AIDS ride will have an exclusively-Kaua‘i flair

Officials with Malama Pono, The HIV Service Agency of Kauai, announced this year’s Paradise Ride will have an exclusively-Kaua‘i flair, as the ride, formerly held on three islands, is scheduled only for Kaua‘i this year.

It is a two-day event, July 15 and 16, from Kalaheo to Hanalei, with the Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai as the host hotel, organizers said in a press release.

This is the agency’s largest fund-raiser, with riders carrying the slogan, “We’ll finish when AIDS is over!” Malama Pono leaders and volunteers have been serving Kaua‘i since 1986.

The agency plays a dual role in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Not only is caring for people with AIDS a priority of the organization’s leaders and volunteers, but Malama Pono officials also help prevent the spread of HIV to future generations through education and community outreach.

Malama Pono’s mission statement is to stop the spread of HIV through education, and to provide services to persons infected with or affected by HIV on Kaua‘i.

Paradise Ride Kauai 2006 is a two-day biking fund-raiser that replaces the popular Paradise Ride Hawai‘i, which served all islands.

The ride is modeled after popular AIDS rides on the Mainland.

This 130-mile ride will bring cyclists from Kalaheo to Hanalei, with optional overnight accommodations at the Aloha Beach Resort-Kauai in Wailua.

“We are prepared to accommodate people who want to contribute to the ride in any way, or participate at any cycling skill level,” said members of the Paradise Ride Committee.

“People can come from the Mainland or the other islands. Of course, we are counting on our Kaua‘i community to support and enjoy the ride as well,” the committee member said.

“They can participate in the full ride, as a day rider, sponsor a registered rider, underwrite a rest or lunch stop, or make a donation directly to Paradise Ride Kauai at www.paradiseridekauai.com.

“We also have volunteer positions available to help with rest stops, cycling safety, meal support, hosting, cheer leading and more,” the committee member continued.

“This ride is about everyone enjoying the aloha and beauty of Kaua‘i and, at the same time, coming together to stop AIDS. We encourage people to register for the ride right away, as there are limited spaces, and we are certain to fill up,” he said.

“Decreased government funding and an ambitious service agenda have made our private fund-raising initiatives more imperative than ever just for the agency to even survive,” says Malama Pono Board President Joe Moss, an attorney.

“Malama Pono’s goals for this year are to diversify our donor base, expand our fund-raising initiatives, and remind Kaua‘i that we will not stop until AIDS is over,” he added.

Malama Pono leaders also remind Kaua‘i residents and visitors to be aware of the increasing number of cyclists commuting to work or exercising on our roads.

Please share the road, and remember each biker you pass is one less car on the highway, and could be a cyclist in training for Paradise Ride Kaua‘i, raising funds for HIV/AIDS prevention and care, he continued.

“HIV touches all of us, so please join together with Malama Pono as we create a safe and memorable Paradise Ride Kaua‘i in July.” To register for the ride or to volunteer on any level, visit www.ParadiseRideKauai.com, call 246-9577, or stop by the new Malama Pono office at 4357 Rice St. in Lihu‘e.

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