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ADK Unite(s) for local food pantries, businesses

SARANAC LAKE — Some great ideas have arisen from these tough times dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

North Country Radio and Bike ADK have teamed up to come up with one of those concepts, and it’s a win-win situation for all involved. The plan, conceived about three weeks ago, is ADK Unite, a virtual event giving participants an opportunity to run or cycle while benefiting local food pantries.

ADK Unite includes bike rides, runs or walks of distances of 5 and 10 kilometers that people can do at any time through May 31. Registration can be done at bikeadirondacks.com at a cost of $35, with much of the proceeds directly benefiting food pantries throughout the North Country — mainly those which serve communities where North Country Radio stations Adirondack 105 and The Mix can be heard.

Participants can either follow routes that are laid out in maps on the bikeadirondacks.com website or they can create their own routes. And for those who don’t venture outdoors, the event can be done at home on a treadmill or stationary bike.

Doug Haney of Bike ADK said Jim Williams of North Country Radio presented him with the idea of the fundraiser.

“A lot of things like this are happening all over the country now, and I was just thrilled to get the call and I’m so happy to have the chance to help,” said Haney, who lives in Saranac Lake. “Unite ADK allows people to have a goal, be active and get creative with exercise and outdoor activity, all while helping out a great cause.

“Cycling is all about camaraderie,” Haney continued. “We’ve brought big groups of people together over the years, but we can’t do that at this time. ADK Unite is the best thing we can possibly do for people with a common interest and a common goal. What’s happening here is pretty exciting.”

Williams said the radio station came up with the idea and then contacted Haney to join the project. Williams said not only will the event help out food pantries, but it will also benefit area businesses that have gotten on board.

“We’re constantly thinking of ways we can support the communities we reach and local businesses at the same time,” Williams said. “Obviously money will be going to food pantries, and there a lot of them, but businesses are also hurting right now. We’ve brought a lot of businesses and other sponsors on board, and they are all going to benefit.”

In addition to having the chance to help area food pantries, each participant will receive a T-shirt, a certificate and coupons from sponsors.

Williams pointed out how local businesses will benefit from the event. He said Bear Essentials will produce the shirts and the UPS Store in Lake Placid will ship them, providing both businesses with a bit of income.

“The bottom line is ADK Unite is a perfect mix of helping local businesses and benefiting charities and the communities that they serve,” Williams said.

Also assisting with the event is “above socia,l” a website created to help local businesses.

Williams said the stations of North Country Radio can be heard from a range stretching from Keene Valley in the east to Cranberry Lake in the west and Long Lake and Blue Mountain Lake. He said those areas and between all have pantries looking to help those in need, and he’s attempting to locate and assist every one. Williams added that the United Way of the Adirondacks has been a big help in providing contacts for many of the food banks.

“There are a lot of little ones out there, and I’m still compiling the list,” he said.

Haney said promotion for ADK Unite has been on the radio, the event’s website, other forms of social media and through word of mouth. Registration began earlier this week, and as of Wednesday evening, Haney said nearly 40 people have signed up for the event. Haney stated there are many locals on board, but he also received a registration from Chicago and another from near Portland, Maine.

“So cool to see the ADK love and support from all over. Would love to see those numbers climb,” Haney said.”

Participants are being invited to share photos, videos, their times and other experiences on the ADK Unite Facebook Event page.