SCRANTON -- Cyclists were willing to travel great distances for a cause in Lackawanna County. They were raising money for an effort to help people addicted to drugs and alcohol.
More than 500 people started their journey at Scranton High School Sunday for the 14th annual Tour de Scranton bike ride and 5k walk.
Organizers say this year was their biggest turnout. For riders, it was time to take advantage of the nice weather.
"It's just a great day to go out and promote cycling in the area, and riding from Scranton to Carbondale is a great way to do it," said Owen Worozbyt of Dunmore.
The Tour de Scranton was in memory of Erin Moreken of Scranton who died of a drug overdose. Her parents, Tom and Betty, say the race raises money to help people suffering from addiction.
"If we can help someone in their recovery, whether somebody young or even older, many people my age are getting addicted to pain medications they take," said Tom Moreken, Erin's father.
With a sharp increase in overdoses recently, Moreken believes the stigma of addiction is fading.
"What I am finding now is more people are willing to talk about it. You cannot read the paper or read the news, and seeing how many people are dying in this state, this city, and this country."
Tom Moreken is thankful to see more people taking part in the race, both on two wheels and behind the scenes.
"I like to embrace hope and what these individuals bring to us today. They support us and like I said, our daughter is not with us anymore, but her memory will linger with us forever. And as long as we do this ride, it will be attached to this ride as well."
All the money raised at the Tour de Scranton will go to help treat people for addiction.