Bicycle ride raises approximately $18,000 for Meers Fire Departm - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Bicycle ride raises approximately $18,000 for Meers Fire Department

(Source: KSWO) (Source: KSWO)

MEERS, OK (KSWO) - Tour De Meers brought nearly 600 bicyclists pedaling through the Wichita Wildlife Refuge on Saturday morning to raise money for the Meers Volunteer Fire Department.

The riders had four options on how far they wanted like to ride. They could either go on a 10, 22, 36 or a 60-mile ride.

Assistant Fire Chief Bill Cunningham has been helping put on this ride for 17 years and said his favorite part is the riders.

"And the people just coming in smiling," Cunningham said. "They're so happy to be here and then as they come back they're appreciative."

Many fire departments have dinner fundraisers, but 28 years ago this department decided to take a different route. 

"The concept was to bring in participants from outside of our local community and raise revenue that way," Cunningham said. "In kind, we give them a splendid experience with a lot of scenery and everybody's happy."

The ride raised around $18,000, and all the money goes to the department. In the past, they've used the money to help purchase equipment but this year they decided to save it.

"We need to replenish our balance, which we have used for truck repairs over the years, and now it's time to build that balance back up," Cunningham said. "So, that when we do ever have another big fire, and we inquire a lot of damage to the trucks, we'll have the funds there to cover it."

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