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EatGR founder to raise money for Feeding America West Michigan

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Chris Freeman, founder of EatGR, will ride to raise money for Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank on October 4, 2014.
Chris Freeman tries a bike on for size at Village Bike & Fitness

Chris Freeman tries a bike on for size at Village Bike & Fitness /Wendy Hammond

Ride for Refuge

Hosted by Sea to Sea

October 4, 2014: 8 AM – 2 PM

Starting at Byron Center Christian School

Sign up to ride, donate, or volunteer.

Two and a half years ago, Chris Freeman started noticing small neighborhood restaurants that he had never heard of and decided to try them. He discovered they were very good. He then started a Facebook group, EatGR, so he could share these local gems with the rest of Grand Rapids–and develop a network of people who were also interested in finding and sharing little-known eateries.

Today, the group has more than 9,000 members all dedicated to sharing their dining experiences at local (non national chain) restaurants within a 60-minute drive of Grand Rapids. From the beginning, group members have asked for a way to give back to the community, acknowledging that while the group celebrates food, there are hungry people right here in West Michigan. The Ride for Refuge event on October 4 presented the perfect opportunity for Freeman to challenge the EatGR community.

The Ride, hosted and operated in West Michigan by Sea to Sea, is a charity event where participants ride a bicycle for 3, 15, or 30 miles and designate the proceeds to one of the partner charities. Currently riders in West Michigan are raising money for:

  •  Access of West Michigan
  •  Association for a More Just Society
  • Bethany Refugee Services
  • Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank
  • Sea to Sea (an initiative of World Renew, Partners Worldwide, and the Reformed Church in America)
  • Team Beyond
  • The Hope Project

Freeman, who works as a REALTOR for his day job and is also a reporter for The Rapidian, will be riding for Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank, and the distance depends on the amount of money raised. If Team EatGR raises $1,500 he will ride 15 miles. If it raises $3,000 he will ride all 30.

“I’m looking forward to having fun with this,” Freeman said. “It’s for a great cause. It’s something that the EatGR community can do together to positively impact West Michigan.”

The ride is family-friendly and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to fundraise for a participating charity or pay a $25 registration fee.

"I hope we have a lot of people come out and support their charity of choice,"­­­­­­­­­­ said Terry Barnes, director of the West Michigan Ride. "With a three mile ride option, this is not just an event for serious cyclists. It's a chance to get out and do something with your family."

The event is still accepting riders, volunteers, and donations. Find out more information here.

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