John Farr

John Farr, 80, of DuBois, has been wearing this jersey on his Bike2Build rides since 2001. This year will mark his 20th ride to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Clearfield County. Farr began in 2001 with a two-day, 150-mile ride. This year he plans to bike more than 900 miles from South Carolina to Clearfield.

DuBOIS — John Farr of DuBois is preparing for his 20th Bike2Build — his annual fundraiser to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Clearfield County. Each year, Farr makes a bicycle tour to help support the organization’s mission of providing affordable housing for county residents.

Farr, who is Habitat’s president, will depart Friday, Sept. 24, from Myrtle Beach, S.C., traveling more than 900 miles up the East Coast. He plans to return to the county Saturday, Oct. 9, with his final destination the Clearfield Revitalization Corp’s Fall Festival in downtown Clearfield. During his ride Farr also plans to visit with other chapters of Habitat for Humanity.

He celebrated his 80th birthday in March. Last year, despite limitations created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Farr’s Bike2Build ride raised a record $23,350. During the program’s tenure, more than $175,000 has been raised through his efforts.

Meri Collins, director of operations for Habitat for Humanity, said Habitat wrapped up its 16th new build project in 2020.

“Any fundraiser that benefits Habitat means the organization can do more for the community. The more funds raised, the more volunteers we get, the more sponsors and donors we regularly have all allow more homes to be built providing more stability and more hope to the local community. Habitat has historically built one home per year, but is compelled to give more. We know the demand far outweighs the supply and that’s where fundraisers and generosity from the community plays a huge role. Without the critical funding and volunteers, Habitat does not have the resources to keep up with the demand.

“The hope for this year’s Bike2Build event is that together Habitat continue to set records for the single purpose that we can help more people. In return for generous contributions, John always says ‘he promises to suffer a little and offer a bit of drama,’ and provide residents with a full account of his journey. He is truly a remarkable man in the face of Habitat,” Collins explained.

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Collins said the proceeds from Farr’s ride will be used to purchase building materials. She said, “Habitat has several projects lined up for 2021-22. Our very first rehabilitation will begin in the next few weeks on Reed Street in Clearfield. We have another tentative rehab project in DuBois and are finalizing plans for and will eventually break ground on two new properties in the Spring of 2022 — one in Clearfield and the other in Curwensville. So many exciting things are in store for Habitat. We really depend on the community to support its mission.”

She said Habitat is also exploring the possibility of a tiny homes initiative that would provide more people safe, clean housing at an even more affordable cost. “The timing of this is largely based on the call to action to fund the initiative. If it comes to fruition as we imagine, we believe this will change the face of housing in our community,” Collins explained.

Inquiries about how to donate or sponsor one of the builds can be directed to Habitat’s email at hello@clearfieldhabitat.com

Farr’s progress can be tracked in real time at www.Bike2Build.org. Those who want to make a donation can click on the “support the cause” link at the top of the website.

Habitat would like county residents to turn out on Oct. 9 to welcome Farr back.

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