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Cyclists pedal for Habitat
Photos supplied A hardy team of riders from the Swiss Church in New Glarus fuel up on cookies and drinks before they start the second half of their 30-plus mile ride.
BRODHEAD - About 40 riders from around the area braved the cold windy weather and showed up in support of the 4th Annual Bike for Habitat in Brodhead on Saturday, May 16. The bikers received pledges of nearly $5,000 for Green County Habitat for Humanity (GCHFH). Many local business sponsors chipped in more than $9,000 to make this event a big success.

"While we didn't meet our goal of 100 riders this year, we did see an increase in the funds pledged by the riders and local businesses," said Rob Frie, president of GCHFH and chairman of the fundraising committee. "Each year we learn more about attracting riders and putting on an event that runs safe, smooth and is enjoyed by everyone involved. The only thing that could have been better is the weather."

Among the riders was Scott Garwick, a fourth-year participant, who acted as grand marshal for this year's event. Scott road his recumbent bike, along with other family members, on the 15-mile road route. Most of the riders opted for the more leisurely 15- or 30-mile routes through Albany and Monticello because of the strong winds, but a couple of riders did tackle the head winds for 25 miles of a 50-mile route.

The funds raised by Bike 4 Habitat this year go toward building a home in Monticello this summer. The home will be built in partnership with current Monticello residents, Todd and Leah Neuenschwander and their four teenage daughters. Along with 500 hours of sweat equity, the partner family will pay back a no-interest mortgage. The loan payments they make will be used to build more homes in Green County.

Grace Church of New Glarus, where the Neuenschwanders are members, sent a team of riders and raised about $1,600 toward the home. Their neighbor, Swiss Church of New Glarus, also produced a team of riders and comparable dollars in pledges.

"We were extremely pleased at the support we received this year from the faith community," said Carol Holmes, past president and chair of the Church Relations Committee of the Green County Habitat Affiliate. "We had groups of riders from at least five area churches, raising a significant portion of the funds.

Habitat for Humanity of Green County is a nonprofit Christian housing ministry dedicated to building decent, affordable housing in partnership with those in need in Green County. Since 1991, Habitat for Humanity of Green County has worked with 16 families to build or remodel homes.

To volunteer to help build the Neuenschwanders' home in Monticello this summer, call (608) 325-4024 and leave your name, address and phone number to be added to the volunteer list, or go to and complete the volunteer interest form and mail it back.