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  • Great Lakes Urban

Restoring Our Cities (ROC): Fueling Belonging & Civic Muscle

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On September 10, 35 cyclists and fundraisers gathered to ride in the 8th annual Restoring Our Cities (ROC) event. It was a picture perfect day in Johnson Park as participating teams met at the pavilion for pre-ride fellowship and food and then dispersed toward the destination of their choosing.

Sponsoring the event were four corporate donors, including a Regional Champion (Code Blue), 3 City Champions (Rivershores Hardwood Flooring & Cabinetry, Ideal Life Financial and CareSource), and a Block Champion (The Hopeful Neighborhood Project). Others, such as Cross Country Cycle, Buist Electric, and Dan Vos Construction provided SAG/other support.

In total, 67 donors contributed $25,000, exceeding last year's mark. What does all of this add up to? It means that we will be able to bring our connecting work to 2 or more new neighborhoods in 2023. We will convert this support into stories and quotes like the one below, which was made possible, in part, by last year's ROC fundraiser.

"I am grateful for the community involvement and connections I have made. These connections have improved my life in many unexpected ways. For example, a crew donated, delivered, and installed a water heater for my husband and I during the holidays. Best of all, I have connected with other folks who want to improve the place we love and live in."

Not only is this event important for the neighbors that will benefit, it's also meant to be a space of comradery and connection in-and-of itself. As one participant commented, "It is so fun to come together as a community to help raise money to promote stronger communities. This was my first year doing this, but you can absolutely count on me being back next year!"

We look forward to seeing everyone next year. Put Saturday, September 9, 2023 down on your calendar (the first Saturday after Labor Day). We will open registration at 8:00 am again at Johnson Park, and add a 9:00 am guided trip for those wanting a family-friendly group experience. Details and registration will be added to We've been told the weather will be perfect again!

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