WHO: Freedom Ride Fest proceeds benefit the Nonprofit Organization, Lorain County Pit Crew. Lorain County Pit Crew (“LCPC”)’s mission is to help Bully breed owners keep their dogs in their homes. LCPC is a proactive organization that alleviates hardships by providing services and needs that are otherwise unaffordable or inaccessible, often forcing dog owners to re-home or surrender their dogs to already overwhelmed shelters and rescues, all too often ending in euthanasia of many great dogs due to no fault of their own. LCPC raises funds to provide free spay/neuters, immunizations, training, food, other services and supplies to pit bull owners in Lorain County. LCPC has goals and future visions of a launching an educational program involving a dog training, sport, and recreation club for the youth that would assist in ending abuse, dog-fighting, irresponsible ownership, and negative breed stigma. LCPC works to advocate for and preserve America’s historically honored and and highly respected, but currently most misunderstood and abused breed in history – the American Pit Bull Terrier.
WHAT: The Freedom Ride fundraiser consists of an outdoor, summer music festival with many live bands, vendors, food, beer tent, raffles, contests, and prizes, as well as a pre-festival optional poker-run (with great prizes). The Freedom Ride is approaching its’ 5th year, and has grown a large following. It has always been held to benefit local rescue efforts to help many dogs. City and County dog kennels/shelters in our area and across the U.S. often reach critical limits on space. The dogs that are always on ‘Death Row’ -- at risk of being euthanized if not adopted or rescued -- are most often pit bulls and their mixes. The name “Freedom Ride” was chosen for this fundraiser because it is the term used by the animal rescue community when a dog is being transported to his new, safe life after having been ‘sprung,’ from death row, escaping euthanasia, or rescued from an abusive, neglectful, or dangerous situation. The creator of the Freedom Ride, Candi Rogers, a passionate pit bull advocate, trainer, and rescuer, felt there had to be another avenue to change the constant cycle of rescues pulling pit bulls out of shelters, just so they can fill right back up. Candi realized if communities were to ever get an edge on this sad reality, someone would need to begin working more proactively to reverse the cycle. So, she and her ‘Partner in Crime,’ Robin Stone, also an avid pit bull advocate, trainer, and rescuer, after much collaboration, founded the nonprofit, Lorain County Pit Crew to do just that.