July 21, 2010

Riding for Military Relief

A financier plans to bicycle from Indiana to Maine, raising money for soldiers and their families.

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - Luke Reinhard is used to getting up in the morning, going to the office and making money -- for himself and for others.

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Luke Reinhard's 1,000-mile fundraising ride stemmed from a desire to do more with his life than just pursue a career.

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Reinhard, 49, is a financial planner at Reinhard & Associates, a practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc.

He's done well for himself and for others, but lately has been feeling personally unfulfilled. He decided it was time to do something more with his life to help people who need assistance.

"I just felt it was time to make a change in my life. My business is a goal-driven business. We obsess over making money, and I guess I just realized that there are other things and other more important things. I used to do other things, but money became a pursuit in itself, and that's wrong," he said.

To achieve his goal, Reinhard this month plans to ride his bike 1,000 miles from Indiana to Maine. He's going to Indiana for a family reunion, and instead of driving or flying back, he's going to get on his bike and pedal across more than one-third of the country.

As part of his effort, Reinhard is raising money for the Maine Military Relief Fund, a nonprofit funding source for a spectrum of needs ranging from assistance with fuel bills to funeral expenses for Maine's military and their families.

Reinhard wants to support agencies that help military families who are dealing with deployment; that aid wounded soldiers as they transition to civilian life; and that provide resources to deployed military personnel.

"Like a lot of people, I get caught up in my own little world. I can go two days, three days, four days or maybe even a week and not think about the fact that we are in a war. But we should be thinking about it every day, and we should recognize the sacrifices that other people are making who serve our country and protect our freedoms.

"For me, this bike ride is my way of acknowledging that we are at war and raising some money at the same time."

He hopes to raise $10,000.

There's another motive, too. Reinhard went on a fitness kick earlier this year, and has lost close to 50 pounds, mostly by getting on his bike and riding. When he started, he weighed 253 pounds. Some mornings before coming to work in downtown Portland, Reinhard rides his bike to Brunswick and back.

He's ready for the challenge.

"I am committed to biking a total of 1,000 miles. I am hopeful that I can make the full trip from Indy to Portland, which is a total distance of approximately 1,300 miles using the northern route," he said.

"Because of work and family commitments, I need to be back in Portland by Aug. 1. I am not sure if I can average 90 miles a day with no down time for injuries, recovery, weather and repairs. I feel good about the 1,000 miles, but the 1,300 miles is going to be a stretch."

Nonetheless, he's ready to go.

 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

bkeyes@pressherald.com

 

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