Joe Snedeker's ride for St. Joseph's Center starts July 19
Newswatch 16's Morning Meteorologist Joe Snedeker will pedal through the WNEP viewing area on his 13th annual "Go Joe" bike ride for St. Joseph's Center.
The Go Joe XIII ride will begin the morning of July 19 at the main campus of Penn State University in Centre County. Snedeker's ride will wind back through WNEP's 17-county viewing area and make stops during Newswatch 16 at noon and again during Newswatch 16 at 4, 5, 5:30, 6 and 7 p.m. There will be a live half-hour special each night at 6:30 p.m. on WNEP's sister station WNEP2. Updated route information, slideshows and live coverage is also available at wnep.com.
On Saturday, July 24, Snedeker's ride will take him back to St. Joseph's Center for Festival 2010 - arriving live for an appearance at the telethon broadcast on WNEP. Snedeker is hoping to build on the 12-year total of more than $1 million for the severely mentally and physically challenged children and young adults of St. Joe's.
In past years, "Go Joe" has taken Snedeker to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Jersey Shore of Atlantic City, Plymouth Rock, Mass., and Kitty Hawk, N.C. This is the fourth year that Snedeker's ride remains in the viewing area as a special "thank you" for the support he has received throughout the years.
Fans are invited to join WNEP at planned checkpoints along the way. They will know Snedeker is coming when they see a decorated RV displaying the "Go Joe" logo as it rolls through their town. This RV will ride in advance of Snedeker, and will set up at the noon and evening checkpoints. Viewers are encouraged to go to one of these locations to see Snedeker and make their donations.
Snedeker will ride at his own pace with a target of reaching the checkpoints each day, but the nearly 600-mile ride provides daily challenges. Weather is always a factor, as is the mountainous terrain of northeastern and central Pennsylvania. Each morning on Newswatch 16 This Morning, Snedeker will update viewers on that day's route. Since anything can happen, Snedeker cannot guarantee that he will be at any of the planned stops at a specific time. Updated route information can be found daily at wnep.com.
Safety is always a concern. For that reason, Snedeker asks that viewers refrain from attempting to join him on his ride. WNEP-TV and St. Joseph's Center appreciate all donations, but he also asks that fans not attempt to hand him money while he is biking. Donations will be accepted by "lead" and "chase" vehicles as well as at the scheduled stops at midday and in the evening. Donations can also be mailed to Go Joe XIII by sending a check payable to St. Joseph's Center, care of WNEP, 16 Montage Mountain Road, Moosic, PA 18507.
Newswatch 16 will follow Snedeker's progress throughout the day, and will do feature stories all week on the interesting people and sights you can find along the way. Communities are coming together to provide fun family activities at the noon and evening checkpoints. Viewers can check wnep.com to find out what their community has planned for their Go Joe XIII Festival.
Snedeker is an avid cyclist. In 1999, he came up with the idea of going on a physically challenging bike ride as a way to raise awareness and money for the charity. He is one of WNEP's most popular personalities, and his on-air antics have become legendary in the region. But Snedeker says it's his fans that make the ride a success.
"We have a handful of corporate sponsors that each give $3,000 to the ride," Snedeker said. "And we're grateful for their support. But they only account for a small part of the total. The majority of it comes from our viewers. And what's really amazing is that it comes in five and ten dollars at a time. We tell folks that every dollar counts, and it does."
Snedeker has been with WNEP since 1993. Before going to work at WNEP, he was a high school science teacher. Snedeker grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania in the Lackawanna County town of Simpson. His wife Dawn and their three children, Joseph, Luke and Aleah join Snedeker on the annual trip. Snedeker says he loves having them there at the end of the day, and that they give him plenty of moral support.
Snedeker is expected to finish the last leg of his "Go Joe" bike ride at the St. Joseph's Festival grounds on Saturday, July 24. In years past, thousands of fans and supporters have lined the last several blocks of his route to welcome him home.
Every year, WNEP produces a two-day telethon to raise money for the charity. This year, the telethon, Festival 2010, will be broadcast live from the St. Joseph Center Festival starting at 7 p.m. Friday, July 23, and Saturday, July 24.
Over the years, the St. Joseph Center Festival Telethon on WNEP has raised millions of dollars for St. Joseph's Center. Last year's telethon on WNEP raised more than $560,000. More than $208,000 of that came from donations to Snedeker's 2009 annual bike ride.
St. Joseph's Center is an independent Catholic agency sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, rooted in the values of care, concern compassion and commitment. The center strives to provide individuals and families who have special needs the opportunity to develop their abilities and potential to the fullest extent possible through residential, community and home-based services, out patient therapy, maternity, family and adoption services.
WNEP invites fans to join them at the noon and evening checkpoints, but asks that people do not try to ride along with Snedeker, due to the hazardous terrain and traffic conditions.
Go to wnep.com for complete information, safety notes, schedule, slideshows and updates. You'll also find out what the great participating communities have planned for Snedeker's stops.
This press release was submitted by WNEP.