Barrington's Bob Lee will be on a flight home from Southern California Saturday, having completed his 2,500-mile "Ride for 3 Reasons" by bicycle with a round-trip crossing of the Mexican border Friday afternoon.
The 70-year-old's ongoing mission is to raise $1 million for cancer, ALS and hospice services.
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As of Wednesday, he was still $108,135 short of his goal -- that is, if he were able to take full advantage of the $216,270 still waiting in Pacesetter matching funds.
For every dollar donated, $2 will be released to match it from the Pacesetter funds, Lee explained.
And even though his eight-week quest from Vancouver, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico is over, Lee still hopes to find further donations among those just discovering his blog at 3reasons.org and able to follow his journey from beginning to end.
"As we approach the holiday season, it's always a time to give a little more generously," Lee said.
He feels he's had just the right balance of company and solitude on his scenic trip, with several Barrington-area residents coming to join him for certain segments. Among them have been Kim Duchossois, Barrington Trustee Beth Raseman and his own grandchildren.
"The company has been wonderful," Lee said. "I think they go home with a greater appreciation of traveling by bike and meeting people."
Barrington-area residents will be able to welcome their courageous neighbor back home and help him in his fundraising at a Spin-a-Thon from 1 to 4 p.m. next Saturday, Nov. 3 at Good Shepherd Fitness Center, 1301 S. Barrington Road in Barrington.
There is a $25 donation for a one-hour spot, and the afternoon will be capped off with a welcome-home reception from 4 to 5 p.m. featuring appetizers, cocktails and photos from the Ride.
Lee said that those who have donated and those yet to can be assured that 100 percent of what they give is going directly to the programs of the Les Turner ALS Foundation, American Cancer Society, National Hospice Foundation and Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois.
Whatever money he collects by Dec. 15 will be divided equally among the three causes in order to be part of the organization's 2012 fiscal year, Lee said.
"My commitment is to have checks written to the organizations by year's end," he added.
For more information about Lee's Ride or to donate, visit 3reasons.org, call (847) 381-6239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.