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Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Holt
About Ride for a Child

Ride for a Child (RFAC) is Candlelighters biggest, and longest running fundraiser. The cyclists who ride and fundraise are a super-dedicated group of volunteers. In this case, volunteering means miles of training to prepare for the weeklong Cycle Oregon Classic ride that covers about 400 miles – while sleeping in tents. Now that’s dedication! It’s heartwarming to see the group grow through generations of riders.

Mary Holt, one of the newest and youngest cyclists explains what it’s all like.

Q: How long have you been cycling? How long with RFAC?
I was introduced to both cycling and RFAC at the same time. I first got on a bike in August 2022, just in time to join the RFAC crew at Cycle Oregon in September. I don’t know what cycling would be like without RFAC and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Q. What got you interested in RFAC?
I was recruited by other RFAC riders – my dad (Greg Holt), Tim Leslie, and Sarah Breece all encouraged me to give cycling a try and I am so glad I did! My dad has done Cycle Oregon with RFAC for a number of years, but I was drawn to the RFAC community and wanted to be a part of it when I met Sarah. It was refreshing to see another woman in the group who was also giving cycling a try; she encouraged me and made me feel like I could do it, too.

Q. What has been your favorite thing re. RFAC? What’s been challenging?
My favorite part of RFAC is being part of a team. It is inspiring and empowering to be part of a group that has a common goal, especially one that feels so important. RFAC has given me purpose and community among others who are also passionate about supporting families and children who are impacted by cancer.

Q. How do you train?
Most days I hop on my bike after work and do a few quick miles on the Spring Water Corridor or waterfront. My favorite way to train is by joining other RFAC riders for as many group rides as possible. On the weekends I will often train with my mom and dad who also love to cycle and explore new routes with me.

Q .Do you have a favorite place to ride?
My favorite place to ride is the Riverview Cemetery – it’s a beautiful and peaceful climb in the shade with a great view at the top!

Q. What are you most looking forward to about this year’s ride?
This year I am looking forward to some epic coast views and spending time with my RFAC people! Cycling with my dad and the rest of the RFAC team was a blast last year, and I’ve been so excited to do it all again!

Are you interested in joining Ride for a Child as a rider or sponsor? Check out the RFAC website here.


Donor Spotlight

First Republic and Jeff Yandle

Jeff (pictured at Ride For a Child 2019, far right) serves as Treasurer on the Candlelighters Executive Board, and Sr. Director of Wealth Management at First Republic Bank. It will be his 10th year riding for Ride for a Child - that's dedication! Thank you Jeff, and...