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With three years under his belt, Mac Dorris has made the official announcement that The Ride for Mental Health will be back in 2020.
The event, under Dorris’ careful, detailed, and creative direction has grown exponentially since its inception in 2017. One hundred riders showed up to participate in 2017, and last year, the two-day ride saw registration numbers soar to 425 riders. Dorris launched the event to honor the memory of his son Eric, who died at age 21 after battling mental illness.
Sponsorships, individual fundraising, and registration fees all go to support mental health research, clinical care, and education at McLean Hospital. In its first three years, the Ride raised over $400,000 for the hospital. What Mac thought would be a one-time event to help him channel his grief has become a flourishing and highly-anticipated annual occurrence.
The 2020 Ride is scheduled for June 27 & 28, and registration opened on January 6, 2020.
As in previous years, the Ride takes place in New Paltz, New York, and is designed to appeal to riders of all levels. Participants can cycle a flat, vehicle-free 14-mile rail trail route, a scenic and mildly hilly 25-mile route, or choose between two challenging 50-mile routes. The event takes place over two days, so riders can select either or both days and can opt to ride a full century (100 miles), finishing both 50-mile routes over the course of the weekend.
Lori Etringer, MBA, McLean’s senior vice president and chief development officer, captained a team of 25 participants made up of McLean staff, friends, and family. “Mac has done a tremendous job working to reduce the stigma of a psychiatric diagnosis through this event,” said Etringer. “It is a beautiful part of the country and Mac’s team expertly manages every detail. I am grateful to Mac and looking forward to riding for the fourth time this coming June.”
Dorris also hosts dinner for participants on Saturday evening. The biggest fundraisers and earliest registrants will be treated to a spectacular dinner in the Mohonk Preserve with music, cocktails, and a short presentation. Volunteers and remaining riders are invited to a barbeque in nearby New Paltz. Both dinners offer guests the opportunity to connect with like-minded people, learn more about McLean, and talk openly about mental health issues.
“It is a breathtaking ride. The routes are beautifully planned with easy-to-follow signage and wonderful volunteers,” said one member of Team McLean. “I am definitely riding again in 2020! My friends and I have already booked our AirBnB for the weekend, and we plan to try the 50-mile route this time. Wonderful event, great cause, and fantastic people—join us!”
Etringer hopes to grow Team McLean in 2020. In 2019, the team raised nearly $15,000 and would love to see both a bigger team and a higher fundraising number in 2020. Please contact Lori Etringer or Sally Spiers for more information about Team McLean.
Register to ride or volunteer for the event!