Local cyclist partners with CooperRiis in fundraising effort

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Jeremiah Reiner prepares for a 2,745-mile bike ride; hopes to raise awareness for mental health


Over the last few months, endurance bicyclist Jeremiah Reiner, a Senior Recovery Coach at CooperRiis, has been preparing for the ride of his life. The 2022 Tour Divide, a well-known off-pavement cycling route in North America, is a monster 2,745-mile route stretching from Banff, Canada, to Albuquerque, New Mexico. He hopes to complete the ride while also bringing awareness to mental health recovery and helping to end the stigmas associated with it. And while Jeremiah will be navigating the route solo, he is joined in his cause by his employer.

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Together, they have started a peer-to-peer fundraising event that anyone in the community can support to amplify the impact of Jeremiah’s 2,700-mile journey. CooperRiis, a healing community and progressive transitional living program for adults struggling with mental health challenges with campuses located in Mill Spring and Asheville, makes for the perfect partner – not just because it’s his employer, but because their goals so clearly align. 


“Peer-to-peer fundraising lets people raise money on your behalf for an issue or cause that they are deeply passionate about,” Laurie Rovin, who spearheaded the fundraising strategy, explains. “In CooperRiis’ case, Jeremiah reached out wanting to help raise funds and bring awareness to the CooperRiis treatment program. He then announced his campaign, inviting people to support his fundraising effort by donating directly per mile or a flat donation, or to start their own campaign.” 


Among Albert Einstein’s many theories was that life is like riding a bicycle, because you keep your balance by moving forward. Jeremiah might be the theory’s strongest proof. 


Jeremiah believes exercise is an essential aspect of mental health. Learning this gave him a new purpose and led him to his job at CooperRiis. There he met CEO Eric Levine, who speaks highly of Jeremiah and his accomplishments, “Jeremiah is an impressive guy. He is a serious endurance athlete who works out and competes often.”                                                                                                                                           


Eric has been the President and CEO at CooperRiis since April 2019. He moved here with his wife Gretchen to follow their shared passion for raising awareness about mental health, fighting stigma, and creating a continuum of quality person-centered services for people struggling with mental health challenges. Levine says, “We are busy outdoor people. We love kayaking, biking, and hiking. Exercise and adventure have always played a role in my work with people.” 


The community is invited to support Jeremiah’s efforts by donating directly through https://charity.pledgeit.org/CooperRiisHealingCommunity. All donations go directly to Cooper-Riis. If you have any questions, contact Laurie Rovin at 828-899-0730  or laurie.rovin@CooperRiis.org.