On Thursday, August 13, nearly 500 cyclists will ride more than 50,000 combined miles as part of Bike4Chai. Now in its 11th year, the annual cycling event raises funds for Chai Lifeline, the international children’s health support network which provides emotional, social, and financial assistance to children with life-threatening and lifelong illnesses and their families.
“Bike4Chai is one of the world’s largest experiential fundraisers,” said Yoel Margolese, director of Bike4Chai. “Each cyclist enjoys taking part in the world class ride, but more importantly, they appreciate the opportunity to have a profound impact on the lives of children and families living with pediatric illness.”
This year’s one-day ride will feature three scenic but challenging route options of 80, 100 and 120 miles. Cyclists will depart from Mountain Creek Resort in Vernon, NJ, at staggered intervals to maintain proper distancing and ride until they reach the gates of Camp Simcha Special, Chai Lifeline’s summer camp for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities in Glen Spey, NY. There, the riders will enjoy an outdoor gourmet barbecue lunch just outside of camp before returning to Vernon.
“Bike4Chai may look different this year, but ultimately, our ‘finish line’ and our objective remain unchanged: To be there for our families when they need us most,” said Rabbi Sruli Fried, director of Chai Lifeline NJ/PA and executive director of Bike4Chai. “COVID-19 presented us with numerous obstacles this year. However, the cyclists were inspired by our brave Chai Lifeline Warriors and rose to the challenge. They shifted gears and went that extra mile to raise critical funds which will help our most vulnerable families during this health crisis.”
The event will carry extra significance for the cyclists this year as they will ride in memory of Moshe Deutsch, a Bike4Chai volunteer who was tragically killed in December’s Jersey City shooting, and Yosef Klein, a fellow Bike4Chai cyclist who was lost to COVID-19 in March. A special badge will be added to each cyclists’ jersey to honor their memories.
Bike4Chai benefits 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, Project Chai crisis intervention, insurance advocacy, i-Shine afterschool national programs for children living with illness or loss in their homes, Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special, and more.
To learn more, visit www.bike4chai.com.