Hops for Hope 5K going virtual this year in St. Charles
With or without the hops, the hope remains for Project Mobility.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic forced changes to the nonprofit group's beer-themed charitable event in St. Charles, the fourth annual Hops for Hope 5K will still take place virtually from Saturday, Oct. 3, until Sunday, Oct. 11.
Project Mobility's goal is to raise money to provide adaptive bicycles to children and adults with disabilities as well as wounded veterans. The freedom of mobility is an important issue for the owners of the family-run Bike Rack in St. Charles who organize Project Mobility's events.
"We've had Bike Rack for 46 years," said Tammy Simmons, a co-owner of Bike Rack and the Creative Mobility adaptive bike company. "My brother Hal (Honeyman) had triplets 27 years ago and one of them had (cerebral palsy), so that's where adaptive cycling came in. Hal wanted Jacob to be able to ride with his sisters. He set out to find a bike, and that's what started Creative Mobility."
The Hops for Hope 5K normally features participants walking or running through St. Charles while stopping at select bars for a three-ounce beer sample (soft drinks are also available). COVID-19 restrictions prevented a large group from participating together this year, so registrants will participate on their own over the course of a week.
The beer is still available, but it's a six pack of local craft beer for the first 400 registrants. There are also brew day discounts where participants can get a $4 beer at designated bars during the week of the virtual 5K.
Registration is open through Friday and costs $45. Because Project Mobility's three largest fundraisers have been postponed, canceled or switched to virtual, organizers are hoping for a surge of registrations at www.hopsforhope5k.com.
"The way things have been growing the last few years, we thought we might have 1,000 people this year," Simmons said. "Right now I think we're at about 400 so hopefully we get more before the registration closes."
Project Mobility has received several entries for this year's Adaptive Bike Giveaway Facebook Contest, including one from a 9-year-old paralyzed shooting victim who would like a handcycle that costs a few thousand dollars. Organizers will host a virtual awards ceremony on Facebook Live on Oct. 11 to announce the winner.
"It's been a lot harder because of the pandemic but this is so important to us," Simmons said.