Visiting cyclists raise funds for HR United Way

A group of bicyclists will ride through Hood River this week as part of a nationwide fundraiser for local United Way organizations.

Riders are participants in the Riding the Line bike relay sponsored by Williams Gas Pipeline, an international energy firm based in Tulsa, Okla. They are riding between Sumas, Wash., and Salt Lake City, Utah, in order to raise money for United Way organizations along the route of one of the company's natural gas pipelines.

The riders, who will be in the Hood River area Thursday and Friday, will visit the Columbia Gorge Center and try to help raise awareness about other United Way services in the community.

Contributors can sponsor riders. Checks are written directly to Hood River County United Way, but sent to Williams first. For every new dollar that comes into the local United Way, Williams matches it.

"If you didn't give to United Way last year, your contribution would be doubled," said a United Way spokesperson. "If you increase your contribution, the increase would be doubled." For more information, contact Chris Calvert of Williams Gas Pipeline in Vancouver, Wash., at (360) 687-3156 or Rosie Thomas-Wiley of Hood River County United Way at 352-7000. Contributions can also be made online at: www.ridingtheline.com.

This is the third annual Riding the Line fundraiser, but the first time for the event on the West Coast. Last year, the same ride on the East Coast became the single biggest fundraising event for United Way nationwide.

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