SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) – Ride Extreme is a fundraiser to build youth sports complexes throughout Nicaragua. The group’s main goal is to provide a safe and secure place for at risk teens throughout the country to gather and “experience personal growth in a positive environment.” Each complex costs about $70,000 to build.
Four men from southwest Missouri are looking to do their part and help the cause. Gary Wilson, Gary Miller, Ken Muncy and Warren Propst have been looking forward to the ride since last October when they first heard about it.
Miller says at first he wasn’t sure if his wife would let him go.
“I was sitting there thinking ‘Man, I would love to go on that trip but there ain’t no way my wife is going to let me go.’ And as I was sitting there, she literally leaned over in my ear and said, ‘Hey, you’re going on that trip,’” he said. “I’m just excited to see what we can do with the students down there and helping them.”
Miller has been working with kids for the past 15 years.
Wilson also shared how each man on the trip has gone through his own set of hardships.
“Seven years ago I had a heart attack; a couple of years ago, he (Muncy) had open heart surgery; and, a few years ago, he (Miller) actually got electrocuted and knocked off a roof,” said Wilson.
He also shared that Propst, the fourth rider, battled cancer.
“We understand life’s short, life’s fragile,” Miller said. “None of us look at our situations as setbacks.”
The men also said they do work in the Springfield community through the High Street Baptist Church, including work with the program One Sole Purpose and Power Packs for local schools so kids have food to eat over the weekend who otherwise wouldn’t.
“We do several other things throughout the community because we definitely want to make sure people know we care about our own community.”
The four men left Springfield on Thursday to head to Texas to meet up with seven other riders, six from Texas and one from Wisconsin, for the journey. The 11 of them plan to cross the Mexico border by Sunday and reach their destination in Nicaragua by April 26.
Once they arrive, the men will donate their bikes to the organization as well. The group welcomes monetary donations while traveling via RideExtreme.org.