Team Baltimore’s 20 riders joined the more than 600 cyclists as they clipped in for the 13th annual and largest ever summer of Bike4Chai. The two-day premier cycling event is the highest per capita experiential fundraiser in the world, with proceeds benefiting Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health support network.
Bike4Chai began Aug. 17 in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania, with riders taking part in a 50-mile endurance ride through the picturesque Pocono Mountains. In the early hours of Aug. 18, riders departed on 60, 85 and 100-mile route options, each with fully stocked rest stops along the way featuring food, supplies and entertainment.
The ride ended at The World’s Greatest Finish Line, the entrance to Camp Simcha Special, Chai Lifeline’s overnight camp for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities in Glen Spey, New York. There, the cyclists were greeted by hundreds of campers, family, and staff members, who will celebrated along with them.
“Bike4Chai is a highlight of the summer for our campers and an important fundraiser which enables Chai Lifeline to support its more than 6,000 families throughout the year,” said Rabbi Simcha Scholar, CEO of Chai Lifeline. “Every cyclist and every donor plays a critical role in transforming lives impacted by illness. We are inspired and grateful for their dedication and efforts on behalf of our kids.”
Riders were comprised of all ages and skill levels, and include professional athletes, business leaders, cancer survivors, and many riding in honor or memory of a loved one. Joining the cyclists were 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, 17-time Tour de France competitor George Hincapie, Super Bowl-winning New York Giant Amani Toomer, and Stanley Cup-winning New York Ranger Mike Richter.
“In addition to being a world-class cycling experience, Bike4Chai is an opportunity for a group of riders from all backgrounds to come together for one incredible cause,” said Zevy Bamberger, director of Bike4Chai. “The atmosphere is one of comradery, inspiration, energy and determination.”
Bike4Chai supports Chai Lifeline’s more than two dozen year-round programs and services, including professional case management and counseling, meal delivery to hospitals and homes, transportation to medical appointments, emergency financial assistance, crisis intervention and trauma response, insurance advocacy, i-Shine afterschool programming for children living with illness or loss in their families, Camp Simcha summer programming, and more.