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Inaugural Arms Around Bainbridge spinathon raises $17K

Victoria, Hannah and rider Darren Gray stand with Arms Around Bainbridge recipient Shelley Minor, a sixth-grade teacher at Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School. The Grays sported their own AAB cycling duds for the event.  - Photo courtesy of Arms Around Bainbridge
Victoria, Hannah and rider Darren Gray stand with Arms Around Bainbridge recipient Shelley Minor, a sixth-grade teacher at Sonoji Sakai Intermediate School. The Grays sported their own AAB cycling duds for the event.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Arms Around Bainbridge

They may have been going nowhere fast, but it was all for a good cause.

The Arms Around Bainbridge cycling team held its first spinathon fundraiser to support the island charity on Sunday, May 19 at Island Fitness. Cyclists hopped on an exercise bike, paying for a seat, and taking sponsorships.

The initial trip out for the new fundraiser proved to be quite a success — both financially and as a draw for local cyclists.

“The event was a huge success!” said Arms Around Bainbridge board member Heather Burger.

“Not only did Arms Around Bainbridge surpass its monetary goal, but the turnout for the event was astonishing,” she said. “Three riders participating for all four hours. The entire event was beyond expectations and hopes in every respect.”

The spinathon is the brainchild of AAB Cycling, a team dedicated to supporting the island charity. The event raised money for Arms Around Bainbridge, an island charity that helps financially support islanders facing medical crises.

More than 100 people, and 15 total teams, came out to Island Fitness to hop on a cycle and spin for the cause.

At the end of the four-hour event, Arms Around Bainbridge received more than $17,000, exceeding its goal of $10,000.

The cycling event is a new addition to fundraising efforts for Arms Around Bainbridge, which holds its main fundraiser each year at the end of summer. The benefit includes cycling, running and swimming around the island.

Sunday’s event focused on the ride. Still, it wasn’t just a simple fundraiser.

Trivia games helped pass the time and the group also competed for the best singer of “American Pie.” Raffles were also held for attendees of the event.

Teams rallied to support their fellow islanders.

“Each team dedicated their ride to someone they know and love who was struggling with a serious illness,” Burger said. “All four of the Arms Around Bainbridge recipients were supported by teams and attended (the event).”

“As cheesy as it sounds, the room was electric,” Burger added.

“There was such a great excitement and energy, such an incredible feeling of community. It felt like a party was going on, not a fundraiser.”

With the success of the spinathon behind them, there’s only one thing for Arms Around Bainbridge supporters to do: start planning for next year.

“I can’t wait to do the spinathon next year,” Burger said. “What a fun way to spend a morning — singing ‘American Pie’ and answering trivia questions. I was so inspired by the Arms Around Bainbridge recipients.”

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