The Right to Feel Wind in Your Hair

Nov 23, 2019 | Growing Our Communities

A group of community volunteers in Portage County is giving seniors the chance to feel the wind in their hair again. Individuals with limited mobility do not often have the opportunity to get out and experience the natural beauty of our community. Thanks to the work of Tori Jennings and the volunteers of Cycling Without Age Portage County, this population is experiencing the outdoors in a whole new way.

Cycling Without Age was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2012 to provide older adults and adults with differing abilities free bicycle rides in a trishaw. A trishaw is a rickshaw/tricycle hybrid, pedaled by a volunteer pilot trained in safety, storytelling and listening. Tori took her first trishaw ride in 2017 in Wisconsin; she knew instantly that she needed to bring Cycling Without Age to Portage County.

In order to raise awareness and financial support for the program, Tori knew local partnerships would be critical. The partnership with the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin provided a trusted source for donors to know their gifts would make a lasting impact. The support and direction Tori received through the partnership with the Foundation helped Cycling Without Age exceed their fundraising goals and launch their own nonprofit 501(c)3 organization in 2019.

Cycling Without Age is an asset to our community and an example of what can be accomplished through strategic partnerships with donors, volunteers and service organizations. The Community Foundation is proud to partner with generous community members to improve the quality of life in Central Wisconsin for all residents.

From the start, the Foundation believed in our mission and purpose. If we wouldn’t have had the Foundation’s support and guidance, I don’t think we would be as successful as we are today. We now have four trishaws and a trailer that allows us to transport three trishaws to various locations enabling us to serve the entire county.

We are so grateful for the support we have received from the Foundation, as well as the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Portage County, Copperleaf Senior Living, the Rotary of Greater Portage County, Portage County Can and the entire community.

Tori Jennings

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