Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEWORLEANS-- For the third year in a row, NOLA for Angola rolled out of town. A record number of cyclists raised thousands of dollars to give family members the means to visit their loved ones at Angola Prison.

Friday morning about 40 cyclists gather at the front steps of NOPD headquarters before embarking on their three-day, 170-mile bike ride. The cyclists will travel from New Orleans to Angola Prison.

The goal is to raise money for the Cornerstone Builder's Bus Project. It's a local program that provides free bus rides to people trying to visit their incarcerated family members.

Last year the bike ride raised $14,000. This year's goal was to match that, but organizers learned they've surpassed that goal.

'We got some good news this morning,' said Nicky Gillies, a NOLA to Angola fundraising organizer. 'We are already at $21,000, which is the most we have ever raised.'

'Hundreds of people take the buses, so the more money we can raise the more buses they can send,' said Katie Hunter-Lowrey, a NOLA to Angola fundraising organizer. 'Especially around holiday time, there is a waiting list for to get on these buses.

Although the bike ride is well underway, they are still taking donations.

For more on how to donate, go to

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