In fall 2012, Rick Martinek and his wife, Robin, embarked on a seven-day bicycle trip from Minneapolis to Green Bay, Wisc., arriving in time to watch the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Along the way, they gathered donations for a Minnesota charity, Moms and Neighbors.
The Martineks are set to do it again, but they hope to get some interstate competition going along the way.
In addition to Moms and Neighbors, the couple plans to accept donations for the Wisconsin-based Paul’s Pantry. The couple also has a side bet going: If Minnesota residents donate more than Wisconsin residents, Robin will wear a Minnesota Vikings uniform complete with helmet for one quarter of the game, and if Wisconsinites donate more than Minnesotans, Rick will don a Green Bay Packers uniform for one quarter.
The pair — she’s a Packers stockholder and he’s a Minnetonka native and Viking fan — will leave from the site of the old Metrodome in Minneapolis at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 8, and arrive at Lambeau Field on Sunday, Sept. 14, at noon for the Packers-New York Jets game. The Martineks plan to average about 45 miles per day. They encourage other bikers to join them along the route — or at least the last 18 miles from Pulaski to Green Bay.
“Wouldn’t it be magical to have 100 to 1,000 bikers join us for the last stretch up Lombardi Avenue?” Rick says. To join the ride, call him at 952.238.1700.
The Martineks chose to promote Moms and Neighbors and Paul’s Pantry because the organizations help eliminate hunger and use 100 percent of the money they receive to help the needy. They hope the Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry will generate some big donations. To make a pledge, visit www.momsandneighbors.org. or www.paulspantry.org.
Moms and Neighbors is an Eagan, Minn.-based nonprofit organization that works through schools and community organizations to identify mothers and families in need. The organization creates “care packages” of food, clothing, auto repair other needs. Gifts are made anonymously, and 100 percent of the money raised is used to fund the care packages. Since its start in 2009, Moms and Neighbors has provided more than $75,000 in assistance.
Paul’s Pantry was founded in 1984 by the late Leo Frigo, president of Frigo Cheese. The organization collects edible but unsaleable foods from businesses and distributes it to Wisconsin residents who need it. More than 93,000 volunteer hours were recorded at the food shelf last year; more than 60,000 hours were donated by recipients who, in turn, gave their time at the food shelf.