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Cycling Event, Fun Fest to Help Family Oriented Organization

A scene from last year's ride. Credit: Submitted
A scene from last year's ride. Credit: Submitted
On June 15, area residents have the chance to support and/or learn more about an organization that works with families on several different levels. 

On father's day weekend, part of that message from The Village is that traditionally too few resources are used to help the young men who find themselves suddenly dealing with fatherhood. 

The Village Ride is one way the organization gets the word out and raises funds for its efforts. 

Slated for June 15 and once again at Ski Sundown, the day includes several cycling opportunities as well as a Free Family Fest that is open to anyone whether they ride or not. 

"It's no coincidence that we schedule The Village Ride to take place over Father's Day weekend," said Galo Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Village. "What better way for a father to bond with his children than by participating in a fun, healthy outdoor activity, and to teach them about helping others." 

The ride is an event at which cyclists can chose courses from 100k to 40 miles and support the organization. Find out more at www.thevillageride.org

A free Family Fest from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Ski Sundown allows the chance for anyone to enjoy the festivities and learn about the organization, which serves 8,000 children a year, offering everything from pre-school and after-school programs to intensive therapy for severely abused children.

It includes music, face painting, touch a truck, animals from Roaring Brook Nature Center, spinning classes with Zoo Health Club of Simsbury, rides up the mountain in a Land Rover, courtesy of Mitchell Auto Group, a rail jam and much more. 

While the village does receive funding from the state and other areas, it does not cover everything, said Donna Jolly, chief communications officer for the organization. 

"The need is greater than the village can serve," she said. 

State and federal funding often comes with parameters and events such as the ride help with people who may fall outside of the qualifications, she added. 

One goal of the organization she reiterated was to help young fathers learn about responsibility, support and how to budget, take care of children and more. It runs numerous programs under the name FatherWorks.

"The program really does everything soup to nuts," Jolly said. 

This will be the second year Ski Sundown has hosted the event. 

"We are delighted to be hosting the second-annual Village Ride here at Ski Sundown and supporting the important work being done by the Village," said Ski Sundown president and general manager Bob Switzgable. "We welcome all families to our gamily fest, regardless of participation. We look forward to putting on a great party the day before Father's Day and offering families some healthy fun and bonding time." 

Presented by Aetna, the ride has courses for all ages and ability. Refreshments are provided with the cost of ride registration and can be purchased by other attendees. Among those providing them will be Whole Foods and Thomas Hooker Brewery. For more information about The Village Ride and to register, visit www.thevillageride.org.  

Also see more information on the Family Fest at http://canton-ct.patch.com/groups/events/p/family-fest-at-ski-sundown

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