Randy Courtney of Courtney Valleywide Prosperities traded in his real estate agent attire for bike shorts and sneakers this past weekend. He, along with 40 other riders, biked 350 miles in an effort to raise money to end poverty along the U.S./Mexico border.
Rancho Feliz Charitable Foundation, Inc. recently hosted the “Ride the Rez” fundraising bike ride across the Navajo Reservation. The event was originally supposed to take place in Mexico, but due to safety issues was moved to the reservation.
Courtney pledged to raise $7,500 to put toward the foundation’s goal of $750,000. The group will still be taking donations through December, even though the actual ride has already passed.
Courtney also participated in a similar ride three years ago that spanned the distance from Santa Fe, N.M., to Telluride, Colo. He became involved thanks to a friend that he bikes with in the Foothills.
Courtney said he greatly appreciates the work this foundation does, as they sponsor programs such as school scholarships, child care, computer learning and education systems, and housing.
“I’ve seen the changes that have been made by the funds that are available,” Courtney said, “These kids … they have hope now.”
The money the foundation raises goes to several different causes from the elderly to the young. They have worked to provide better day care systems, as well as better nursing and rest homes. According to Courtney, the Mexican government is not able to spend a lot of its resources on the elderly so they are often overlooked. People can also sponsor a child to pay for education, giving them a chance.
Prior to the ride, Courtney talked about how excited he was not only for the money they would raise, but also for the cultural experience he would have on the trip.
“We are going to places that no white man has ever been; it’s such a unique and special trip,” he said.
According to Courtney, the organization had to receive permission from all the different tribal chiefs before they could have the ride go across the reservation. Fortunately, they were able to get the green light to host the “Ride the Rez.”
To donate, visit www.ranchofeliz.com/randycourtney.
Brandi Bell is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.