Tom Nickel is on a roll.

He works hard to keep the faith and keep the momentum going for ADEC.

Tom raised more than $5,000 in donations for the 43rd annual ADEC Ride-A-Bike May 16, making him the Top Adult fundraiser for the ninth consecutive year.  He and other top pledge-raisers were celebrated Thursday, June 11, during a Ride-A-Bike Awards Luncheon at Antonio’s Italian Restaurant in Elkhart.

  • Zeke Ramer, 4, the Top Youth fundraiser, brought more than $500 to Ride-A-Bike. He’s the youngest youth winner in 10 years. Zeke received a bicycle donated by the Elkhart Bicycle Shop for his prize.
  • Missy Mast and her team, In Memory of Mike Scisson, took the Top Team prize for raising more than $4,500 in donations. Missy and her team received VIP tickets to a South Bend Cubs game donated by FlexPAC of Elkhart. Missy, the barista at ADEC’s Gaining Grounds coffee shop in Goshen, also won the team prize last year.
  • The Hawthorne Indians from Hawthorne Elementary School received the Spirit of Ride-A-Bike Award for exhibiting the true spirit of the event – fun and camaraderie. This is the second year the Spirit of Ride-A-Bike Award has been given, in memory of Larry Bontrager, a former vice president of ADEC. The Hawthorne kids have been coming to Ride-A-Bike for seven years.

Tom and his family have been participating in Ride-A-Bike for 20 years, ever since their youngest daughter, Faith, was born with Down syndrome. The family’s RAB team, Keeping the Faith, was easy to spot on the course as they all wore matching purple T-shirts.

“When we knew my daughter was going to be born with Down’s, we got involved because ADEC offers a lot of services for new parents and information and really services from birth on to adulthood,” Tom told a reporter from The Goshen News during an interview at Ride-A-Bike.

Besides being the top fundraiser for Ride-A-Bike, Tom also serves as a new member of ADEC’s Board of Directors and as an event sponsor through his business, Star Tire & Brake.

The 2015 Ride-A-Bike, ADEC’s largest community fundraiser, brought in more than $30,000 to help fund services and supports to children, adults and families living with the challenge of disabilities.

The Top 10 fundraisers this year were Tom Nickel, Missy Mast, Kent Krussemeyer, Drew Lincoln, Cary Kelsey, Amy Keerl, Chris Gibson, Zeke Ramer, Stephen Lang and Cindy Miller, each one raising $500 or more for ADEC.

“Every year we are overwhelmed by the effort you give and the response you get,” Nancy Miller, Mission Advancement Manager, told the award winners during the luncheon. “The heart of Ride-A-Bike still comes from those $1, $5 and $10 pledges, all adding up to make a huge impact for ADEC.”

Article by Nancy Miller | Mission Advancement Manager /

Photo by Rod Tackett | Communications Specialist