For the Scott family, making a difference is a family affair.
Steve Scott embarked on his first Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour last year, training much of the year for the rigorous 300-mile, three-day cycling circuit from Traverse City to Marshall, MI. Last year’s ride was cut short by tragedy when a driver struck 5 cyclists, killing 2 and seriously injuring 3.
“Last year‘s event was surreal and cut short with the unfortunate tragedy of two riders being killed by a driver under the influence of drugs,” he said. “The course has changed this year for increased safety, but I am committed to completing the three-day ride.”
He’s excited to have his son by his side for the journey this time.
The Scotts both train intensively throughout the year and expect to put thousands of miles on their bikes in 2023.
“Three days at 100 miles each day requires comfortable riding positions, so you have to ride a lot beforehand,” Hayden Scott said. “It’s good to average 150-300 miles a week for training and around 3,000-5,000 miles for the year. My fitness is looking good for this year. I’m riding across the state in one day for the Coast-To-Coast Gravel Race, so that will be good preparation.”
Hayden said his health hasn’t always been as strong as it is now, which makes the mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation resound especially strongly with him.
“I have never suffered from terminal illness but I do know what it’s like to live with Ulcerative Colitis,” he said. “I have been in remission for over 5 years. I have lived through some dark times in regards to an unhealthy relationship with my body. Today, as a mental health clinician, I help people work through mental and physical struggles. So, an opportunity to help support others who suffer from physical illnesses means a lot. It’s hard to turn down participating in your hobby and helping people.”
“It's so inspiring to come into the rest stations and see the wish kids cheering us on,” his dad said. “You forget about your sore back and legs … it makes it easy to push on.”
Make-A-Wish Michigan helps grant transformational wishes to Michigan children with critical illnesses, shifting the focus from hospital stays, treatments and surgeries and opening up a world of possibilities — where the exciting anticipation of a wish-come-true helps wish kids believe in better days ahead. A wish replaces fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope at a time when a child needs it most.
The Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour is the single-largest fundraising event for the Michigan chapter. It started in 1987 with four friends who challenged each other to ride 300 miles from Canton to Mackinac. Affectionately known as WAM, this event has continued to grow from these humble beginnings into an amazing, heartwarming journey of dedicated cyclists and volunteers making transformational wishes come true for Michigan children battling critical illnesses.
“Wish kids are some of the bravest and sweetest kids you'll ever know,” Steve said. “They wish to meet their favorite TV star, become a firefighter, experience family time at a Lake Michigan cottage and create a lasting bond with a new furry best friend. Their innocence, resilience and unexpected wisdom stays with you. … I'm riding and fundraising so more deserving Michigan kids and their families can know the happiness, relief and renewal a wish can bring.”
You may have spotted Steve in several Ieuter Insurance Group billboards peppered throughout the Great Lakes Bay region. He’s the tall one towering over the three Ieuter family members pictured alongside him in these humorous billboards, which feature an additional panel above the standard billboard for Scott’s towering torso and upper body
Scott said he’s thrilled to be working for a company that’s so committed to supporting the community and encourages staff members to engage in volunteerism efforts. Not only have his teammates at Ieuter Insurance Group pledged their support, but our partners at Michigan Insurance have also donated $1,000 on Scott’s behalf.
“We’re fortunate,” he said. “We live in a great community and the community supports us, and it is important to give back. It’s hard to come up with a better cause than Make-A-Wish. This is something that you can really get behind.”
If you want to get behind the cause, too, and support the Scotts rides as a sponsor, visit https://makeawishmichigan.donordrive.com/participant/3623 and https://makeawishmichigan.donordrive.com/participant/3622. Even a penny a mile adds up. So far this year (as of July 6), Steve’s supporters had pledged over $2,400, Hayden’s had pledged over $1,100, and the Midland Flatliners team they’re a part of was nearing the $15,000 mark. Nearly $1million had been raised by all Michigan riders by early July.
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