For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Andrew Frankel, PIO, Berkeley Police Department, (510) 981-5881

COPS GET BACK IN THE SADDLE FOR FAMILIES IN NEED

Berkeley, California (Monday, September 07, 2009) - On Wednesday morning, September 9, 2009, 21 current and retired members of the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) and their guests will embark on the 26th Annual Turkey Ride.  This year’s fundraising event will take the cyclists and their 7-person support crew from Daly City to Cambria, Calif. (Hearst Castle).

This is the first time since the rides’ inception in 1983 that the start and final destination have changed. This year, riders will face 219 grueling miles, but without an entire day of climbing into the Sierras. 

According to one of the ride organizers, Sgt. Jennifer Louis, “We made the change to entice more novices who weren’t quite ready to sign up for the South Lake Tahoe climb. We plan on alternating between South Lake and a different destination from now on.”

In 1983 the inaugural Turkey Ride took place with seven BPD officers riding 216 miles from the Berkeley Police Department to Lake Tahoe in two and a half days. The group, working in partnership with the Berkeley Boosters Association, raised enough to buy 250 turkeys and other food items to give away to community members. Since then, support for the Turkey Ride has blossomed such that over 500 baskets are given away each year at Thanksgiving and the December holidays.

BPD officers nominate families in need to receive holiday baskets. Members of community groups along with BPD employees gather in front of the Ronald Tsukamoto Public Safety Building to assemble the baskets, and then deliver them to families throughout the city.

The Turkey Ride has become a wonderful tradition that has involved over 100 different participants over the course of 25 years, many of whom have ridden 10 years or more.

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