Dream Ride for AIDS – Betty Finney House HIV/AIDS Memorial Garden
Dream Ride Projects Board of Directors has recently resurrected its Dream Ride for AIDS fundraising & awareness event to support the Betty Finney House HIV/AIDS Memorial Garden through the Brian Wiker Fund.
This fund was created by the family of Brian who was a member of St. John’s and died from the AIDS virus. Dream Ride Projects has been partnering with St. John’s Episcopal Church for the last 3 years to support these efforts to resurrect interest and the mission of the Memorial Garden.
Location: between the south-end of the Northwest Corridor Linear Park on W. Lemon St. and the north-end behind The Lancaster Arts Hotel.
For more photos visit our DRP Facebook Photos Page
This memorial garden speaks directly to the experiences of Mike Ridgeway, DRP Founder and Exec. Director, during his year-long solo cycling trip around America in 1993, bringing awareness of HIV/AIDS to everyone he met (see “In the Beginning” below). It was during this time that Dream Ride Projects was created. The organization has since thrived and taken on additional purpose.
The Betty Finney House HIV/AIDS Memorial Garden honors the 454+ Lancaster residents lost to HIV/AIDS, as well as the countless and courageous caregivers, the Betty Finney House and other service organizations involved in their care. Insuring that the garden thrives also serves to remind everyone that HIV/AIDS is not a thing of the past, and that we must continue the awareness, as well as Betty Finney’s vision.
In the Beginning…..
June 5, 1993- May 21, 1994 – Dream Ride for AIDS
A solo, self-contained bicycle tour by Mike Ridgeway to promote education efforts concerning HIV infection and AIDS.
“Although I get most of the notoriety for spending nearly a year on the road and making presentations all around the country, I know I couldn’t have done it without “the gang.” So a big thanks goes out to the original Dream Ride for AIDS folks; Pamela, Helen, Kathy, Chris, Rita, Pete & Patty, Jeannine, Jim, Scott & Christy, Monroe, Dennis, Mike, Bill, Sheri & Keith, Denise, Ben, Jeff, Sid, Dennis, Harold & Joni, Rich, and Tim. And I’m not leaving out my own family; Mom & Dad and Lynn & Val and their families all rallied around my cause and supported my efforts throughout the year-long journey.” ~ Mike Ridgeway, Founder and Exec. Director, Dream Ride Projects
May 19, 1995
As part of 12th Annual International AIDS Candlelight Memorial and Mobilization, another SOLO and self-contained ride. This ride was just the perimeter of Lancaster County. The purpose was to promote The Betty Finney HIV/AIDS Memorial Garden, and honor county residents who had died battling this disease.
14 hours, 32 Minutes
Sept. 8-October 25, 1995
In partnership with Statewide American Red Cross Chapters, a SOLO bicycle tour of the perimeter of the state of Pennsylvania. The purpose was to present HIV/AIDS presentations.
48 Days, 8 Hours, 30 Minutes
Sept. 9-Oct 7, 1996
A second SOLO PA state perimeter ride for AIDS awareness.
29 Days, 6 Hours, 10 minutes
Oct. 9- Oct. 12, 1996
First ‘Dream Ride for AIDS, The Road to the AIDS Quilt.’ Eight other cyclists joined Mike Ridgeway on a three-day bicycle trip to deliver quilt panels via bicycle to the 1996 AIDS Memorial Quilt display in Washington, D.C. on Columbus Day Weekend.
2 Days, 5 Hours, 17 Minutes
11 New Quilt Panels
Husa, Lisa, Nancy, Michele, Michelle, Mike, Randy, Tom, Tracey
May 1- May 4, 1997
Three cyclists, including Mike Ridgeway rode Lancaster county’s perimeter over four days. The project included AIDS quilt displays in Willow Street, Adamstown, Elizabethtown and Lancaster City. Three cyclists joined us from Elizabethtown, and we walked together at the Lancaster AIDS Walk.
3 Days, 2 Hours, 54 Minutes
Two Churches, One College, One Community AIDS Walk
Benjamin, Michele, Mike, Nancy, Tom, Tracey
Aug. 29-Nov. 9, 1997
This SOLO cross-country bicycle tour carried eight newly made quilt panels to the original home of the NAMES Project in San Francisco. Michael Ridgeway rode alone. The panels were carried with a B.O.B. Trailer in tow.
72 days, 4 Hours, 5 Minutes