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posted: 9/27/2013 3:30 PM

360-mile charity bike tour to stop in Cook, DuPage

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A 360-mile bike tour will stop in Cook and DuPage counties next month to help raise money for services benefiting victims of child abuse.

The inaugural Stop the Cycle of Abuse Ride is a six-day event sponsored by the Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois. The Route 66 tour starts at 9 a.m. Oct. 16 at the Children's Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County in Hoffman Estates before riders head to the DuPage Children's Advocacy Center in Wheaton at 11 a.m.

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Organizers hope to raise $150,000 by their final stop Oct. 21 at St. Louis Charter School in St. Louis, Mo.

"This event is a tremendous way for all of us to get involved and do our part in protecting our most vulnerable and innocent population -- our children," DuPage State's Attorney Bob Berlin said.

The six-leg trip takes place in 60-mile increments, with additional stops in Joliet, Pontiac, Bloomington, Springfield and Staunton. Gov. Pat Quinn will be grand marshal of the event, which was organized by Antioch residents John Frugo and Lynn Garrett.

Proceeds will benefit the 39 child advocacy centers in Illinois. Billie Larkin, executive director of CACI, said more than 10,000 children were referred to those organizations last year for forensic interviews and medical and mental health treatment, among other services.

Riders can register as individuals or as a team. The cost is $35. Participants can bike as many of the six stages as they want but must raise at least $200 in pledges or donations for each leg. Riders who tackle all six stages must raise at least $1,000. More than $34,000 already has been raised, according to the event's website.

For more information, call (217) 528-2224 or visit stopthecycle.net.

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