Compassion's Foundation

The Pedals for Compassion bike ride held on June 20 was a success raising about $16,000 for Compassion’s Foundation and bringing in revenue to the city of about $8,000.

The Compassion’s Foundation helps battered and abused people get back on their feet after being in unhealthy and often dangerous relationships.

Margaret West, board president of Compassion’s Foundation, said the money raised by the second annual biking event came from the 142 riders who signed up. The money raised for Magnolia was done by bringing in out of town guests for the ride who needed a place to stay at motels or RV parks and to eat while they were in town for the race.

Large clusters of riders came in from Shreveport and Little Rock and there were other riders from Dallas as well.

“Compassion’s Foundation is a member of the community and through our fund raisers our goal is to support and benefit the community that is supportive of us. An estimate of local revenue returned to community businesses from the event of June 20th is approximately $8,000.

“Participants staying in hotels and RV parks, food and beverages provided a local spend of approximately $3,000. In addition, the Magnolia A&P provided the bicycle ride committee with a sponsorship of $5,000. These funds were returned to the local merchants of Magnolia through purchases for expenses related to the bike ride,” West said.

In a letter to a sponsor explaining the success of the event, West explained some of what Compassion’s can do because of the money it raised in this event.

“Your support of this event enables Compassion’s Foundation to continue the delivery of vital emergency shelter for victims of domestic abuse and violence. In addition to emergency shelter, we assist with the purchase of groceries, gas, and prescription medicines,” West wrote. “To help our clients become self-sufficient we assist in employment applications, legal services, referrals to mental health and addiction counseling, appointments to address health issues, and procurement of housing and furnishings.

Advocates trained to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence are available 24/7 to answer Hot Line calls, placement of clients, and help with emotional support in the transition to improving their lives.

West also explained that while the shelter receives money from state and federal funding, these grants do not meet the total costs of maintaining the shelter.

“The 2020 budget requires a local cash match of $65,000. The cash needed for the match is raised through local grants, individual and corporate giving, and fund raisers such as the Pedals for Compassion,” West said.

Debbie Martin, executive director of Compassion’s Foundation, said the money raised by Pedals for Compassion will help with every day and unexpected expenses.

“This will help with utility bills, grocery bills and to buy clothing. It really depends on the situation but our donations this year are way down because of COVID plus we lost $6,000 when the County Fair was canceled. This was one of our fundraisers,” Martin said. “This will help replace money from the county fair and also help with money not coming in from other donations.”

Martin said COVID-19 had impacted the shelter in so many ways that the bike race money was a godsend. Recently the shelter’s air conditioning had to be replaced at a cost of $5,000. Half of it will be paid for with a grant, but the other money will come from dollars earned back in June during the race.

Costs for registration at the race are $65 per rider on the day of the race and $55 for pre-registered riders. Family rides are $35 per family. Martin said she hopes the word keeps spreading about how great Magnolia’s bike ride and next year is even better.

“Next year if the virus gets over then maybe we could even double next year and have 280 riders or something,” she said. ‘If word gets around that’s a good thing. Hopefully, they will encourage others to come back.”

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