Over 1,500 bicyclists will ride for charity in the silver anniversary of the Tour de Shore, including a 204-person team called the Wheels of Justice founded by a Pa. district attorney.
Achieving high levels of success in the legal profession takes a certain type of tenacity and intellectual fortitude that Risa Ferman proved she possesses, but tackling the annual Tour de Shore bike ride for charity takes a whole different type of toughness.
Back in 2009, Ferman, the Montgomery County, Pa., district attorney, was coming off knee surgery and mainly just looking for a way to whip herself back into decent physical shape. Inspired by the fundraising efforts of colleagues and county detectives Marc Azeff and Jim McGowan — avid bicyclists who had participated in past Tour de Shores and similar charitable endurance challenges — Ferman spearheaded what would evolve into a 204-person team called the Wheels of Justice.
Heading into this, the 25th anniversary of the ride that runs from the Philadelphia Irish Pub to the Atlantic City Irish Pub (covering roughly 65 miles on Sunday, July 29), the Wheels of Justice is the defending team leader in funds raised, contributing almost $43,000 to the multiple beneficiaries of the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation in 2011.
“It’s something we started four years ago in the DA’s office, and it certainly wasn’t something I came up with on my own,” says Ferman of her team’s founding, which started with about 50 riders the first year. “[Azeff and McGowan, co-captains of Wheels of Justice] had done the ride the year before [with an affiliated team called the G-Riders] and had a phenomenal time. They talked about the camaraderie, the importance of the ride, raising money for police charities and fallen police officers, so it was something that was both fun and important.
“I had just started riding that year, and within about five minutes we decided we were going to have a DA’s office team, which quickly morphed into a Montgomery County Law Enforcement team — members of the DA’s office and the Inter-County Detective Bureau, members of our local police agencies from chiefs through officers — it’s just a huge effort of law enforcement and their friends and family.”
Last year Ferman accepted the John F. Timoney Yellow Jersey Award on behalf of her top-fundraising team, and this year the team jersey each member will wear is trimmed with a yellow ribbon symbolic of that achievement. Ferman first met Timoney, the former Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, after completing her first Tour in 2009.
“I crossed the finish line and was just filled with that incredible adrenaline from the day, from the ride, from making it across the finish line,” says Ferman. “I met for the first time John Timoney, and he came over and congratulated me and said ‘What a great job, what a wonderful showing.’ And I said ‘You know, Commissioner, we’re going to double it next year.’ And as soon as those words came out of my mouth I thought, ‘What are you doing? Really?’ But as soon as I said the words, I knew we had to do it.”
A cumulative total of $405,000 was raised for 15 charities during last year’s event, and in its first 24 years the Tour has raised over $2.2 million in varied charitable contributions. The ride started with just 20 participants and has grown to over 1,500 today.
“My partners and I formed the Irish Pub Tour de Shore in 1987 wanting to bridge the gap between the Philadelphia and Atlantic City Irish Pub locations, as well as give back to children in both the Philadelphia and Atlantic City communities,” says Cathy Burke, co-owner of the A.C. and Philly Irish Pubs. “The growth and success of the Tour de Shore has allowed us to give over $2.2 million back to children’s charities. Over the years, we have donated funds to so many fantastic charities throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware that focus on providing children with scholarships, summer camps for disabled children, rebuilding lives after a parent was lost in the line of duty, medical assistance, food and shelter, and so much more.”
More than 250 breast cancer survivors will gather to kick off the 9th annual Shirley Mae Run & Walk in front of the Trump Taj Mahal May 7.
More than 250 breast cancer survivors will gather to kick off the ninth annual Shirley Mae Run & Walk on Saturday, May 7, for the traditional survivors’ parade on the oceanfront steps of the Trump Taj Mahal. All are mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters in day-to-day life — but on this day they are all breast cancer survivors.
The 5K run/walk starts at 10am, rain or shine, at the Cornerstone Commerce Center, in Linwood (1201 New Rd.), and all proceeds benefit Shore Tomorrow, the Campaign for Shore Memorial.
For those who require extra incentive to get in a little exercise, the Ruth Newman Shapiro (RNS) Cancer and Heart Fund can deliver the goods. On Saturday, Aug. 28, the RNS Celebration Run/Walk will start at the Ocean City Sport and Civic Center building (5th Street and the O.C. Boardwalk), and end at the Ocean City High School track.
Throughout the year a number of charity runs and fairs are held in the southern New Jersey area. But few are as homegrown as Zach’s Run to be held 9am Saturday (Sept. 19) at 6th Street and the Boardwalk in Ocean City.
The Irish Pub is at the base of an old (circa 1905) Victorian-style hotel building, and has been run by Dick and Cathy Burke since 1972. Entering during daylight hours may require an adjustment to the change in light, or lack thereof, but once done you’ll see that this is no cookie-cutter pub replica.
� Although Atlantic City and Ocean City are used to competing with each other for tourists, soon the individual shore towns will be working together in an effort to bring in visitors to the Jersey Shore. Ditto for Cape May and Long Beach Island. It's a cooperative concept that will be officially announced on April 20 when the Summit on the Shore's third session is held in Atlantic City; an endeavor that organizers hope will result in a boost to the state's overall economy in the coming years. Perhaps you remember the visitor's surveys conducted last summer and the somewhat disappointing results announced at the second Summit session held in October in Wildwood. How data collected showed that the Jersey Shore's reputation for being dirty and rude has prevented it from cracking the Top 30 in terms of places consumers want to vacation nationwide. How only 11 percent of those surveyed had a positive impression of the Jersey Shore. With tourism the state's top revenue-generating industry, it was important to come up with a game plan to change the perception of the Jersey Shore, while at the same time attract new visitors. (One of the other bits of significant data culled...
The Wrecking Crüe
Laughing with George Lopez
Fight Night at Boardwalk Hall