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Friday, May 6, 2016

Long ride for charity

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Everyone has their share of personal beliefs. However, it takes a strong person to do something to work toward making a difference in the world based on those beliefs.

Rhonda Schafer is gearing up for a three-day, 200-mile bicycle road tour called "National Bike Ride for the Family" June 26-28. Men and women who are 16 or older can participate in any of the 10 tours that take place in different regions of the country. The first of these tours this year was in March and the last will be in September. Each rider must raise $1,500 or more in pledges to support Dr. James C. Dobson and his Focus on the Family ministry.

Schafer has chosen to pedal her way through the Great Lakes area in what the flyer for the event describes as "a dynamic 'retreat on wheels' filled with spiritual impact and personal growth." Last year she biked 225 miles through the Rocky Mountains for the same cause.

Schafer, a Burksville, Ky., native who has lived in Clay City for about 23 years, first became interested in Focus on the Family after listening to Dobson's radio program. The broadcast began as a 15-minute weekly program heard on 36 stations. Now, the non-profit Christian organization, founded by Dobson in 1977, has a radio and television audience of approximately 29 million people per week. The ministry has several radio programs and publishes numerous magazines and audio and video productions. The international outreach extends to more than 118 countries.

Dobson began Focus on the Family after realizing the many threats society and other stresses pose for families. The organization was designed to aid in fighting against those factors and making the family unit more powerful.

Family values are what first attracted Schafer, a 48-year-old wife and mother, to Dobson's ministries. She says she decided to participate in the ride for a couple of reasons. "I like a challenge," she says. "I feel strongly about preserving the home and strengthening the family."

According to her friend, Mary Sue Jackson, Schafer is "a remarkable person in many ways. She's passionate about the cause for which she has worked so hard."

Besides riding her bike, she is a full-time farmer with her husband Steve and has driven a school bus in the Clay City area for several years. She has two sons, Kevin and Brian, who are both attending college.

Schafer asks that anyone interested in making a donation to Focus on the Family or participating in the National Bike Ride for the Family contact her at (812) 939-3286 for more information.

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