JC Van Deventer
A nationally ranked rider hit the pavement hard ahead of Jackson County CASA’s Bright Lights for Kids event in September.
The inspiration came from a local cyclist (Charles Criniere) who was tragically killed while riding his bike last August.
On June 2nd, Cyclists were hard at work in the heat of the day. JC Van Deventer started riding just after midnight. He said each lap means something important.
Van Deventer shouted on his bike “1,217 laps to go!”
He ended up tackling 2,328 laps. That number represents every child in the Kansas City area who received support last year from CASA volunteers — Court Appointed Special Advocates who help children experiencing abuse and neglect.
“There are faces and names for each lap, and that matters,” Van Deventer said, “and it’s frustrating that it’s not more laps for every child in the area, but then it’s also frustrating that it’s not less laps and that we don’t kids in these situations.”
Jackson County CASA said more than 1,900 children are abused every day.
Van Deventer wants to help “brake the cycle”.
Over the years, he’s opened up his home to 120 foster children. This year he’s doing something a little different — organizing the Bright Lights for Kids Bike Ride and 5K.
Athletes are coming in from across the country to ride anywhere from 10 miles to 200 kilometers.
The event is inspired by Charlie Criniere, a father of 10 who was killed last year while riding his bike.
“This is exactly what was in Charlie’s heart,” Van Deventer said.
Criniere’s widow, Megan, said he was in the court system growing up and was given a scholarship — that’s how he became a teacher, impacting so many kids’ lives for the better.
“Any form of advocating for kids, that was his heart. So, he would have loved this,” Widow Megan Criniere said. “We reap the benefits of that of what was poured into him, and so did hundreds of kids.”
Van Deventer said that’s who this is about — the kids. And any difficulty he faces on his 24-hour journey, he said it doesn’t compare to the adversity he believes these kids will overcome.
“The challenge for me is nothing. The challenge that these kids go through is hard to quantify,” Van Deventer said. “So, you just do another lap.”
The Bright Light for Kids event is Sept. 16 at Longview Lake. Van Deventer said 100% of the proceeds from the event go to Jackson County CASA.
To get involved with CASA in your county, visit Bright Lights Ride.
Bright Lights for Kids registration is now open! 2,328 laps for every child in foster care in the KC area who were fortunate enough to have the support of CASA and the CASA Volunteers. Unfortunately, so many in foster care in our area don't get the support
4 television news crews
26 amazing cycling friends
several gallons of water
midday stomach issues (apparently, my body decided it was a good to to cleanse)
soaked from a thunderstorm slippery when wet
bar traffic 2 nights in a row
tight corner speed eating 4,656 times the
forget riding 254 miles on the Katy in a day
Saw temps as high as 103 degrees
forget Everesting in under 24hrs with no prepare and a height to weight ratio not designed for such a thing,
forget finishing Unbound,
forget finishing MidSouth on my old Schwinn... this was the most challenging ride I've done!
Thanks to everyone who supported. Sign-up at BrightLightsforkids.org!