VANCOUVER, Wash. — Two brothers will be cycling the entire length of the historic Route 66 highway, from Chicago to Santa Monica. It's nearly 2500 miles of cycling to raise money for a good cause. The brothers, Mark and Mike Roskam, are both in their 60's and avid cyclists.
They hope to raise $66,000 dollars for Open House Ministries. Mark is Chaplain at the long-term family homeless shelter. The money raised will help pay for expanding capacity and services at the shelter in Vancouver.
Mike Roskam is a local business owner, who cycled across the country for a fundraiser several years ago. He came up with Route 66 plan.
"I approached Mark about a year ago and just said, 'Hey what do you think about doing a fund raiser ride for Open House,' and so that just took some time for that to evolve," said Mike.
Mark quickly agreed, and after all the planning the brothers embark on their roughly 5-week journey on September 4th. They have 31 stops planned, and 2,488 miles to travel. They plan to take Sundays off. Their wives will be leading the way in a rented RV, and helping out with the trip.
"I said to them, I said, 'You can get us across the country, just keep the food beyond our reach,'" joked Mark.
But the big fundraising goal supports serious work. Open House Ministries serves homeless families by providing a year of rent-free living in its apartment building, along with recovery, vocational, child care and other services to break the cycle of homelessness.
"Over time in a controlled environment like this, a clean and sober environment, people change and they find peace and make peace and pull their lives together," said Mark.
"It's the thrill of a lifetime for me to spend time with my brother and his wife and of course my wife", said Mike. "But there's a real opportunity to bring some awareness to our community about what Open House is all about."
You can donate here and follow their journey here. No donation is too small; it can be per mile (a penny per mile is roughly $25 total, a dime is roughly $250 total) or single amount. All proceeds will directly benefit Open House Ministries. The Roskams will be covering all trip expenses of more than $10,000.
You can also support Open House Ministries by donating or doing business with its Wheel Deals bike shop.