On Sunday, Aug. 26, 75 cyclists raised a total of $35,000 in Bikur Cholim of Greater Washington’s annual MiztvahCycle bikeathon. Bikur Cholim of Greater Washington (BCGW) is a nonprofit, volunteer-based service organization that provides assistance to people and their families when facing medical challenges.
There were three different routes for riders — a scenic option along the C&O Canal, and 36-mile co-ed or men-only road rides — all leaving from Riley’s Lock in Poolesville, Maryland. Participants included Saadia Greenberg, Hillel Weiss, and Paul Berner, back for their third year in a row, and triathlete and Jewish Sports Hall of Famer Amy Subar. The number one fundraiser, who also came in first place in the 36-mile community ride, was Jason Pearlman.
The biking was followed by a barbecue that included face painting, balloon art, and a selfie station created by Golda Rivka Sanders. The barbecue was open to the whole community, not just the bikers; and money raised from the entry fees went to the BCGW Rabbi Yosef Samberg Smilemaker program, which supports local families facing medical crises.
Plans are already underway for MitzvahCycle 2019, and BCGW plans on doing more “mini-MitzvahCycle” events through the year: opportunities for supporters to do mitzvahs by bicycle by visiting the homebound and making deliveries to patients and their families.
“I was thrilled with the event,” said BCGW Executive Director Audrey Siegel via email. “It’s really special to see people from across our community come together for such an important cause.”
“As I said at the barbecue, the fact that the cyclists raised money for BCGW families means so much; but the fact that they showed our BCGW families (patients and loved ones) how much they care means the world!”