For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Jennifer Coats, Public Information Officer/BPD, (510) 981-5780
PEDALING FOR BERKELEY FAMILIES IN NEED
Berkeley, California (Tuesday, September 04, 2012) - Berkeley, California (Tuesday, September 4, 2012) – On Wednesday morning, September 5, 2012, 13 current and retired members of the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD), University of California Police Department (UCPD) and four support crew will embark on the 28th Annual Turkey Ride.
This year’s ride will have a small group of riders starting at Ronald T. Tsukamoto Public Safety Building in Berkeley riding to Daly City where they will meet a second group of riders, they will then travel over 210 miles finishing in the city of Cambria. Many of the riders use their own vacation time to participate in this event. The ride is in partnership with Berkeley Boosters/PAL, and includes our longtime sponsors Berkeley Rotary, Safeway and Greenleaf Produce.
The Turkey Ride was conceived in 1983 when three BPD officers rode their bikes from Berkeley to South Lake Tahoe. During the venture, they talked about developing a community service related project and involved other BPD officers. They ultimately decided that they would raise money to buy food and give it to Berkeley families in need during the November and December holiday seasons.
In 1985, the inaugural Turkey Ride took place with seven BPD officers riding 216 miles from the Berkeley police station to Lake Tahoe in two and a half days. The group raised enough money to buy 250 turkeys and other food items to give away to the community. Since, then, support for the Turkey Ride has blossomed so much that over 500 baskets are given away each year.
BPD officers submit names of families in need to receive holiday baskets. Members of community groups along with BPD employees gather in front of the Ronald T. Tsukamoto Public Safety Building to assemble the baskets, and then deliver them to families through the city during the Thanksgiving and Decembers holidays.
The Turkey Ride is a wonderful tradition that has involved over 1400 different participants over the years, many of whom have ridden 14 years or more.