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smart-ride-8-teen-father-ride-0Fort Lauderdale teen Isaac Cross will be joining the hundreds of participants of this year’s Smart Ride (Southern Most AIDS/HIV Ride). The two day, non-competitive bike ride is from Miami to Key West – which is 165 miles! The huge event, which will take place on November 18 to 19, is for a good cause –100-percent of the proceeds raised during SMART Ride go to HIV

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Local Teen Participates in Smart Ride 8 with his Father

smart-ride-8-teen-father-ride-1Fort Lauderdale teen Isaac Cross will be joining the hundreds of participants of this year’s Smart Ride (Southern Most AIDS/HIV Ride). The two day, non-competitive bike ride is from Miami to Key West – which is 165 miles! The huge event, which will take place on November 18 to 19, is for a good cause –100-percent of the proceeds raised during SMART Ride go to HIV and AIDS charities. Proceeds are raised by participants getting sponsors. It costs $85 to register for the event and then riders commit to raise a minimum of $1,250 in donations. Since the first ride in 2003, more than $2.2 million has been raised and given to those organizations.

Cross, who is 15-years-old, found out that his father was HIV-positive a year ago. He moved in with him this past summer and the two are close. He found out about the event through his father’s friend and decided that he wanted to participate. The caring teen wasn’t daunted by the distance of the ride.

“I’ve done one charity bike ride before,” he explained. “It was in the UK and was for cancer research. It was a thing my school was involved in and was 30 miles.”

smart-ride-8-teen-father-ride-2Originally from Wales, Cross moved to Key West this summer and then onto Fort Lauderdale. He came out to his father this summer and has had a boyfriend for a few months. He hasn’t come out at school, but isn’t concerned about it.

“It won’t be too big of a deal,” he said. “I’m not exactly denying it, it’s just personal business”

Cross is currently training hard for the ride along with his team.

“I train a few times a week, but I’m probably going to start every other day to every day before the ride,” he said.

His father is also participating. He will be part of the crew, as he was last year.

Cross said that his father is touched that he is going to ride in the event.

“He was really happy about me doing it and proud of me,” the teen said.

So far, Cross has collected $350, but he is sure he will reach his goal and is excited about being a part of this important fundraiser.

“I think it will be a good thing to do and a great accomplishment,” he said. “It’s going to help out a lot of people. A lot of people are working really hard to put their time into it.”

The charities which benefit from SMART Ride include AIDS Help in Monroe County, Broward House in Broward County, Comprehensive AIDS Program in Palm Beach County, Metropolitan Wellness & Community Centers in West Central Florida, Miracle of Love in Central Florida, and The Center for Positive Connections in Miami/Dade County.

The organizations receive funds which go towards medicine, dental care, pre-natal care, case management, housing, food and emergency assistance.

smart-ride-8-teen-father-ride-3Although Smart Ride has enough riders participating, you can still be a part of the fundraiser by donating to the dedicated riders. To donate to this worthy cause, visit TheSmartRide.org

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