Artemis Center’s Second Annual Girlfriend Ride
By Jennifer Hanauer
Who doesn’t like massages, luaus and bike rides? The Artemis Center’s Girlfriend Ride on October 6 has all of these things and more while also being the kick-off event to Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Dayton. So ladies, grab your best gal pal and sign up for what is sure to be one of the most rewarding rides you will take this season! Sorry gents, this ride is just for the girls; you’ll just have to go get your manis/pedis somewhere elsewhere.
This year marks the second annual Girlfriend Ride for Dayton. Last year’s event attracted 170 riders and raised over $5,000 for the Artemis Center, the Dayton area’s domestic violence resource agency. More important than the fundraising is getting the word out to people that domestic violence is an issue and that there is help available for victims. “The big thing is awareness,” added Sarah Throckmorton, Development Associate at Artemis Center. “Everything goes back to the clients.”
This year’s event is looking at a huge swell in the number of participants, the youngest of whom is eight, the oldest of whom is 63. This year has also marked significantly larger responses from sponsors. Three major stops on the ride will be sponsored by individual organizations, and give participants an opportunity to rest, hydrate and party before heading on to the next stop. Back at the starting point, a celebratory cookout, raffle and costume contest awaits those returning from the ride.
This year’s starting point will be at Miami Jacobs Career College at 110 North Patterson Boulevard in downtown Dayton. Registration will take place from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. with all riders needing to be on the path by 9:15 a.m. The three major stops that riders will make along the Great Miami River Trail are spaced to allow riders their choice of taking a 10, 22, or 35-mile ride.
The first stop will be at Kitty Hawk Golf Course and will have a luau theme. The stop, sponsored by One Lincoln Park, will have music, bottled water and tropical fruit to refresh the riders. “Our employees have been supporters of [the Artemis Center] for many years,” said Ana Paner-Johnson, Executive Director of One Lincoln Park, on their involvement with the event. Heading back to the start from this point will make the ride roughly 10 miles and will take most riders about an hour and a half to complete.
The second stop will be at Taylorsville MetroPark where some serious pampering will begin. Hand massages, nail painting and henna tattoos will be available for riders at this 22-mile turn-around. Belly dancing and cornhole will be additional recreational options for those riders who need a little extra leg-stretching before continuing the ride. Riders turning around at this stop should expect their total ride to be around three hours.
Big rewards are in store for the dedicated riders who make it to the 35-mile turn-around at Kyle Park in Tipp City. This stop, sponsored by Harmony Farm, a wellness-retreat center located in Tipp City, will feature chair massages, smoothies, cookies from Coldwater Café and a raffle that will feature a new bicycle. Well worth covering the distance, most riders should expect their adventure to take them about five hours.
The Great Miami River Trail is meant for all levels of cyclists. Many of last year’s participants are looking to push themselves further this year. “I plan on riding the 20-mile route this year. Last year I did the 10-mile,” said Jane Keiffer, Clinical Program Director at the Artemis Center. “I had such a great time riding last year!”
The safety of the riders is a top concern for the event’s organizers. Most of the ride will be on the bikeways with only a few miles of road riding. Well-labeled signage will guide riders along the path, and safety riders will be riding along to help as needed. There will also be wagon drivers available to assist those who are unable to make it back downtown.
Whatever the total distance riders choose to make, all will finish back at Miami Jacobs Career College for the post-ride festivities. Awards will be given out for the winners of the costume contest and also to the group of riders that had the most members. The raffle will feature items from places like Mary Kay, Pampered Chef and Gigi’s Cupcakes, and of course the cookout, which is sponsored by Miami Jacobs, will ensure that no rider leave unhappy.
Artemis Center has been helping victims of domestic violence in the Miami Valley for 27 years. In this time they have helped more than 85,000 victims. Advocates are made available to clients to help them with the legal aid they need to get protection orders and to go to hearings. The support groups that they offer provide childcare. “That’s a big thing,” said Throckmorton. “A lot of them wouldn’t be able to come because they wouldn’t have anyone to watch their kids.” Artemis Center also has a food pantry and a “need pantry” that has items such as diapers, shampoo, and toiletries. “A lot of these victims are coming from unsafe places, so we try to have what they need when they come to us,” said Throckmorton.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Tie on a purple ribbon, sign up for the Girlfriend Ride, and make a difference in the lives of victims in your own community.
At a Glance
What: Girlfriend Ride, hosted by the Artemis Center
When: Saturday, October 6, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Where: Begins and ends at Miami Jacobs Carrer College in downtown Dayton with stops at Kittyhawk Golf Course, Taylorsville MetroPark, and Tipp City
Cost: early registration is $30; day of registration is $40
For more information or to pre-register for the ride, go to www.girlfriendride.org or www.artemiscenter.org.
Reach DCP freelance writer Jennifer Hanauer at firstname.lastname@example.org