A Brewer teen and his Dad are looking for donations before they ride their bicycles 65 miles later this month to raise money for two local animal shelters.

It's hard to believe that Matt Gross is 14 years old. When I first talked to him, he was 10 and about to embark on his bicycle ride for shelter pets. At that young age, he explained to me that he had seen a documentary about a child who had raised money for a cause, and it occurred to him that he could do the same.

The family had just adopted an aging beagle named Buddy, and Matt said he realized that, if they hadn't taken him in, he could have spent the rest of his life living in a shelter. So he wanted to raise money to help the shelters afford the animals, and to call attention to the fact that there are lots of great pets out there, looking for homes. So he wrote 'bicycle ride' on a post-it note and gave it to his Dad, Jason, who thought it sounded like a great idea. And the Ride for the Wet Nose was born.

Two years ago, I recorded an interview with Matt, as he and his father were preparing to leave. Buddy was there that year, but has since passed away. Matt's family gave him a great home for his senior years, and his legacy lives on through this ride. You can see that video (and Buddy) in this video and hear my latest interview with Matt this Sunday morning on our public service program 'Maine Concerns.

Now the pair is gearing up for this year's ride that will be longer than ever before. 65 miles, to be exact. Father and son will jump on their bikes at Pat's Bike Shop in Brewer at 8 a.m. on August 15th, ride to the Passadumkeag Fire Station, and then back to Brewer. It makes me tired just to think about it! All the money raised will be divided between the Bangor Humane Society and the Old Town Animal Shelter.

Matt's raised $12,000 for the shelters over the past five years, and he's hoping this is another successful year, but that means he needs your donations! To learn more about the ride and to contact Matt and Jason about donating, send them a private message from the Ride for the Wet Nose Facebook page.

We think you're pretty awesome, Matt! (and Jason for supporting his efforts and riding along) Have a great ride!

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