5/10/2017 5:00:00 PM - by SMECO
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) employees will host their sixth annual bike ride on June 3, 2017. Profits from the bike ride will go to four different organizations that focus on the environment: the American Chestnut Land Trust in Calvert County, the Port Tobacco River Conservancy in Charles County, the Alice Ferguson Foundation in Prince George’s County, and the St. Mary’s River Watershed Association in St. Mary’s County.
Last year, SMECO donated more than $53,000, which was raised by the bike ride and the cooperative’s Annual Charity Golf Outing. The events are supported by a group of volunteers, vendors, and the SMECO executive team.
Three bike routes of 29, 47, and 75 miles will start at the Co-op’s headquarters in Hughesville and go as far as Colton’s Point in St. Mary’s County. Cyclists can register for the SMECO 75 Bike Ride on Active.com. “We encourage cyclists to register soon,” said Natalie Cotton, SMECO’s community and public affairs director. She added, “Over the years, our bike ride has become very popular, and its success has made a positive impact in our community.”
Cotton expressed gratitude for the support that organizations provide to the fundraisers. She said, “Our business partners make generous donations to the SMECO fund-raising events, so that we are able to make a significant contribution to our local charities.” The cooperative invites businesses and organizations to help sponsor the bike ride and has set up the SMECO Charitable Foundation so that qualifying contributions may be tax-deductible. “Individuals who want to donate, but are unable to participate, can contribute by using the PayPal button on SMECO’s website,” Cotton added.
The date of the SMECO 75 Bike Ride, June 3, is also National Trails Day. A portion of the bike route uses the Three Notch Trail, a pedestrian and bicycle trail on the old St. Mary’s County railroad right-of-way. The trail in the northern area of the county begins at Deborah Drive in Charlotte Hall and runs south to John V. Baggett Park in Laurel Grove for a distance of about 11 miles. The trail in this area provides connections to the Northern Senior Center, Charlotte Hall Veterans Home, Charlotte Hall Library, St. Mary’s County Farmers’ Market, the St. Mary’s County Welcome Center, Mechanicsville Elementary School and Baggett Park.