute all funds raised to the important cause and organizations.”

Morales says the 12th annual AV200, which will take place May 17-18, has a goal of raising $350,000 this year. The group raised just over $300,000 last year and cumulatively has raised more than $1.6 million for the Emory Vaccine Center, AIDS Athens, Jerusalem House and Positive Impact. This year AID Atlanta is being added as a beneficiary.

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 250 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 www.ActionCycling.org

Also, new this year, Action Cycling has added two one-day rides: There will be a 30-mile Rally Ride and a 62-mile Metric Century. “The two rides were added because some people expressed interest in riding but are intimidated by the 200-mile course, or simply can’t take two days away from family or work,” says Chris Bess, Co-Ride Director, “so the one-day rides are two great alternatives. No matter which course a rider chooses, each promises to challenge and inspire.” Both one-day rides will take place on Sunday, May 18, and will leave from Emory University.

“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.”

AV200 Sponsors thus far include, at the Gold level: McKesson, No Mas Cantina, Massage Envy, and Cultural Sync. Silver sponsors to date include Taylor English, Exhale, The Coca-Cola Company, Peachtree Bikes, Piedmont Periodontics, Solaria Lighting, Emory Woodruff Health Sciences Center, Coldwell Banker, Sun in My Belly, Urban Body, Whole Foods, Iskol Fisk, Midtown Life Studio, and The Joint.

Potential sponsors are still being added and can contact Dr. Craig Fisk, sponsorship@actioncycling.org or 914-582-0344.

“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 leading up to the big ride itself.”

For more information about the Emory Vaccine Center, visit http://vaccines.emory.edu. 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. 

About the recent Patrons’ Party: It was hosted by Jeweler Mark Edge at his home. Notable attendees include: Harriet Robinson, PhD, vaccine researcher; John D Altman, PhD, Emory Vaccine Center faculty and researcher; Antoine D. Woods, Jr., and Robyn Woods of Cultural Sync; Bret Busch, former ACA Board President and current Board Member; ACA Board President Leon Morales; Co-Ride Directors Christopher Bess and Tina Chang; Jonathan Russell, Director of Development, Emory Vaccine Center & Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine; and patron and former ACA Board Treasurer Kriss Poll.

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