OneEighty’s Break the Cycle raises funds, awareness

OneEighty’s Break the Cycle raises funds, awareness

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On Saturday, Aug. 27, both Wayne and Holmes counties will host bike rides and walks to celebrate recovery and promote wellness. OneEighty’s annual Break the Cycle event will offer three bike routes, a Holmes County Trail bike ride and two 5k walks.

“In 2011 an auxiliary group for OneEighty wanted to create an event that was focused on wellness and education,” said Christy VanSickle, OneEighty’s community relations manager and co-chair of Break the Cycle. “The event was an opportunity to bring people together to cycle while also providing community education on the challenges and treatments of the disease of addiction, promoting prevention, and assisting in fundraising as a way to supplement the costs associated with treatment and recovery.”

Break the Cycle’s tag line — “Recovery is a Ride, Not a Race” — was created with the notion the event would not be a race, said Stefan Garcia, a longtime OneEighty volunteer and an avid cyclist who is in charge of the routes. “We wanted a healthy, family-friendly event that could bring people and businesses together in the community to support a good cause,” he said.

Participants can choose among three different route lengths and difficulty levels for a bike ride, Garcia explained, or they can walk. Individuals and groups participate simply to support the cause and enjoy the event.

“Or they can walk in support of a loved one struggling with addiction or in recovery,” Garcia said.

Cyclists choose between three routes: 24 miles, 50 miles or 70 miles. Walking options include a 5k walk through downtown Wooster or a Holmes County Trail walk. Detailed information regarding routes and starting times may be found at

After cycling or walking, participants are invited to share a provided lunch that’s included in the cost of registration.

“Each year this event puts significant dollars back into programming at OneEighty, which helps people living with addiction change their lives,” said Brenda Linnick, a community volunteer with OneEighty. “Additionally, this event celebrates those who have been able to successfully regain a healthy lifestyle and memorializes those who lost their lives to substance abuse. It also reminds our community that the journey is not a race, but a consistent ride towards sobriety.”

“The concept and tag line speak to me personally,” Break the Cycle volunteer Susie Slack said. “Breaking the stigma of addiction is key to recovery.”

VanSickle said, “The nation as well as our community continue to be affected by substance-use disorder and addiction. Whether a family member, loved one, friend or co-worker, most people know someone who has asked for help or might have been lost to the disease.”

The cost to ride or walk is $40 or $35 to participate virtually with advance registration. The day of the event cost is $45. Children age 12 or under accompanied by an adult may walk for free.

The 24-, 50- and 70-mile bike rides and 5k Wooster Downtown Walk will begin and end at the fairgrounds’ Buss Hall, 199 Vanover St., Wooster. The Holmes County Trail Bike Ride and 5k Trail Walk will begin at Hipp Station, 62 N. Grant St., Millersburg.

Lunch will be provided on the trail at Hipp Station, or participants are welcome to have lunch at Wayne County Fairgrounds after their ride.

The event will be held rain or shine. Any schedule changes on the day of the event due to weather will be communicated the day before by email and on the day of the event at check-in.

Details and registration can be found at, on Facebook at and at Participants also may register in person Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the OneEighty main office, 104 Spink St.

Individuals or teams are invited to participate.

“A team is friends, family, co-workers, committees, house of worship groups, et cetera,” VanSickle said, “and may be formed to support someone who is in recovery or remember someone who that group lost to the disease of addiction. The team can be a combination of cyclists or walkers and are welcome to wear a shirt celebrating their team.”

Teams with 10 or more members receive a participation discount.

Break the Cycle would not be possible without the participation of a variety of individuals, groups and businesses. VanSickle said the Mathur family is a legacy sponsor and founding member of the event, Wayne Insurance Group has been a title sponsor, and Smucker’s is a new title sponsor this year.

“The event continues to evolve each year, not only by adding additional events for people to participate in, but in bringing more education to the event,” VanSickle said. “This year we will have people share their story of recovery. We will be celebrating those in recovery while also remembering those we lost to the disease.”

Information concerning resources at OneEighty will be available along with information about Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Heroin Anonymous.

Duane (last name withheld) is a OneEighty recovery coach who grew up in a home with alcoholic parents. He learned about the chemical dependency counselor assistant certification at an AA meeting.

“I hope you will come out and publicly celebrate your accomplishment,” he said. “This is your chance to be an inspiration to someone else. Stand up and let others know that recovery gives you a life. And if you know someone who didn’t win this battle, don’t let their life be lost in vain. Find something positive in this tragedy.”

“It may take someone 999 times to get it,” said Sam (last name withheld), a peer recovery coordinator for OneEighty.

It was a DUI that started Sam’s recovery journey. After retiring, he went back to school for an associate degree and made a connection with OneEighty.

“Don’t give up on yourself. It is possible to free yourself,” Sam said. “I encourage other people to come out and ride with me to celebrate their own recovery success. You never know who is watching in the wings. If they see you, maybe they too will take the first step to get help.”