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Local coach using biking event as fundraiser for local food pantry

Chris Wise will be doing a bike ride May 29 where he hopes to cross the 200-mile threshold as a fundraiser for the Crossroads Food Pantry.

The Picayune Memorial High School cross country and tennis coach held a similar biking fundraiser last year for the food pantry and was able to raise approximately $3,000.

This year he’s hoping to raise upwards of $5,000 for the organization as it deals with increased expenses and demand due to the pandemic.

There is a link on the Crossroads Food Pantry’s Facebook page where interested community members can go to pledge donations for the fundraiser.

Wise said several community members have pledged $1 per mile, which is why he’s hoping to exceed last year’s number.

“It’s to help fund that organization because they feed the needy and it’s a good thing. I really feel moved to do it, so I’m going to begin riding at daylight and finish when the daylight has gone and see how far I’ve gone,” Wise said.

Wise not only wants to support the organization because of its exemplary work in the community, but also because of a familial link.

“My mother, (Alise Wise), was a volunteer up there and she enjoyed being a part of that scene. She was an accountant and a staple in the community. I’m doing it in honor of her and for funding for the organization,” Wise said.

The pandemic has created all kinds of hardships, which is a reason why Wise wants to put on the fundraiser.

People need help, and organizations like the Crossroads Food Pantry provide a necessary service to keep locals fed.

Wise is doing a fundraiser for the second year in a row because he understands that right now is a time for the community to come together and help one another in any way possible.

“It obviously creates community awareness for the organization and creates a type of publicity for the organization. The things we do to help each other in our relationships with each other are very important and if somebody is willing to go out and sacrifice (some money) making sure that organization is up and running and feeding people, or do what I’m doing and suffering a bit, it’s important we do that,” Wise said.