With a day that dawned with clear skies and perfect weather for a bike ride, more than 400 cyclists set out from Lynnfield High School early Sunday morning, July 16th for a 28-mile bike ride to Gloucester for the 13th Annual Reid’s Ride Bike-a-thon. The theme for this year’s Reid’s Ride was, “Making Waves for AYAs”, and from the turnout of riders and supporters, and from the record proceeds, this was indeed a “tsunami year” for Reid’s Ride.
These cyclists joined another 700 Reid’s Ride volunteers and supporters assembled for finish-line festivities at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. Riders were greeted with cheers of family and friends, and with a barbeque, refreshments, raffles, prizes, music, presentations, sponsor giveaways, and information tents staffed by the AYA Cancer Programs made possible by Reid’s Ride. Along the 28-mile route from Lynnfield High School to the finish line, cyclists were guided by balloons, arrows, water stations, a rest stop, mile markers, motivational posters, and by cheering bystanders. Thank you to the Boliver family, Lululemon, and AFC Urgent Care for supporting and encouraging our riders along the route.
This year’s guest speaker was Kathy Warren, MD, an esteemed pediatric neuro-oncologist now working in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Warren grew up in the Boston area and is a dear, long-time friend of the Sacco family. She was the first person Lorraine called when Reid was diagnosed with a soft-tissue cancer in 2003.
Her presentation focused on the innovations that Reid’s Ride have brought to the fight against Adolescent and Young Adult Cancers. “Just 15 years ago, there were rumblings among pediatric oncologists like me that AYA cancers were different than pediatric and adult cancers, and there weren’t the kind of therapies that we needed for these patients. Also missing was the specialized care this group of patients required, as these patients fit neither the pediatric nor the adult models of cancer treatment and patient care.” Dr. Warren continued, “But then, in 2005, along came the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance and Reid’s Ride, the support of which is closing the gaps in the treatment of AYA cancer, step by step, with innovative programs, clinics and medical research for adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer.”
Dr. Warren continued her presentation with a story about a patient named Lily LaRue Anderson, a bubbly six-year-old diagnosed with a rare pediatric brain tumor. Lily used her ‘yelly voice’ to contend with the painful symptoms and grueling treatments. She passed away less than a year after diagnosis but her friends and family started a foundation in her memory, and today use their ‘yelly voices’ to raise awareness about rare pediatric cancers. Dr. Warren concluded, “Reid’s Ride uses its ‘yelly voice’ as a force to be reckoned with, one that gives a louder voice to AYAs. This AYA voice of Reid’s Ride is the force that turns its waves of action into a tsunami that will wipe out AYA cancers.”
Programs Made Possible by Reid’s Ride
On hand at the finish line, on the grounds at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, were tents from the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Program at Connecticut Children’s Hospital (Hartford) and the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Program and Clinic at Tufts Medical Center. Representatives from these Programs spoke with, and answered questions from, the many visitors to these tents during the day. These Programs were launched, and are sustained, with the help of the more than $2 million raised by Reid’s Ride over the years. Gene Sacco told the assembled riders and supporters, “You should be very proud of the fact that the money raised by Reid’s Ride directly reaches the very patients we are all fighting for, because we only support AYA-specific clinical programs.”
When all proceeds were counted, the 2017 Reid’s Ride had raised more than $220,000 to fight the cancers striking Adolescent & Young Adults. More than 400 riders rode in the event. Both of these numbers were record highs for this annual event.
More than 45 teams participated in this year’s Ride. Taking honors for the top fundraising teams were: “Oyster River”, raising $17,348; “We Can’t Stop”, raising $16,317; “Danvers Diehards”, raising $14,055’ “Lynnfield Rotary”, raising $13,839; “Honeybadgers”, raising $8,072; and “North Shore Smiles”, raising $6,000. Taking honors for places seventh through tenth were teams, “Crazy Wheels”, “CCCyclers”, “Doctors Sacco” and “Team Funder”.
Captain of the first-place fundraising team, “Oyster River”, Ms. Patrice Fogg, took a few minutes at the microphone to explain what brought her and her large team to Reid’s Ride this year. She told the story of Miles Goldberg, a young teen who lost his life to a sarcoma this past May. The team was composed of many of Miles’ friends and family who are now dedicated to honoring his memory by raising funds for Reid’s Ride to fund those programs that will someday save the lives of AYAs like Miles and Reid and so many others.
Taking honors for the top fundraising individuals, many of whom held fundraising events, were: Liz Joyce (Danvers), raising $12,500; Patrice Fogg (Madbury, NH), raising $10,075; Meredith Nash (Andover), raising $8,549; Liana Boghosian (Lynnfield), raising $8,022; and Grace Marie Greeno, raising $3,626. Taking places fifth through tenth were Bob Flores, Jane Greeno, Michael Marra, Stacy Dillon and Weston Sacco.
