John Farr rolled into Clearfield on Saturday — the final leg of his 2021 Bike2Build bicycle ride that raised funds for Habitat for Humanity of Clearfield County.
This was the 20th trek for Farr who celebrated his 80th birthday in March. He rode 900 miles up the east coast starting Friday, Sept. 24, at Myrtle Beach, S.C. and ending Saturday in Clearfield, taking a lap that ended at the annual Fall Festival.
Farr, who hopes to garner $25,000 in financial gifts to purchase materials for Habitat projects — including one that will be starting soon in Clearfield — said he had a successful trip. Habitat for Humanity’s Director of Operations Meri Collins said as of Friday, just over $19,000 has been donated. She said those who would still like to donate to help Farr reach his goal can obtain information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farr, who has ridden to various places, said he chose this year’s route because he has family living in Myrtle Beach and Maryland, and family in Williamsburg, Va., and Washington D.C.
“I also chose it because I love the shore,” he said.
Things have changed since Farr made his first fundraising ride in 2001.
“The first year I raised about $1,200 just by asking friends and family to sponsor me. It has grown to be a rather odd appeal with a website and media coverage,” he explained.
Farr made time to visit several Habitat for Humanity chapters along his way to Clearfield County. He said those stops have been very informative.
“The first trip I made, I visited chapters in New York City and Philadelphia. This year I visited ones in Myrtle Beach and Williamsburg. I had great tours of each’s ReStores, which is something we are thinking about starting here in Clearfield County. The store in Williamsburg is the biggest, cleanest and best stocked store I’ve ever seen. The Williamsburg chapter is also building a new home using 3-D print technology.”
Farr said he also makes his annual trip not just to raise funds, but to build awareness of Habitat for Humanity of Clearfield County and the work the organization does to help county residents.
He said Habitat currently needs volunteers as it is ready to embark on a project.
“Anyone interested in helping Habitat should go to its website Clearfieldhabitat.com or the event’s website Bike2Build.org. Information there is for potential volunteers in addition to anyone interested in my trek. Habitat is not a hand-out program, rather it helps people get started buying a home by allowing them to put in their own labor, organizing the building process and offering qualified residents a zero percent mortgage on the building materials. Home ownership is foundational in starting to build equity,” he said.