It was a nice summer day — and a great cause — for a bike ride.
On Saturday more than 200 riders participated in the first annual “Loop,” a 20-mile bike ride to benefit the New York Families for Autistic Children Foundation and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In total, the day’s events raised nearly $15,000 for both groups.
“Our first annual loop was a great success,” said Andrew Baumann, president and CEO of NYFAC. “So we’re already getting ready – mark your calendars for next July.”
Riders assembled at the NYFAC building at 164-14 Cross Bay Blvd. in Howard Beach, and, after a light breakfast and ribbon-cutting ceremony – with the help of state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Angelica Katz, chief of staff for Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Beach), an avid cyclist herself – they were off. The route took bicyclists over three bridges in two boroughs, through the Rockaway Peninsula and along the Belt Parkway, completely around the western half of Jamaica Bay, before returning to NYFAC, where there was a “thank you” barbecue complete with a DJ and dancing.
Stoked riders said they had a blast — and are already looking forward to next year’s loop.
“It was a great ride. We had a good time,” said Patricia Hernandez-Mayo, who came from Hicksville, LI, to participate.
“I think this was a great cause and a great reason to come out and get a little exercise,” said Joe Mure, who sits on the Board of Directors of JDRF and also is a trustee of NYFAC.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and daughter Lily came out later in the day to greet those at the barbecue, where a 50/50 raffle raised $610.
For Angelo Gurino, owner of Ragtime, the Loop was a family affair.
He, his wife and children rode in honor of “the two causes: JDRF, which is close to my family, and the NYFAC Foundation, on whose board my wife serves.”