Businesses gather for Bike Tour

Third annual event creates friendly competition

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— On Friday, June 27, around 20 representatives from local businesses gathered at St. Moritz Grill and Bar to learn how their businesses' involvement could help make the third annual Pass It Along Bike Tour the best ever.

Though the bike tour is not until Sept. 14, the event was meant as a way to create buzz around the community and gain further support from local businesses that may not be familiar with Pass It Along's mission.

"We help teens develop confidence and compassion for others," said Diane Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Pass It Along.

Through the nonprofit's programs, such as Tilly's Kids, Merriam Mentors, Knit and Crochet for a Cause, and the Season of Hope Toy Shop, among others, Pass It Along's aim is to instill confidence and compassion in teens through volunteerism and leadership events.

In 2013, Pass It Along volunteers served a total of 20,150 hours, according to statistics provided by Pass It Along.

Jim Furgeson, director of community and donor relations at Newton Medical Center and a member of Pass It Along's board of directors, said the organization can only flourish with the support of the community.

Newton Medical Center and Atlantic Sports Health are the presenting sponsors for the 2014 bike tour.

The gathering was organized by Bill Curcio, executive vice president of Eastern Propane, which donated two traveling trophies for businesses to compete over while fundraising for the bike tour event.

One trophy will go to the business that raises the most funds, the other will go to the business with the most riders. The winning businesses will keep the trophies for a year until the next bike tour and the name of the business will be engraved on the trophy.

Any business that wins three years in a row will be allowed to keep the trophy. Tn that instance, Eastern Propane would donate a new trophy for the bike tour.

In addition, Pass It Along has started a friendly competition called “Capture the Cup,” where businesses can steal the trophies from one another until they are awarded to the teams that raise the most funds and bring in the most riders. Businesses are invited to snap photos of themselves with the trophies and post them to the PIA instagram account, Pass_It_Along.

To date, 25 businesses have started their own bike teams for the event.

Businesses interested in participating in and fundraising for the bike tour are invited to email Eleanor Young at Eleanor@passitalong.org or call her at 973-726-9777.

The bike tour will start at the Long Pond School on Limecrest Road in Andover Township. Participants can choose from three different routes, 12, 24 or 56 miles, that wind through Sussex and Warren counties.

Registration fees are $30 for ages 16 and up if the participant registers before Aug. 31. Afterward, the price is $35. For ages 12-15 the cost is $15, ages 11 and under is $5, and a family of four can register for $75.

Registrants by Aug. 1 will receive a bike tour T-shirt.

For more information go to www.passitalong.org.

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