AS a means of raising much-needed funds for the Aurora Special Care Centre, a local centre that caters for profoundly mentally and physically disabled children and adults, a total of 20 cyclists from Port Elizabeth will be partaking in the 100km Karoo to Coast MTB Race on September 24. The idea was initiated by cyclists Barry Allen and Niel van Vuuren.This after Allen, father to a five-year-old disabled daughter attending day school at Aurora, realised that the centre was in great need of financial assistance. “Together with Niel, we decided to approach some of our friends and challenged them to sign up for the 100km cycle race and at the same time raise funds through selling raffle tickets also in aid of the centre,” Allen said.Aurora is a non-profit organisation (NPO) that does not receive a government subsidy. As a result, the majority of the children cannot afford to pay their full fees, while some cannot even afford to pay anything at all. With the hope of raising R100 000, the cyclists have also been selling raffle tickets with prizes up for grabs which include weekend getaways, as well as vouchers from cycle stores. “Sumatran Coffee has also partnered up to develop a special Aurora filter coffee blend, where a percentage of all the sales will be donated to Aurora.” Training sessions in preparation for the race have varied among the group of cyclists. “The more serious riders have been training several times a week, while the social riders are planning on winging it for a cause,” cyclist Matt Allen explained.“It is always good and humbling to be able to support such good causes. “We have specifically chosen a large race so that we can meet people and network with them as a means of raising awareness for the local charity,” he said.He added that the cyclists will also get the opportunity of enjoying the water points while taking pictures of the scenery.The raffle draw is set to take place on September 22 at the Aurora Centre.