MOUNT RUSHMORE, S.D. — A ride starting at a national monument.
“We’re embarking on a 13-day trek from Mount Rushmore all the way back to St. Charles, Illinois,” said Stacey Wahlberg, the President and Co-Founder of Cal’s Angels.
It’s just short of one thousand miles that will be braved by 18 different riders to support a cause close to their hearts.
Stacy Wahlberg lost their 13-year-old son Cal to Leukemia in 2006.
The next year, they started Cal’s Angels.
Starting an organization that’s raising money, awareness and giving wishes for families and children. It’s the organizations annual “War on Wheels” (WOW) Ride Fundraiser.
“We wanted to give back in some way,” Wahlberg said. “We saw how families implode and what resources are not there. So that’s how we started.”
Over the past 14 years, Cal’s Angels has been growing to help others achieve their dreams. For Kevin McDowell, who took home silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, this hit home.
“10 years ago, I actually had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and so Cal’s Angels helped me through my battle and granted a wish, and so now I’ve made it through since and now I really wanted to give back in a way since they helped me so much,” McDowell said.
Kevin wears his Cal’s Angels colors while racing, and on this ride from Mount Rushmore to Illinois for the first two days of the trip, it’s about showing love and support to the organization who kept him going.
It’s also a ride that’s carrying those who survived.
“So a lot of the names around here were physically put on by the children themselves,” Brad Beetham, an Executive Board Member of Cal’s Angels. “And you can see some of those.”
And honoring those who aren’t with us.
“It’s both sides of the bike,” Beetham said. “There’s over 220 names on here. Names that have got wings on it are children that have have gained their wings and and moved on from this life at this point and you know we would like to consider them winning their battle against cancer and just moving on to the next place.”