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Chester County Press

Bike and brew race raises $2,550 for Kennett Food Cupboard

07/03/2017 11:20AM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

Several months ago, David Berger, the president of Progressive Fitness Coaching, stopped in at the Kennett Brewing Company for a hearty beer and good conversation with KBC co-owner Jossy Osborne. Berger got both, but he also left with an idea that would eventually raise enough money to feed hundreds of needy families in the Kennett Square community. 
"Jossy said to me, 'Can we put together a fun bike ride?'" Berger said. "I told her that we can [organize]  a Fondo-- which is the Italian word for "a great ride.' I began to map it out that evening, and I thought it would be appropriate to make brewery visits along the way. I found 50 miles of country roads and four great stops."
In the following weeks, 52 riders registered for the event, and on June 17 beginning at 10:30 a.m., 46 riders kicked off on the inaugural 50-mile KBC Bike & Brew Tour, an effort that raised $2,550 for the Kennett Area Community Service's Food Cupboard.
The ride took off along the rolling hills of Chester County, stopping off at The Whip in Coatesville, the Four Dogs Tavern and the Levante Brewing Company in West Chester, and then dipping into Northern Delaware for a stop at Buckley's Tavern in Centreville. As the race completed its journey back at the Kennett Brewing Company, a total of 29 riders finished.
"The first 12 miles to the Whip really prepared those who had trained to do this, and those who weren't," Berger said. "For everyone who dropped out, they said that it was a beautiful ride and they want to do it again but promised to train more."
The contributions to the Kennett Food Cupboard did not end when the last bike reached the Kennett Brewing Company later in the day. Riders donated 278 pounds of non-perishable food for the "Cover the KBC Bar" challenge, which filled up the entire cooper top bar.
The contribution will be put toward the purchase of meats, dairy and other perishables over the next three months -- enough to feed the more than 400 families the Cupboard assists every month. A portion of the contribution will be targeted toward funding the Cupboard's summer food program, which feeds 380 schoolchildren in the community during the summer months when they are not in school.
"This has always been a community cupboard, because it's run, filled and managed by volunteers," said Kennett Area Community Services Executive Director Melanie Weiler. "We didn't even have a staff until 2009. It's always been run by volunteers, and supported by volunteers. Ninety percent of the food that we distribute comes from donations from the community. The [KBC Bike & Brew Tour]  is another example of neighbors helping neighbors."
Berger and Osborne are already planning a follow-up race in the fall, that will again benefit the Kennett Food Cupboard.
Berger considers his role as a fundraiser as an opportunity to "be of service."
"It's such a wonderful opportunity to do good work for a great organization, and because the Kennett Food Cupboard is local, we get to see first-hand the impact of what we do."
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected] .