Mark Bottom of Imperial, a social studies teacher and coach at Chase County Schools, has committed to the Pedal for Alz 2018 ride next month. CCS senior Kalen Wallin is working with the program as a volunteer intern through his FBLA chapter. (Johnson Publications photo)

Mark Bottom peddling again for Alzheimer’s research

    He had such a great experience last year, Mark Bottom is going to peddle again for Alzheimer’s disease research.
    After participating in the 2017 Pedal for Pat, a tribute to longtime Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt who died fighting the disease, he’s going to do it again next month.
    This time, the fundraising effort will give riders options besides taking part in the full 1,098 mile ride. In addition to a one-day 65-mile ride at the University of Tennessee, where Summitt coached, cyclists can also take part in six or five-day rides.
    That option attracted Bottom, and he will take part in the final five days of the ride Oct. 12-17 for about 550 miles, he said.
    “I was asked to do the whole ride again, but time commitments this year” didn’t allow that, he said last week.
    Last year’s 1,098 mile ride happened to be scheduled during fall break at Chase County Schools, where he teaches social studies and coaches, so it was a little easier to take that much time off.
    He’ll still miss four to five days of school this year, he said.
    With half the number of miles this year, Bottom said he’s also cutting his fundraising goal in half, from $10,000 to $5,000.
    That’s where CCS senior Kalen Wallin will be a big help, Bottom said.
    Wallin has signed on as a volunteer intern through the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter at CCS, which is partnering with businesses on special projects.
    His role with the Pedal for Alz 2018, as it’s known this year, will include research for the organization, as well as local assistance to Bottom. In his local role, Wallin is helping coordinate the special fundraising events to meet Bottom’s $5,000 goal.
    He’s already done a lot of research on bike shops and the colleges/universities on the Pedal for Alz 2018 route from Knoxville, Tennessee (where Summitt coached) to Dayton, Florida.
    In addition, Wallin is researching local Alzheimer’s Association chapters along the way so members can be informed about the cyclists’ route through their communities, and possibly take part in the day rides.

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