AUSTIN (KXAN) — During its 17th year, the Hill Country Ride for AIDS set a goal to raise $550,000 to help people diagnosed with HIV.

The group didn’t just meet their goal- they blew past it, raising $572,000.

Julie Falchuk, a HCRA rider, said exceeding the goal says a lot about the community.

“It’s just amazing we exceeded our goal,” she said. “It just shows that the community is really supportive and recognizes that there is a gap in finances and the need is there so I’m so thrilled that we exceeded our goal.”

Falchuk said that giving out the money collected makes it feel like Christmas, even in July.

“We get to feel like Santa Claus and elves giving these checks out,” she said. “I know the people receiving support are going to be getting really nice gifts.”