Cyclists ride more than 200 miles to honor fallen cyclist, announce fundraiser for CASA

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 6:36 PM CDT
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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (KCTV) - Nearly a year after a cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run in Lee’s Summit, his family and riding community are honoring his memory by raising money for a local cause.

In an Independence shopping center, JC VanDeventer rode lap after lap around a series of cones. The summer heat beat down on him and a few friends who joined him for a simple, yet grueling ride.

Each lap was around a tenth of a mile. They planned to complete 2,328 laps, or nearly 240 miles, by the end of the day. They’d been riding since midnight.

That number, 2,328, represented the cause VanDeventer hoped to support. Last year Jackson County CASA volunteers advocated for 2,328 children going through the family court system.

“CASA is a phenomenal organization,” VanDeventer said. “But, they don’t have enough volunteers, enough resources.”

VanDeventer is organizing an event to raise money for CASA in September. It will be called “Bright Lights for Kids.” The event will include a group ride and a 5k run. He is hoping to build on a ride he organized last year to support the family of Charles Criniere, a cyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run.

Criniere’s wife, Megan, said her husband was passionate about supporting children in need of help.

“He was a teacher for more than 15 years,” she said. “He just saw the impact of adults that invested in kids. It’s what he loved.”

VanDeventer had never met Criniere before his death. He said he hoped to continue advocating for cycling safety through the event. His long ride today launched the registration for the ride.

“It’s a way to honor Charlie and to offer the community something for kids who, in some ways, are the most disadvantaged,” he said.

Bright Lights for Kids will happen on Sept. 16.