Students Cheer On Ride 2 Recovery Participants

Students were on hand to cheer on the participants of the Ride 2 Recovery Gulf Coast Challenge yesterday with flags, signs, and goodie bags as they passed by local area schools.

“We received the information about Ride 2 Recovery from FADDS (the Florida Association of District School Superintendents),” said Superintendent Dr. Alexis Tibbetts who passed the information on to the schools located on the Challenge route.

Ride 2 Recovery is produced by the Fitness Challenge Foundation, in partnership with the Military and VA Volunteer Service Office, to benefit Mental and Physical Rehabilitation Programs for our country’s wounded veterans that feature cycling as the core activity. Ride 2 Recovery Challenges are multi day events that cover 350 – 450 miles. 

According to the Ride 2 Recovery website, a Challenge will push the participant to their limit, both physically and mentally. Paid participation in a full Challenge ride helps support the free participation of our injured veterans and includes a jersey, meals, and lodging.

Day four of the seven day Gulf Coast Challenge which began in New Orleans, took riders along the historic Gulf of Mexico all the way to Panama City, Florida before taking a left hand turn to the Apalachicola  National Forest and on to the State Capitol of Tallahassee.

Students and administrators from Florosa Elementary, Mary Esther Elementary, and Destin Middle School were on hand to wave flags and cheer on the Challenge participants as they passed through Okaloosa County.

Deputy Superintendent Kaye McKinley was asked to ride along with participants on the leg from Florosa Elementary School to the Ramada Inn Resort, where the race ended for the day.

“It was an honor to be riding amongst heroes!” said McKinley. “They are an inspiration to us all.  Everyone had the attitude of ‘let me help you keep going’ and they persevered until all had finished the ride with some more able riders backtracking to assist others especially as we came over the steep incline at Brooks Bridge!”

Fort Walton Beach High School students were on hand to thank participants with goodie bags as the crossed the day’s finish line. The bags contained items collected by Fort Walton Beach and Choctawhatchee High School leadership classes.

Special thanks to School Board member Cindy Frakes and American Realty for donating the flags for the kids to wave as the riders passed.

For more information on the Ride 2 Recovery Challenge, please visit


Florosa Elementary photos provided by Nick Tomecek, Northwest Florida Daily News. Click here to read the article featured in the Daily News.