Saturday, October 23, 2021

Local priest rides for camp

Father Bennett readies for 115 mile trek. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Father Bennett readies for 115 mile trek. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Matt Walthour

Father Kyle Bennett is back on his bicycle. An injury suffered last August while hiking in Maine on the Appalachian Trail had sidelined the rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. After being relieved of an orthopedic boot, Father Bennett immediately got back on his bike to begin training for a 115 mile solo ride around Lake Okeechobee.

Father Bennett rides for Camp Able, a summer camp he created and continues to help direct in Parish, Florida. Each year the camp for persons with disabilities has seen growth in campers and staff, which also has increased expenses. Father Bennett has used his devotion to the camp and his love of outdoor activities to create challenges that keep him fit and provide opportunities to raise funds for Camp Able. Over the past couple years Father Bennett has completed swimming and stand-up paddle boarding around Key West, stand-up paddle boarding around Marco Island and an Ironman Triathlon all to raise over $60,000 for the camp.

This recent injury has restricted Father Bennett to bicycling as his only means of aerobic recovery. The solo ride scheduled for December 6, already has a pledge of up to $10,000 in matching funds. Island Bike Shop was glad to assist Father Bennett in a tune up to make sure his bicycle can go the distance. Father Bennett hopes to make the trek around Lake Okeechobee in less than eight hours. If you would like to contribute to Father Bennett’s ride for Camp Able you can visit the website, stop by St. Marks Episcopal Church or stop by the bike shop. Join me in support of our local rider in this worthy endeavor.

Matt Walthour, a Marco Island resident since 1985 is a graduate from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and is the owner of Island Bike Shop and Scootertown on Marco Island and Naples. He is also a member of the Marco Island bike path ad-hoc committee.

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