story & photo
by K.A. Breton
About 300 cyclists joined in on the third annual AngelRide 2010. The riders made a two-day, 135-mile trek across the state of CT. The event is held to raise money for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, a facility known for sponsoring seriously ill children, where they can temporarily get time away from the worries of their illness, and cares that life has placed upon them and their families.
The late Paul Newman founded The Hole in the Wall Gang for gravely ill children, with the first of six camps founded in Ashford in 1988. They offer free lodging, medical care, counseling, and recreational activities for children with cancer and other serious diseases.
AngelRide was founded by Lynn McCarthy and Fred Brooke. It started when Fred and Lynn came up with an idea to raise money for a local resident, Angel Uihelein, who was 11 years old when she was diagnosed with Leukemia. At that time, Brooke raised funds by swimming across Long Island Sound. The second year, he swam the CT Coast.
By the third year, they decided that the types of events that Fred did could only raise a limited amount of money, and Lynn said, “Fred wanted to help Angel and to also help other kids like her.” They thought up a bike ride that would take them 135 miles over a two-day weekend. On May 29, the ride went through scenic and hilly CT, starting in Norwalk and ending in Ashford at the camp, where they spent the evening. The next day, they rode an additional 50 miles to their finish in Mystic. At the finish line, Young AngelRiders, joined them, ages eight – ten, where 40 youth rode a six-mile loop through Mystic, raising an additional $13,000.
Steve Burke was there, helping the cyclists as they arrived. “At age 9, my son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia and was one of the original campers in 1989,” he said. “It is an amazing place and will always be a part of our lives, and we stay with it,” he said. Today, his son is a doctor.
In all, they raised over $325,000, with money still coming in. To make a donation, contact 203.772.0522.