Ride for Alive! bicycle race becomes community festival

— What was expected to be a simple bicycle ride to raise funds to support cancer survivors has received so much Skaneateles community support during the past three months that organizers have decided to make the event an all-day community festival.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at the grass field fronting the Skaneateles American Legion Robert J. Hydon Post 239 on Jordan Road, the public is invited to enjoy local food and drinks and live music while also supporting the ride and its participants.

“We’ve received such overwhelming community support that we’ve decided to share all the food, and Dusty Pascal and his pals have agreed to perform a free concert,” said Alive! Foundation co-founder Mike Wamp. “This is more than just a bike ride now – it’s turning into an all-day festival.”

The inaugural “Ride for Alive!” bicycle ride fundraiser, announced this past April and sponsored by the Alive! Foundation, will be a non-competitive 100-mile bike ride around Skaneateles, Otisco and Owasco lakes. The money raised by sponsors will benefit programs for cancer survivors in local communities.

“Our goal is to make this a memorable, incredible, inspirational and fun event for people to be a part of, and one they will want to come back and participate in for years to come,” said Julia Wamp, Alive! Foundation co-founder and cancer survivor, in April.

The Wamps, who live in Skaneateles, started the Alive! Foundation in January to educate and empower cancer survivors to live healthier, happier lives, according to the foundation’s mission statement. The organization plans to develop and fund programs in local communities to help cancer survivors to live well by focusing on movement, exercise and nutrition while promoting cancer survivorship nationwide.

In the three months since the “Ride for Alive!” was announced, the ride has garnered more than 100 participants and raised more than $60,000, with more riders, sponsors and donations coming in every day, Mike Wamp said. Some of the local sponsors include SkanRaces.com, Endurance Monster, Gazella Performance Studio, Byrne Dairy, Mirbeau, Johnny Angel’s and The Skaneateles Bakery.

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