If you’ve seen a man pedaling down Cherry Street in Eau Claire over the last 17 years, it was most likely Everson.
You might never meet a man that loves biking as much as Everson.
Over the years, he’s turned that love into a fight against childhood hunger in the Chippewa Valley.
“Well what do you want to bike for,” Larry Everson recalled. “If you can bike, why don’t you bike for charity?”
“It was the holy spirit using my voice. Feed My People. Okay, we will bike for Feed My People,“ he said.
Everson has been pedaling for years to help thousands in the Chippewa Valley and today a local church hosted an event to continue his traditions. While Everson may not ride as many miles in his later years, that does not mean he plans on stopping.
“I’m 72. I just love biking. I want to go and never come back, but I’ve got doctors’ appointments, so I can’t do that.“
In 2002, Everson began a fundraiser called Biking For Bread in which he would ride around town looking for donations in which he’d then give to Feed My People. Within six months of starting, he had ridden 2,500 miles and raised $2000 for the nonprofit organization. A number that only continued to grow to thousands of miles and dollars donated today.
Larry has ridden over 75,000 miles for Feed My People. That’s about three times around the world. He’s done it all, without leaving the Chippewa Valley. Sunday, several locals continued Larry’s efforts with an event in his honor at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.
“I don’t think people fully appreciate all the effort that he’s gone through to do that. When you hear the numbers it’s just wow, how can someone ride a bike that far,” said Larry Lundbled, a member of St. Johns. “When he ties it in with the fundraising and for a good cause like this, it makes it a very rewarding experience for everyone involved.“
Over the last 17 years, Everson has found a few favorite places to ride.
“It doesn’t matter where I pedal. I can bike on Cherry Street; I biked in the Forest Hill Cemetery. The Chippewa trail is my favorite.“
All the money raised goes toward Feed My People’s “Weekend Kids Meal Plan Program.” While you might not see Larry pedaling around as much, he’ll always be known as…
“They call me ‘The Great Ambassador’. Everybody who sees me out riding my bike says ‘there’s the great ambassador for Feed My People going by.“