Electric Cooperatives host “Ride Across South Carolina” to raise awareness for heart disease

October 25, 2021

The Electric Cooperative Ride Across South Carolina is a seven-day, 648-mile ride with stops at 18 cooperatives. Starting on October 25th in the Upstate and ending in the Low Country on November 2nd, 20 cyclists will make their way through the state building awareness for heart disease and offering heart screenings to more than 2,000 electric cooperative employees.

The ride was established in memory of Brian Kelley, former President of Pee Dee Electric Cooperative, after his untimely death from undetected heart disease. A CrossFit athlete and avid golfer, Kelley died from a heart attack in 2017. The ride, also dedicated to all cooperative employees who have been impacted by heart disease or stroke, aims to build awareness for heart disease and provide preventative education for cooperative employees.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. with more than 800,000 people dying annually. According to the American Heart Association, S.C. has the 14th highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the country. Many of those deaths could have been prevented through early detection and education. For more information on heart disease and prevention, visit www.heart.org.

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Clemson University’s Rural Health Initiative will bring the statewide program, Healthy Me – Healthy SC, to each cooperative along the cycle route. The Healthy Me – Healthy SC initiative will provide heart screenings and education for all of the electric cooperative employees. Employees will also receive access to a blood pressure screening, and Body Composition Screening with an individualized nutrition plan.

The American Heart Association, also a statewide partner, will be onsite providing heart and stroke education.

“We are grateful for the incredible support we have received for the Electric Cooperative Ride Across South Carolina,” said James Chavez, CEO of the South Carolina Power Team and event organizer. “As front-line workers are critical to keeping our system up and running, it is important that our employees are heart-healthy. It is also an opportunity to set an example for the members we serve.”

The Electric Cooperative Ride Across South Carolina’s major sponsors are AFL, First Advantage Bank and CBRE, as well as a large number of other corporate partners. All remaining funds will be donated to the American Heart Association and Clemson’s Rural Health Initiative.

2021 Electric Cooperative Ride Across S.C. route:

Day 1 – October 25 (94 miles):
Blue Ridge (Pickens), Laurens/New Horizon (Laurens), Little River (Abbeville)

Day 2 – October 26 (101 miles):
Broad River (Gaffney), York (York), Lynches River (Pageland)

Day 3 – October 27 (71 miles):
Fairfield (Blythewood), Newberry (Newberry), Mid-Carolina (Lexington)

Day 4 – October 28 (84 miles):
Berkeley (Moncks Corner), Santee (Kingstree), Sumter

Day 5 – October 29 (85 miles):
Black River (Sumter), Horry (Conway)

Day 6 – November 1 (116 miles):
Central (Columbia), Tri-County (St. Mathews), Coastal (Walterboro)

Day 7 – November 2 (97 miles):
Edisto (Bamberg), Palmetto (Ridgeland)