Good Works: 1st Annual Bags for Charity Boosts Ride for 3 Reasons

Photo by Kate Smith

Organizers say the first annual Bags for Charity tournament was a great success in raising funds and awareness for Barrington High School student Jan Gierlach’s upcoming 3,300 mile solo bike ride from San Diego, CA to St. Augustine, Florida. After graduating early from BHS, Jan will be setting off in February of 2017 with the hope of raising $600,000 to support those facing cancer, ALS and hospice. To date, he’s reached about 40% of his fundraising goal.

Participants helped raise $4,000 for Jan’s ride during the first annual Bags for Charity Tournament on Sunday, September 18th.  Held in the parking lot and field at Heads Up Boutique, 200 E. Main Street, the event featured a Bean Bag Tournament, games for kids & adults, a DJ and big screen with football plus food & drink, including a pig roast! Dozens of local businesses came together to support the ride and all three causes.

Ride for 3 Reasons was founded by Bob Lee in 2001 with the mission to raise money and awareness for cancer, ALS and hospice. Over the course of three rides totaling 12,000 miles, Bob raised over $1.3 million. And now, Bob’s efforts are being carried on through Jan Gierlach. To encourage participation in Jan’s fundraising efforts, generous donors have contributed to a “PaceSetter Fund”  For every dollar donated up to $200,000, two additional dollars will be released from the fund increasing the total raised to $600,000!

Funds raised will support the Les Turner ALS Foundation, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and JourneyCare/National Hospice Foundation. Learn more at

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