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Chuck Peterson – Why I Ride Project

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Why I Ride Project - Brent Dundore Photography

“I crew for Clare Housing.

Chuck Peterson (Executive Director – Clare Housing) 

This is my 5th year participating in the Red Ribbon Ride.

Why do you Red Ribbon Ride? I am continually inspired by the dedication, compassion and perseverance of our riders and crew members. It’s a wonderful way to meet people across the county and see old friends. I get to hear the amazing stories of family members and friends who have passed on and words of support and encouragement for the work of Clare Housing. The Red Ribbon Ride plays a critical role for the HIV community and for Clare Housing as we continue to provide affordable housing, supportive services and compassionate care to people living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota. 

What do you do away from the Red Ribbon Ride? I serve as Executive Director of Clare Housing.  I also have been offered the opportunity to serve on the board of directors of the National AIDS Housing Coalition working to ensure all people living with HIV in our country have access to quality, affordable and appropriate housing.

What is your favorite thing about the Red Ribbon Ride? Ride Out on the first day is probably my favorite, with the closing ceremonies being a close second. You get to see firsthand the raw emotion of coming together as a community and the power that gives us to not give up in the fight against HIV.

How were you introduced to Red Ribbon Ride? I actually have a long history with the AIDS Rides in Minnesota. I was the founding board president of the Twin Cities to Chicago AIDS Ride back in the mid-1990s. I actually rode my bike 400+ miles to Chicago that very first year. I was incredibly moved and that experience remains with me today.

What is one great memory you can share from your ride/crew experience in the past? I’m not sure I have just one. For me, it is an opportunity over four days to just be in the “moment”  …. to experience an amazing gathering of hundreds of people from all walks of life who have come together to remember and continue to fight for those living with HIV and those at risk of HIV.

What would you tell someone who is on the fence about joining our ride next year? Join us! You won’t regret this experience!

What person or group of people are you hoping to bring to the ride this next year? We are continuing to build Clare Team and always looking for new members to join us!  Our captain Chris Briggs is amazing …. He talks to anyone who will listen about the RRR and Team Clare. We currently have 11 members, and would love to have more! If you are looking for a fun team to join, consider talking to Chris!

What is your fundraising goal this year? Team Clare is hoping to raise $20,000 this year for the RRR.  I know we can do it, we have an amazing team put together that continually amazes me.  The team represents, staff, volunteers and friends of Clare Housing!

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our Red Ribbon Ride community? I am deeply humbled and eternally grateful for the support of this community. Many people who are riders and crew members of the RRR have been with us in the fight against HIV since day 1.  Your continued advocacy and support keeps HIV alive and reminds us all that this epidemic is not over and that many people still need support and services to manage the impact of living with this disease.  On behalf of the residents, staff and board of Clare Housing, we salute you and thank you for your support!

Donate to Chuck: HERE 

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