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updated: 8/23/2012 3:21 PM

70-year-old Barrington bicyclist kicks off fundraising trek

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  • Bob Lee discusses his Ride for 3 Reasons with fellow residents at Barrington's Fourth of July Festival last month. Lee's ride, which will raise money for ALS and cancer research, as well as hospice care, begins Sept. 5 in Vancouver, Canada.

       Bob Lee discusses his Ride for 3 Reasons with fellow residents at Barrington's Fourth of July Festival last month. Lee's ride, which will raise money for ALS and cancer research, as well as hospice care, begins Sept. 5 in Vancouver, Canada.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
 

The Barrington area is preparing to send off 70-year-old resident Bob Lee on his third Ride for 3 Reasons at a special event Sunday, Sept. 2.

From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. that day, a send-off party with ice cream sundaes will be held at Wool Street Grill & Sports Bar, 128 Wool St. in Barrington, just before Lee begins a 2,500-mile bike ride from Vancouver, Canada, to Tijuana, Mexico.

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Lee intends to raise $1 million to assist agencies fighting ALS and cancer as well as those providing hospice services. He starts the ride Sept. 5 and expects it to take from six to eight weeks.

Earlier "Pace-setter" fundraisers have put $610,000 on the table, which will be available to Lee's effort if others help him raise the rest.

The generosity of the seven-village Barrington area is the only reason Lee believes his goals are realistic.

"You can't do this in every community," Lee told the Barrington village board this week. "You have to move to Barrington for 20 or 30 years first."

History has shown Lee that his neighbors will come through for him. In 2001, he raised $86,000 by riding 3,254 miles from San Diego to Jacksonville, Fla.

On the second Ride for 3 Reasons in 2007, he raised $390,000 by riding 6,500 miles from Jacksonville to Maine and then to Washington state.

The beauty of North America and the good-heartedness of its people are what Lee says sustains him, as he isn't naturally a long-distance bicyclist.

"I have not run into a bad person in 10,000 miles," Lee said.

He commended the generosity of local businesses from lemonade stands all the way up to Wickstrom Auto Group, as well as children who've asked for donations to his cause rather than presents for themselves at birthday parties.

Funds raised will go to the Les Turner ALS Foundation, American Cancer Society, National Hospice Foundation and Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois.

For more information about the cause or to donate, visit 3reasons.org, call (847) 381-6239 or email bob@3reasons.org.

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