Ray Charley finishes cross-country ride, dips bike in Atlantic Ocean | TribLIVE.com

Ray Charley finishes cross-country ride, dips bike in Atlantic Ocean

Stephen Huba
Ray Charley (far right) appears with fellow team members upon completion of his cross-country bicycle ride.

Ray Charley has finished his cross-country bicycle ride for veterans.

The 68-year-old owner of the Shop ’n Save stores in Greensburg and Murrysville posted to Facebook at about noon Saturday that he had completed his 3,058-mile benefit ride across the southern United States on behalf of Feherty’s Troops First Foundation.

“We just arrived in St. Augustine (Fla.) and we’re about to cross the Bridge of Lions, over to the beach where we will dip our bikes into the Atlantic Ocean,” Charley said in a live Facebook video.

The 48-day ride started on April 1 in San Diego, Calif., and finished on schedule on Saturday in St. Augustine, Fla.

Charley’s route covered the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Charley was riding to raise money for Feherty’s Troops First Foundation, a Maryland-based charity that provides assistance and support for veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the start of the ride, pledges had exceeded $38,000.

Charley thanked all the supporters who followed his ride and his daily dispatches on Facebook. Shop ’n Save stores also tracked his progress with a large map of the United States on display in each of the three stores.

“Every day I would check, and every day your well-wishes and your thumbs-up and your grace-of-God wishes have given me strength to continue this journey through the difficult days when we were going through deserts and mountains,” Charley said. “I greatly appreciate all our friends back in Western Pennsylvania who have supported this ride financially and those that have bought wings at the Charley Family Shop ’n Save stores in Greensburg and Murrysville to help support this noble cause of helping save veterans from the tragic loss of life through suicide.”

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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