Bike-A-Thon Brothers

Wesley Haddox, left, and his brother Payton were among more than 75 participants in the 2013 Wheels for Wheels Bike-A-Thon. The event was held Saturday, May 11, at the riverfront trail. More than $5,600 was raised at the event. Proceeds will benefit the Washington Jaycees All-Abilities Park, which is currently under construction near Lions Lake. Missourian Photo.

The Wheels for Wheels Bike-A-Thon team has again surpassed its fund-raising goal, raising more than $5,600 for the Washington Jaycees All-Abilities Park.

The event, which is in its third year, is organized by five local girls ages 11 to 13.

The team includes Sophie Straatmann, St. Francis Borgia Grade School; Maggie Westhoff, St. John’s-Gildehaus; Justine Huellinghoff, Washington Middle School; Britney Harriman, Our Lady of Lourdes; and Ellie Scheer, New Haven R-II School.

The girls had set a goal of $3,000 — the remainder needed to purchase the centerpiece of the park, a $15,000 climbing rock.

Last year the girls raised about $7,000.

About 75 cyclists attended the bike-a-thon, said Julie Straatmann, Sophie Straatmann’s mom.

“I want to thank the community for being so supportive of these young girls with a big goal in their minds,” she said, adding that she is proud of the girls.

The top fund-raiser, Ryan Kassebaum, was awarded four Cardinals tickets in the Red Bird Club.

Sophie Straatmann said she’s proud to organize the event because it’s something not a lot of kids have the opportunity to do.

The all-abilities park is currently under construction near Lions Lake and will be a place where children of all abilities can play side by side. Three of the five organizers have a sibling who will benefit from the park.