Virtual bicycle tour benefits Make-A-Wish Michigan

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Whether it’s biking on a Peloton or on the road, anyone can participate in this year’s virtual Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour. Courtesy Make-A-Wish Michigan

More than 900 cyclists will ride to help grant wishes for Michigan kids during Make-A-Wish Michigan’s 33rd annual Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour (WAM) this summer.

WAM was scheduled for this weekend with riders biking 50 or 300 miles to raise funds to help grant wishes for Michigan kids with critical illnesses.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s WAM is a virtual event. Cyclists can log miles online and fundraise through Aug. 16. Funds raised by WAM riders help the organization’s ability to make wishes come true.

Rider Dave Karnes of Kalamazoo first got involved with WAM after a colleague invited him to ride and has been an active participant since 2004.

“I have a strong emotional connection to the ride,” Karnes said. “It’s (now) part of my life and what I do every summer. So many good friends and family members have joined me on the ride that it’s really become special. I’ve watched my daughter grow up on WAM and learn what it’s like to give back to others that need a little help.”

Karnes works for EATON Corporation, which has been involved with WAM for 31 years and has acted as the lead sponsor for 13 years.

“It makes me proud to work for a company that throws their support behind employees who are trying to make a difference in the communities in which they live,” Karnes said.

WAM will feature two virtual programs. WAMmys, at 7 p.m. Saturday, will highlight inspiring wishes taking place this summer and feature a Q&A with Steve Yzerman, general manager of the Detroit Red Wings. WAMmys will be livestreamed on Make-A-Wish Michigan’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The second virtual program will recognize top fundraising awards on an individual and team level in August.

It’s not too late to register for this year’s event at wishamile.org. Whether it’s biking on a Peloton or on the road, anyone can participate in this year’s virtual WAM. There is no registration fee, no mileage requirement and no fundraising minimum.

Anyone 18 and under can sign up and participate in virtual WAM Jr. Participants who raise $50 will receive a T-shirt and medal.

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