Veteran raises $50,000 for military families by offering water to cyclists

Harry Fenstad is a U.S. Air Force veteran. The 83-year-old never really rode a bike but that didn’t stop him from raising more than $50,000 for military families through cycling.

"It surprised me but I’m glad to do it," he said.

When Harry and his late wife, Jance, were building their home on Sugarloaf Mountain in Lake County back in 2001, he noticed a constant flow of bicyclists training on the 312-foot ridge, one of the highest points in Florida.

vet water

"On weekends, I get at least a couple hundred drive by here, ride by," he said.

Thirsty riders would sometimes stop and ask for water and that is what inspired him to set up a water cooler at the end of his driveway.

"It gets you hydrated. It's really great. Everybody loves it," said cyclist Brenda Rodriguez.

When people started offering Harry money as a thank you, he put up a donation box next to the water cooler.

"If there are people who want to be that generous, I'll take it and I started giving it to the Wounded Warrior Project."

After donating $30,000, Harry has raised more than $20,000 for Hope For The Warriors. The nonprofit helps post 9-11 veterans and their families.

Harry even got cyclists to pitch in when he purchased a motorized wheelchair for an injured vet.
His home is now a popular pit stop for cyclists.

"They tell me that it's well-known all over not just local," he said.

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