As if running a pair of successful restaurants and raising two kids isn’t enough of a challenge, Tina Avila decided to add a 100-mile bike ride to her busy schedule.
But to the owner of and in downtown Dunedin, giving back is just another part of her job as a leader in the community.
“I always liked the idea of committing 10 percent of what you earned to give back to the community,” Avila said. “Casa Tina is my platform to give back.”
With that philosophy in mind, she decided to organize a fundraiser for a music program her kids participated in at Tarpon Springs High School.
On April 29, Avila and former student Jared Lewis trek 100 miles around Pinellas County to raise money and awareness for the school’s Leadership Conservatory for the Arts.
“The program is not just a music program; it’s a leadership program for life,” Avila said by phone. “It’s such an amazing program, and it takes so much time to build awareness. I wanted to establish this ride … as a way to give back to them.”
Because her son has already graduated and her daughter is currently a senior, she knew she had to act now if she wanted to help the program establish a legacy at the school.
Ride Combines Avila's Interests
An avid cyclist, Avila decided to combine two of her passions — bike riding and giving back to the community — to help raise money and awareness for the program.
“Cycling is my passion; it’s something my husband an I really enjoy,” Avila explained. “We’re taking a trip to Bend, Oregon to ride the mountain trails in two months, so I started thinking how I could prepare for my trip, exercise and raise money for the music club at the same time.”
She came up with Tina and Jared's Miles for Music campaign, an idea she had been toying with for years but never had the time to put into motion.
Route Winds Through Pinellas County
Avila and Lewis will begin and end their trip at the Old Feed Store downtown, with stops at Howard Park, the Dunedin Causeway, Tropicana Field and other points mixed in.
The busy businesswoman estimates the ride will take seven or eight hours, but she readily acknowledges it’s a small price to pay if someone truly wants to give back to something they feel passionate about.
“I wanted to give back to this program because I feel like I owe them a debt of gratitude," Avila said. "It’s about teaching kids to give back. It’s not all about you.”
If you would like to donate to Tina and Jared's Miles for Music, please click the donations tab on their website.