The 17th annual five-day ride in Florida symbolizes the commitment these young men have to their physical, mental, and spiritual growth
(SOUTHEAST GEORGIA/CENTRAL FLORIDA) PAYH, a fully accredited and licensed program offering a second chance to young men in crisis, continues its 60th-anniversary celebration with the 17th Annual Bike Ride. Over the course of five days, July 18-22, five young men from the Home will travel over 350 miles by bicycle on routes along the eastern coastline of central Florida, with a home base in Flagler Beach.
The event commemorates a foundational moment in the history of the Paul Anderson Youth Home. At its founding in 1961, the former Olympic gold-medal winner Paul Anderson hopped on a bicycle and rode from Vidalia, Ga., 1,200 miles to Omaha, Neb. He did this for the same reasons the five boys do it today, to raise funds and awareness of the mission to give troubled young men a second chance through Christ. Now 60 years later, the Paul Anderson Youth Home celebrates more than 1,400 lives changed through a process of recovery, restoration, and redemption.
“This bike ride continues to be one of the Home’s greatest traditions,” said Glenda Anderson Leonard, Co-Founder & President of the Paul Anderson Youth Home. “It is so inspiring to see these young men train, set goals, and then have the satisfaction of reaching them.”
Each rider strives to overcome emotional problems, bad decisions and spiritual challenges. This is symbolized in the physical fortitude to travel such distances. Anderson, a world-class athlete, stressed physical fitness as one component of honoring God. (The endurance needed to achieve these feats honors his lessons of how keeping your body physically fit is as important as exercising the mind, filling it with positivity and prayer.)
“Paul was extremely focused on Jesus Christ, physical fitness, and prioritized it in his life. These young men are honoring his legacy by taking on such a challenging week of cycling long distances,” said Anderson Leonard. “Our hope is that this ride instills self-confidence and Christian character into their everyday lives.”
To learn more about the Paul Anderson Youth Home and family resources, visit payh.org.
Founded in 1961 by weightlifting world champion and Olympic gold medalist Paul Anderson and his wife, Glenda, the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH) is a Christian residential program, with an on-campus school for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling in the areas of behavioral problems, and issues of discipline, anger, and depression. PAYH is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In addition to counseling and character development, PAYH offers an accelerated learning program enabling residents to graduate with a high school diploma and technical certifications. To date, over 1,400 young men have attended the program. The Home is located at 1603 McIntosh St. in Vidalia, GA. To learn more about PAYH, call (912) 537-7237 or visit www.payh.org.