The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday December 7th

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Film festival raises money for youth cycling, tutoring program

Chapel Hill’s local Triangle Bikeworks is continuing to stay green by hosting their second annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival.

The event, held at the Varsity Theater on Franklin at 7 p.m. tonight, features 18 films that deal with various aspects of the environment.

Proceeds go to Triangle Bikeworks’s teen program, Spoke‘n Revolutions.

Anthony Pergolotti, a board member of Triangle Bikeworks, said the organization’s mission is to promote community outreach and encourage more people to take up the sport.

Triangle Bikeworks is responsible for several programs within the community, including Spoke’n Revolutions.

“The more people we have cycling, the better for the environment,” Pergolotti said.

The festival, which features short two-to-20 minute films, will raise funds to help Triangle Bikeworks expand and fund Spoke‘n Revolutions, Pergolotti said.

Kevin Hicks, founder and board chair of Triangle Bikeworks, said Spoke‘n Revolutions is a mentoring program for 10 underprivileged high school students in Chapel Hill.

The program provides SAT tutoring and college prep for participants, who begin the program in ninth grade. During the summer, students in the program participate in a cross-country cycle trip that helps them learn self-efficiency and leadership skills.

“That’s where most of the transformation happens,” Hick said.

In 2011, the group biked 1,800 miles in 32 days, following the path of the Underground Railroad from Alabama to New York.

This year the group will embark on the Mississippi Valley trail, which begins in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and ends in St. Louis, Missouri.

Funds from the festival will go toward new equipment for the trip, Hicks said.

Triangle Bikeworks hosts the local branch of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, a national event that gathers environmental-themed films from across the country.

Hicks said Triangle Bikeworks chose the films it felt were most relevant to the Chapel Hill community.

“We chose films that weren’t snow related, that were inspiring, that showed youths taking action and that were funny,” Hicks said.

Pergolotti said he hopes people will enjoy themselves at the festival and learn something about the environment or the cycling sport.

Hicks said he hopes people will walk away from the festival feeling empowered.

“I hope they take away that one person can make a difference and affect change,” Hicks said.

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