The Pantagraph (Illinois) (08.01.2013)
Cyclists in central Illinois will hold the second annual cycling fundraiser for a Guatemalan orphanage founded by a local Illinois couple. The “Hop on for Hope” ride raises money for Village of Hope, which cares for special-needs orphans, including those with HIV/AIDS. After adopting two children from Guatemala, Tom and Amy West Block decided to relocate from Illinois to that country to help other children there. In addition to their Guatemalan children, the couple also has four biological children, one adopted from Ethiopia, and two adopted from Texas. Dick West, Amy West Block’s father, hoped that his cycling team would be able to surpass its previous fundraising total of $7,000 for this year’s event. West noted that the orphanage strives to provide its children with a more traditional family setting than larger institutions can offer, with dedicated staff providing “physical, emotional, spiritual, and educational care” and working to ensure that the children do not end up on the streets after they turn 18. Other Central Illinois organizations support the Village of Hope, including the fundraiser sponsor Lifesong for Orphans.