INDIANAPOLIS — There are several events coming up the weekend of July 23rd in the Indianapolis area that you and your family can get involved in to help make a real difference in the community. 

The 21st annual Cops Cycling for Survivors bicycle ride throughout the state wraps up Saturday at Crown Hill Cemetery after a 13 day trek totaling 1,000 miles. 

Cyclists pedaling through the Hoosier state have honored Indiana’s fallen law enforcement officers and their loved ones – this years ride pays special tribute to the eight Indiana officers who have died since last year. 

As they cruise back to Indy, event organizers say a heroes welcome is appreciated. 

“Keep these survivors in your hearts, in your prayers and in their wallets to be honest,” Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, Tim Horty said. “Their loved ones gave all they had, made the ultimate sacrifice and this is an opportunity to support them and show them they have not been forgotten.”

Those participating in the Cops Cycling for Survivors bike ride are a mix of active and retired police officers, law enforcement survivors, law enforcement family members and friends of law enforcement all riding their bicycles around the 1,000 mile perimeter of Indiana to raise funding and awareness.

Funds raised in past rides, organizers say, have been donated to foundations, scholarships and camps which have been created in memory of fallen officers, or by Indiana survivors in honor of their own fallen heroes. 

The ride will come to a stop Saturday afternoon at Crown Hill Cemetery, Heroes of Public Safety Section, with ceremony to start at 2p.m.

Later Saturday afternoon, be sure to check out the annual Faces of Lupus fashion show event put on by the Lupus Foundation of America’s Indian Chapter. 

Roughly 36,000 Hoosiers live with the Lupus disease and through event proceeds organizers seek to not only raise overall awareness, but also hope while having fun. 

“So i think the beauty of it is these ladies that you will see at the fashion show… a lot of them are struggling today. But they are willing to push through that pain,” Faces of Lupus Event Chair Carla Day, who struggles with the disease, said. “Even though they’re going through their struggles, they make the best of it. They will see that yes, we have Lupus, but Lupus don’t have us… and we wanna be in control of our lives and make an impact in our community and those that we are around on a day to day basis.”

Net proceeds from the event will go toward the chapter’s PATH Program (Patient Access to Healthcare), which provides financial assistance to lupus patients. 

CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America’s Indiana Chapter Brian Rothenberger says the symptoms of the disease often make it hard for Lupus patients to find work. 

“Because of fatigue, and other consequences of the disease, Lupus patients struggle to work. So that puts a financial burden on them, so the PATH program is really designed to provide financial relief for people that are in that situation – it’s not a large amount, and it varies by need, but that’s where the net proceeds from this activity will go,” Rothenberger said. “But we also work to connect people, volunteers and those impacted by Lupus including providers, rheumatologists, survivors, family and friends because if you can talk to someone who’s been there already and been through it. It not only helps you deal with it but it gives you some hope that you can get through it too.”

Doors open at 2:00 pm on the 23rd at the Ivy Tech Culinary and Conference Center, 2820 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208 and a buffet style meal will be served at 3:00 pm, followed by the fashion show where 30 beautiful and handsome models, all of whom have lupus or are a healthcare provider to people with lupus, will perform. Pre-registration is required. Tickets will not be sold at the door.