[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Church of God provided a torch of encouragement for the families and cyclists riding for autism awareness and education at the sixth annual “Go the Distance for Autism” cycling event on May 31, 2015. Church of God volunteers really went the extra mile to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere at New Jersey’s largest charity autism cycling event, which took place at Bergen Community College in Paramus.

Event organizers and participants alike were impressed by the enthusiasm of the Church of God volunteers, who arrived as early as 5 a.m. to set up, and undertook various functions throughout the day. They helped with registration, parking, greeting, and serving food and beverages – but what captivated people the most was the Church of God’s cheering.

“We’re here to cheer, we’re here to win, so push that bike on till the end!” was one of the cheers heard at each checkpoint where riders could take a break or grab a refreshment.

Some volunteers even wore themed costumes. One volunteer in particular sported a renaissance outfit and a plastic light saber while yelling, “We are proud of you, we are proud of you!” Cyclists couldn’t help but smile when they passed by.

“It takes a huge effort to put on this event,” said Chantelle Walker, Director of Development for Alpine Learning Group. “We have never had a volunteer effort like this Church group. We’re stunned. We really are completely stunned about how wonderful they are.”

Alpine Learning Group was one of four behavioral and educational autism programs that benefitted from the funds raised. Walker had nothing but positive remarks about the Church of God’s volunteer service to support Alpine Learning Group and the entire autism awareness community.

“I can tell that you all live out your mission,” Walker said to the Church of God volunteers. “I’ve had comments from people here today, that they feel a different feeling than in years past. They felt welcomed and appreciated and supported so I just want to say thank you for all of that.”

Just as the cyclists pushed themselves to complete the circuit from start to finish, remembering the cause they’re riding for, the Church of God volunteers were present from the beginning to the end of the event to share love and inspire the families with autistic individuals. And because of the heartfelt concern of the Church of God members, families felt comforted on this day, a day dedicated to their loving ones with autism.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”11186″ border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” interval=”3″ images=”11190,11189,11188″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” img_size=”110″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]