On Saturday, Sept. 24, the MI Windows and Doors support center in Harrisburg, Pa., will serve as a rest stop on the “Loneliest Road North American Tour,” sponsored by the VEKA Group. In doing so, the company will host a group of cyclists raising money and awareness for suicide prevention.

As part of the event at the MI support center, officials from mental-health organizations will be on hand to distribute literature and answer questions about suicide prevention. At the same time, the MI Foundation will provide outdoor games, music and food trucks.

“We’re excited to partner with VEKA for the Loneliest Road tour,” said MI Foundation specialist Gwen Mallon. “We jumped at the opportunity to be a participating sponsor and host these cyclists because this is such an important issue that impacts so many people.”

The Loneliest Road tour has iterations in both the United States and Europe. The 2022 American event kicks off on Sept. 24, with riders departing from Newark, N.J., and heading to Harrisburg, where they are scheduled to arrive at the MI support center between 4-4:30 p.m. They will then enjoy a short rest and take part in the festivities before getting back on the road. The ride concludes in San Francisco on Monday, Oct. 10, which is World Mental Health Day. The American leg of the tour travels through the heart of the country, much of it on U.S. Route 50, which is often called the “Loneliest Road in America.”

Altogether, the cyclists on both sides of the Atlantic will travel more than 50,000 miles. The European tour begins on Sept. 10 – World Suicide Prevention Day – in Spain and concludes nine days later in Germany.

“This is going to be a great event,” Mallon said. “Everyone will have the opportunity to learn about mental health and give the cyclists a pat on the back for their dedication to this cause.”

Originally known as “Kelly’s Heroes bike ride” in England, the Loneliest Road tour was created by the “We Mind & Kelly Matters” charity. The initial tour in 2020 raised nearly $100,000 for mental-health awareness in the United Kingdom. Organizers request that financial donations be made to local chapters of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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