Grace College Outdoors Club Holds Nocturnal Bike Ride, Supports Local Family
By Micaela Eberly
The Grace College Outdoors Club held a Nocturnal bike ride around Warsaw and Winona Lake on Sept. 24. About 250 people participated in the night ride, coming from as far away as Georgia. All donations from the event were given to a Warsaw family who lost their son, Drake Price, in January. Drake was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2017.
“The event was all about loving our neighbors,” says Matt Metzger, one of the event directors. “The way the community got together to help someone in need, you can’t duplicate that experience.”
Charity Price, Drake’s mother, thanks the community for all of their love and support. “It showed that nobody has forgotten my son,” she says. “He was a wonderful individual. He touched so many people’s lives in our community and the world.”
The nocturnal bike ride has taken place for 15 years. According to Metzger, when the event started, they wanted a way to support their community while providing a fun event for people to attend. They’ve organized hikes, runs and bike rides, but the purpose has always been the same: to support a local family in need.
“The best part of the ride was the community coming together to help a local family,” says participant Laura Deal-Decker. “I would encourage anyone to participate next year in this unique community event that is also meaningful.”
Event participants were encouraged to decorate their bikes and clothes with glow sticks, reflectors, and lights. The ride started and ended at the Gordon Health and Wellness Center at Grace College with a stop in the middle to deliver the donations to the Price family.
“We had a lot of fun decorating our bikes with the glow sticks,” Deal-Decker says. “Seeing all the bikes lit up riding through the quiet streets at night looked very cool. Everyone was having fun participating together.”
Many local businesses and organizations donated time and money to make the event a success. Crouse Body Shop provided a truck with lights to follow the route in case a bike broke down. Core Mechanical donated money to buy $500 worth of prizes for participants. The Outdoors Club typically rents out the Gordon Health and Wellness Center, but Jordan Weidner, director of the center, let them use it for free.
Grace Outdoors also partnered with Boundless, an organization started by Shelly Metzger and others in the recovery community that offers a safe, interactive social environment to the recovery community.
Matt Metzger gave a special thank you to Captain Joel Beam and the volunteers from the Warsaw Police Department, who provided a police escort to temporarily block off streets at every intersection.
“The crowd would thank the officers for helping,” Matt says. “It was so nice to see the collaboration between the police and the community. We really couldn’t have had this event without them.”
As Nocturnal continues in the future, Matt wants to keep one goal in mind: to show the difference one community can make. The past Nocturnal events prove the impact can be great.
“I just want to thank the community and everybody that had anything to do with that,” Charity Price says. “That was a wonderful gift.”