Team Samaritan House cycling team expands to raise $1 million for shelters of Catholic Charities of Denver
Denver (June 12, 2019) — When Team Samaritan House rider Luis Bernardez was diagnosed with brain cancer in December, he renewed his commitment to fundraise for those experiencing homelessness.
“I think what really made me want to do it this time was the fact that I was diagnosed,” said Bernardez, 57. “It became something that was very clear that there’s a certain time when I won’t be able to do this anymore because I’m going to die, basically. This kind of glioblastoma … you can’t really cure it. It just elevated everything up to the top that I want to do—to be part of something that is for charity rather than just myself.”
Bernardez, who is married to his wife Kellie, rides with some 66 other Team Samaritan House cyclists in Ride the Rockies from June 9-15 in Colorado. Over the past eight years, Team Samaritan House—the largest single team in The Denver Post’s annual cycling tour—has raised more than $500,000 for Catholic Charities’ homeless shelters throughout northern Colorado. The team is gearing up to raise an additional $500,000 to top $1 million in total donations.
“Our partnership with Ride The Rockies through The Denver Post Community Foundation has been a blessing to each rider and our ability to fundraise over $500,000 for Samaritan House,” said Tom Schwein, captain of Team Samaritan House. “We’ve welcomed more riders who want to support the homeless shelters while enjoying the camaraderie of the team.”
Bernardez has cycled for about 30 years and joined Team Samaritan House three years ago after a fellow rider invited him. The team started with six riders in 2000 and grew to more than 80 this year.
He said he’s had a series of chemotherapy and radiation treatments but is able to ride with the team.
“I’m a little tired or weak afterwards but other than that … I should be pretty good,” Bernardez shared before the ride. “The fact that I can raise money for Catholic Charities is a good thing.”
For more information and to support a Team Samaritan House rider, visit teamsamaritanhouse.com.
Nissa LaPoint, public relations manager