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Ride for the Feast to kick off in OC

(May 1, 2015) The 13th annual Ride for the Feast, which encompasses a 100-mile journey from Ocean City to Easton, is set to take place on Saturday, May 2, and all proceeds benefit Moveable Feast, a non-profit organization that provides meals for people living with HIV, AIDS, breast cancer and other life-threatening conditions.

“Every dollar raised for this event directly supports and goes to a person impacted by a life-threatening disease who cannot afford, access or prepare medically appropriate meals for themselves,” said Moveable Feast Executive Director Tom Bonderenko. “These monies stay locally in the state of Maryland to serve those most in need, to help them maintain quality of life, to help create a healthier community and to help contain cost of health care for us all.”

The original route had an additional 40-mile trek from Annapolis to Baltimore City, but with all the unrest happening, the city pulled the last leg of the ride.

“We put a twist on the event. It will be one day only on the Eastern Shore,” Bonderenko said. “For the safety of our riders and respect for the citizens of Baltimore we decided not to put more strain on law enforcement by riding through on Sunday.”

Each of the 274 participants this year has pledged to raise a minimum of $1,500, which is the cost for Moveable Feast to feed one client for an entire year with nutritious meals. In addition, there will be 105 volunteers helping out at the event, Bonderenko said.

On Saturday, riders will depart from the Ocean City Boardwalk on Third Street at 7 a.m. and head 100 miles across the backroads of the Eastern Shore of Maryland and end the day at Talbot County Community Center in Easton.

This two-day event kicks off on Friday at 6 p.m. with dinner and an opening ceremony at the Atlantic United Methodist Church on the corner of Fourth Street and Philadelphia Avenue in Ocean City with karaoke at the Plim Plaza on Second Street at 8 p.m.

Participants range in age from 10 to 60 years old and many have lost friends or family to HIV, AIDS or breast cancer.

Since its inception, Ride for the Feast has generated $3.35 million for services to Moveable Feast clients, Bonderenko said.

Last year, more than $700,000 was raised during the event and 2015’s goal is to bring in the same amount. As of Monday afternoon, $452,938 had been raised so far.

Ride for Feast originally started in Rehoboth Beach, Del. The route was changed to Ocean City in its 10th year.

“We changed the starting point to Ocean City so that we were more in line with our service area on the Eastern Shore of Maryland,” Bonderenko said.

Ocean City is the furthest distance Moveable Feast serves from its commercial kitchen in Baltimore. Employees travel through all towns on the Eastern Shore, Annapolis and the southwest part of Baltimore. In 2014, Moveable Feast served more than 5,300 households and provided 780,000 meals to clients, he added.

Ride for the Feast was based on AIDS rides that occur across the country and a longtime supporter of Moveable Feast, David Andrews, started the event 13 years ago.

“The difference is Ride for the Feast corporations provide sponsorships and money to cover the expenses associated with this ride so that every dollar raised by our riders goes back to our direct services. This is a very unique aspect to the event, compared to other non-profit events,” Bonderenko said. 

Moveable Feast is the sole provider of free medically appropriate meals for people with life-threatening illnesses in Baltimore, the surrounding five counties and the Eastern Shore of Maryland for the past 25 years. The organization operates a distribution center in Hurlock, Md. in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Easton at St. Andrews Church, he added.   

The goal is to deliver one million meals in a single year, and a donation of $140 can feed a woman living with AIDS for a month.

“We deeply appreciate Ocean City hosting us for the weekend, the outstanding support of the Ocean City police department and the hospitality of the Atlantic United Methodist Church. You truly make us feel like a part of your Ocean City family,” Bonderenko said.

Registration for the event closed on April 24, but donations to Moveable Feast can be made at any time by visiting its website at www.mfeast.org/support_us or call 410-327-3420 for more information.

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