Philadelphia resident Alli Dolan is no stranger to physical activity.
The 28-year-old played rugby for seven years and has trained in CrossFit.
And this summer, the La Salle University graduate will challenge herself again with the AIDS/LifeCycle bike ride in California.
Participants will ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles — about 545 miles — from June 2-8 to raise money and awareness about HIV/AIDS. Proceeds from the ride will go to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.
Dolan, who has been active in the LGBT community and identifies as a lesbian, recently started training for the event, but has biked for fun and participated in 5K races in the past.
“I started biking last summer casually with some friends on the weekends, but I really just started training in December,” she said.
She will host a fundraiser for the race from 5:30-8:30 p.m. March 8 at City Space Realty, 2200 Walnut St.
“Alli & Ginger’s 545-Mile Ride for AIDS” will include a silent auction and wine and cheese reception.
Dolan, who playfully named her bike “Ginger,” started planning for the fundraiser in January and said she was impressed by the support she has received.
“Within a week of launching the event, I had 10 different items to auction off. I am amazed at how giving everyone is. It has been great having the support.”
The auction will include a wide array of items up for bids, including bike-themed prizes from Bicycle Therapy.
Although the minimum amount of money individuals have to raise to participate in the race is $3,000, Dolan is shooting for $5,000.
“I want to make sure I can raise a little extra because it is for a good cause,” she said.
Dolan’s employer, Delaware Investments, has also been a big help in raising funds. She reached out to the agency’s fundraising committee within the company for guidance, which agreed to do a week’s worth of fundraising for her in the spring.
Although Dolan has not lost anyone to HIV/AIDS, her involvement with the LGBT community over the years has made her aware of the epidemic’s scourge.
Dolan also acknowledged the event will be a personal challenge.
“I love having different goals and this is an event where we are working toward a healthy community and lifestyle,” she said. “I enjoy the overall community aspect and it makes for a nice challenge.”
For more information on Dolan’s progress, visit www.tofighthiv.org/goto/allidolan.
From our media partners PGN-The Philadelphia Gay News.