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5/20/2013 10:26:00 AM
Cyclist raising funds for St. Vinnies visits Hammond
Photo contributed by Kathleen Hudson
Fr. Ken Sampson and Joe Barbara at St. Francis de Sales Mission Church in Hammond.
Photo contributed by Kathleen Hudson
Fr. Ken Sampson and Joe Barbara at St. Francis de Sales Mission Church in Hammond.

HAMMOND — A Louisiana man who is biking from Astoria to Yorktown, Va., visited St. Francis de Sales Church here before his departure.

Joe Barbara III will pedal across the continent to raise money for the St. Vincent de Paul in his hometown of Harahan, on the banks of the Mississippi River, near New Orleans. Father Ken Sampson introduced the cyclist to the tiny parish, and congregants were so supportive of the man’s effort, they collectively donated $400.

All funds raised go to the St. Rita of Cascia Parish Food Pantry in Barbara’s parish, which provides food for more than 40 families each week.

After departing on May 1, the 58-year-old grandfather completed the Oregon portion of his ride in early May. He will continue on the Trans-America Route, climbing through the river valleys between Oregon and Colorado, on to long climbs on graded passes, and into Kansas, where terrain will flatten out. Barbara will then travel through the Ozark and Appalachian mountains

The cyclist expects the 4,241-mile trip will take approximately three months. He will visit a daughter in Colorado, and his wife and son will join him in Missouri. He carries water, food, extra clothes and camping gear, which combined with his bike weigh about 80 pounds.

To follow Barbara’s progress, log on to www.pedalforapurpose.com.





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