HARVARD -- The Minuteman Road Club has donated the proceeds from the Harvard Firefighters' 5th Annual Ken Harrod Memorial Bike Ride and Race, held in town on May 31, to the Harvard Firefighters Association.
Minuteman Road Club Race directors Bill Turner and John Raguin presented Harvard firefighters Robert Curran and Andrew Perry with a check for $5,500 at the Harvard Fire Station last week. During the event, 402 registered riders participated in five USA Cycling-sanctioned races on a 10-mile course and a ride through Harvard's scenic roads and challenging hills. A portion of the entry fees was the source of the donation.
For years, Harvard Firefighter Ken Harrod imagined a great biking event in town. Riders from all over New England had discovered Harvard's scenic roads and challenging hills and Ken felt it was the perfect opportunity to create a top-notch bike race and ride to raise money for the Harvard Firefighters' Association. Sadly, just months before Ken realized his vision, he passed away suddenly in May 2010.
To honor Ken's 45 years as a Harvard firefighter and his many contributions to the community, the Harvard Firefighters' Association named the bike ride in his honor and has successfully held the event for the past five years.
Changes started this year included moving the event from the fall to the spring, adding the Minuteman Road Club as a partner and presenting both serious cycling races and a fun ride.
Planning for next year has already begun, with May 30, 2015, the target date. Some new events are in the works to help fully realize Ken Harrod's grand vision for a Harvard bike festival.
Funds raised from the ride and the race help support a number of different causes:
* The Harvard Firefighters Scholarship Fund ($1,000 awarded in 2013).
* The Harvard Firefighters Equipment Fund (such as a recent purchase of thermal cameras and gear lockers for $4,000).
* The Student Awareness of Fire Education Program.
* The Harvard Firefighters Benevolence Fund.
* The Harvard Firefighters Family Crisis Fund.
* Sponsorship of Harvard Youth Sports.