Darlington man to compete in rickshaw race
Cody Clements. 21, of Darlington comes from a “big military family.”
His father served in the Vietnam War, his sister in Afghanistan and his brother in Iraq.
“They've all done a lot for the country,” Clements said.
To pay tribute to his family and other veterans, Clements, along with two of his friends, are raising money for The Wounded Warrior Project for The Rickshaw Run, an 1,800-mile charity race across India, organized by travel and leisure group The Adventurists.
“My whole life has been affected by the lives of soldiers,” Clements said. “I've seen the struggle of people who don't get the support they need.”
In addition to The Wounded Warrior Project, the team will raise money for the race's official charity, Cool Earth, which works to end rainforest destruction.
Clements, who is studying theology at St. Vincent College, has travelled to India in the past. He completed a study abroad program in India last year, during which he learned about various religions.
“There was literally a Hindu or Buddhist temple anywhere you went on the street,” he said. “I'd just observe how they worshipped, and all the people were more than glad to tell me about the religion.”
“Every day was just a learning experience,” he said.
A member of the St. Johns United Church of Christ in Darlington, Clements once travelled to Zimbabwe for a two-months-long mission trip. He would like to become a minister.
His mother, Daryl Hlavsa, 60, said Clements learned from his church about the importance of helping others. She is both nervous and excited for her son's rickshaw journey.
“I think he is the right age to do it where it can be a great adventure,” she said.
During his study abroad trip, Clements shared a room with Evan Anderson, 29, of Boise, Idaho, who is studying social work at Boise State University.
Anderson enjoyed everything about his stay in India, such as the “silly situations” he and Clements encountered, like getting stuck in a monsoon and arguing with rickshaw drivers over the cost of a ride.
“It's the exact opposite side of the world from us, and the culture is the exact opposite, too,” Anderson said.
Several months ago, Clements and Anderson stumbled upon a YouTube video about The Rickshaw Run and felt compelled to get involved.
“We just fell in love with India, the culture and the lifestyle,” Anderson said. “We had always discussed maybe later on in life we could both go back. When this opportunity arose we were just like, ‘Wow, we get to go back sooner than we expected.'”
Clements also recruited fellow St. Vincent College student, Brody Ruffner. Clements said they are “all gonna be cruising together” on the rickshaw, with a driver's seat and bench for passengers.
They are challenged to devise their own route from Cochin, India to Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. It will take two weeks to complete the race.
“It's up to each team to decide what direction to go,” Clements said.
Clements is more concerned about studying the culture so that he can acclimate better during the trip.
“We know we're going to get lost, so there's no sense in planning the entire route,” Clements said.
The team must fund all travel expenses, as well as the rental and any repairs of their rickshaw. They also have to obtain their motorcycle and international licenses.
To cover expenses and fundraise for their charity, the team is collecting donations online at youcaring.com/other/three-friends-rickshawing-for-charity/168264. Their goal is $5,000.
Clements' brother, Calvin Clements, 33, of Ligonier thinks the charity race is “pretty interesting.”
“I think it's maybe one of the different, nontraditional routes for raising money,” he said.
As a veteran, he thinks his brother's decision to raise money for The Wounded Warrior Project is great.
“They really do help people out,” he said. “They help a lot of disabled people, amputees and burn victims.”
Clements is most excited to return to the country he has hoped to see again, though, this time around, he and his team will be their own tour guides. “I just hope that through going on this trip, we can experience a culture on our own,” he said.
Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Let It Snow’ filming on Ligonier Diamond
- 3-D printer fosters learning, creativity at Ligonier Valley High School