Kody Casperson, 25, is putting his concern for his little sister into action by planning a bike ride to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
"My sister, Casie James, she lives in Minburn, has Juvenile Diabetes," Casperson said. She was diagnosed about a year ago and now wears an insulin pump.
"One day I saw her on one of her worst days, her keytones, sugar level, was too high," he said. "I felt so bad for her, and I started thinking about what I could do to help her."
Casperson, an avid bicyclist, often rides the Raccoon River Valley Trail, and he started thinking about how popular cycling the trail is right now. "Perry doesn’t really have anything benefiting JDRF, and so I thought a bike ride fundraiser would be good because that’s one of the biggest things around the area right now. It has really grown," Casperson said. This will be the first year for the ride that Casperson hopes will become an annual event. "This year since I didn’t have a lot of time to plan the event, there won’t be T-shirts, and participants won’t be collecting pledges," he said.
This year money will be raised through a $25 registration fee from each rider, a Treck bicycle donated by the Raccoon River Valley Bicycle Co. in Perry will be auctioned, and Casperson will be selling pork loin sandwiches at the end of the ride.
The event begins with registration at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Raccoon River Valley Trail trailhead in Caboose Park, Perry. The ride begins at 10 a.m. and will follow the trail from Perry past Forest Park Museum, through Minburn and then on to Dallas Center and back. Participants may ride as much or as little of the trail as they like. Bottled water will be provided. There will also be two bands performing thanks to the Otley Cat, either at the restaurant/bar or at Caboose Park. The music will be provided by Jason Sturges and the band Clockwork Calling.
Casperson is encouraging people to register by going to the web site he has created just for the event at www.perryjdrfride@blogspot. "I haven’t had anybody pre-register yet, but I have quite a few people who say they will be coming to ride," he said. People may also register on the day of the ride.
Casperson is working with the JDFR out of Des Moines to spread the word by posting information to various bike web sites. The organization is sending the information out to a mailing list and the JDRF riding team. He is also trying to find more people to help the day of the ride. Anyone who would like to help that day or wants to know more about the ride or the raffle may either call Casperson at (515)-650-7769 or email him is firstname.lastname@example.org.