Organised by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, the three-week, nearly 2,500 kilometre "Ride for Hope" charity bike ride raised over RMB400,000 along the way, tripling its original goal. The charity funds will be used to build water cellars for 20 families in a small village in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and to help Shenzhen Blue Ocean Conservation Association and the Shanghai-based Will Foundation.
With the joint efforts of 11 Shangri-La properties in South and East China, six dedicated riders cycling with unified TREK brand bikes completed the entire journey. A group of more than 1,000 bikers from four different provinces covering 22 cities joined the ride in their respective cities.
The six dedicated riders included: Nicholas Smith, resident manager of Futian Shangri-La, Shenzhen and initiator of the charity ride; Thomas Bird, a Shenzhen-based British freelance writer; Carl Wu, a young cycling aficionado; Li Xiao Bao, who once cycled 2,600 kilometres from Yunnan to Lhasa, crossing the west of China; Lu Yushui, a cycling enthusiast dedicated to helping children in Guangxi Autonomous Region; and Lu Bao Kang, who ranked number ten among 500 racers in the most recent bike tournament in Beihai City.
"It was an amazing journey", said Smith. "The idea for 'Ride for Hope' first came up in January 2013. To see it realized with the help of Shangri-La colleagues who warmly embraced the idea, our generous sponsors and all the supportive people we met along the way is incredibly heart-warming. The money raised for these three worthy charities will make a real difference in people's lives."
An SUV supported by Mercedes-Benz and Zung Fu China provided mechanical support and medical assistance by trailing the six riders throughout the journey.
"We are happy and proud to see all the riders arrived in Shanghai safely. A heart-felt Thank You to our heroes who completed the whole journey with great passion, selflessness and love. With the support of our guests, partners, the Shangri-La hotels, and our media friends, we have successfully collected over RMB400,000 to help those in need." said Cetin Sekercioglu, executive vice president of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.
The 11 participating Shangri-La hotels are Futian Shangri-La, Shenzhen; Shangri-La Hotel, Shenzhen; Shangri-La Hotel, Fuzhou; Shangri-La Hotel, Guangzhou; Shangri-La Hotel, Hangzhou; Shangri-La Hotel, Ningbo; Shangri-La Hotel, Wenzhou; Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou; Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai; Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai and Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai.
About Guangxi Autonomous Region
A group of villagers, around 20 families, living in the Guangxi Autonomous Region have just moved from the mountains to live along the newly built road in a small village in the Guangxi Autonomous Region. The villagers used to obtain precious water from the stone caves during the rainy season. Having lost their only access to water, the villagers urgently need to build water cellars to store water during the rainy season. The water will be sufficient for a year's consumption. Each water cellar costs Rmb6,000 and the Shangri-La hotels are targeting to raise Rmb120,000 to build 20 cellars.
About Shenzhen Blue Ocean Conservation Association
It is the first non-government organisation in China devoted to ocean conservation and organises volunteering activities to clean and preserve the ocean. It plans to set up fish houses (artificial coral reefs) in the ocean to restore fish species.
About WILL Foundation
Based in Shanghai, the WILL Foundation gives orphans hope and a future. Its mission is to support children, who have been left behind in life, and to provide them with a loving and nurturing environment at an eco-learning centre that will provide them with a tailored guided programme.