This year’s Reid’s Ride also included the third annual “Kids Fun Runs” organized and run by Andrea Beloff Paciello and Jennifer Daniels of the Lynnfield Mom’s Group. The runs are for children ages 4 and under, and for ages 10 and under, and keep these young children involved and engaged in the event.
With Reid’s Ride now in its 13th year, the young adults who rode in the early years of the event are now in their late twenties and early thirties, many of them now married and with children of their own. Lorraine took a few moments to recognize a number of the infants of some of the original members of the Reid Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance, handing out special, baby-sized Reid’s Ride tee-shirts. “With what is now this third generation of the Alliance coming along,” Lorraine said, “I am convinced that the Alliance and Reid’s Ride will continue to ‘make waves for AYAs’, and to improve the lives of AYAs with cancer.”
“Making Waves for AYAs” Red Carpet
Once again Bob and Lauri Priestley (Priestley Fine Photography) lent their talents to the event, taking photographs in front of a “green screen”. This “red carpet” opportunity was open to all event riders, teams and attendees. Using specialized software and printers, they then transformed the shots into instant photographs of these “celebrities” posed as if riding a giant tsunami wave. Bob also set up a giant electronic billboard that scrolled the logos and names of the event’s more than 60 sponsors.
Thanking Reid’s Ride Riders, Fund-raisers, Volunteers, Sponsors and Supporters
Lorraine thanked all riders, teams and supporters for all their hard work in fund-raising. She also thanked all Reid’s Ride volunteers and subcommittees for skillfully managing the many complex moving parts of an event like Reid’s Ride, noting that, “Reid’s Ride is an all-volunteer event, driven by an all-volunteer organization, the Reid Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance.” She stressed that every logistical or organizational element of Reid’s Ride is designed to assure that the event runs smoothly and safely and that all participants have a great time, but that it takes the hard work and creativity of the Ride’s army of volunteers to make it all happen as intended. She also recognized how this crew of volunteers, organized into more than 20 sub-committees, steps up each year to take charge and ownership of their respective areas, and personally attends to all the little details that make each area run so smoothly.
She also thanked all of the Reid’s Ride sponsors who had donated essential funds, goods and services to make the event so successful.
Sponsors & Donors
Premier Sponsor of this year’s Reid’s Ride was, once again, Dunkin Donuts, which also provided its mobile restaurant that provided riders, supporters and volunteers with cooling beverages. In keeping with this year’s Reid’s Ride theme, “Making Waves for AYAs”, the event’s “Tsunami” sponsors were Cam Media, Clear Channel, Davio’s, Everett Cooperative Bank, Fuddruckers, Landry’s Bicycles, Lyons Ambulance, and North Shore Smiles, Rotary Club of Lynnfield. The event’s “Tidal Wave” and “Crashing Waves” sponsors included AFC Urgent Care, Amy Lou Photography, B-Yond Music, Bianco & Sons, Eastern Bank, JM Electrical, Keane Fire and Safety, Lahey Medical Center, Mariposa, Market Street Lynnfield, Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Mix 104.1, My Print & Copy, Northern Business Machines, Pediatric Health Care Associates, Priestley Fine Photography, Rainbow Balloons, S Strock and Sons Fruit, Stop & Shop, and Universal Screening.
Other sponsors included A.A. Dority Company, Brothers Kuzina, Austin Sales, Baubles, , Brothers Kouzina, Center Street Market, Cerra’s Deli, Christine’s Café & Confection, Countryside Deli, Crown Coffee, Dreamtime Wellness, Jacqueline’s Gourmet Cookies, Jacobson Floral Supply, Inc., Kayem Foods, Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association, King’s at MarketStreet, Law Offices of Colonna & Doyle, Liberty Bay Credit Union, LuLu Lemon, Monadnock Spring Water, North Shore Radio, Not Your Average Joe’s, Prince Restaurant, Robert McNeill, CPA, PC, Roman’s Limousine, Sachetta & Callahan, Seaside Graphics, Sports Massage and Body Works, Tube Ice, Whole Foods Market, Lynnfield, Torrigan Family YMCA, Urban Adventours, Wakefield Bank, and Young & Sons Landscaping.
Food, Drink & Snack Tents & Stands
Thanks to: Bob McKendrick and fellow Lynnfield Rotarians for supporting the food committee with their grilling expertise, and to the food committee, led by Gale Talis; Bill Hanlon and Tammy Daley of Stop & Shop; Everett Bank for providing Richie’s Slush; and Mix 104.1 for providing Turkey Hill Ice Cream.
Health and Wellness Tents
Thanks to an annual favorite for riders finishing at Stage Fort Park, the massages offered by Dreamtime Wellness, joined this year by Sports Massage and Body Works. Also on hand were representative from Lahey Medical Center and Addison Gilbert Hospital.