Dozens of supporters of Alyn Hospital, an Israeli pediatric rehabilitation hospital, will gather along the eastern shore of Maryland this month for Wheels of Love, a three-day, 130-mile charity bike ride. The October 24 to 26 ride will raise funds for the care of children with a wide range of physical disabilities, both acquired and congenital. Local participants include Sam Alexander of Springfield and Michelle and Jonathan Lupkin and Dr. Larry Stiefel, all of Teaneck.
Mr. Alexander first rode in the Wheels of Love in 2006 in Israel; this is his 10th ride for Alyn. “I love to ride, and I’ve participated in other charity rides, but I felt more of a personal connection to this one,” he said. “Alyn has real needs, and this is the hospital’s largest fundraiser where every penny counts.” In 2019, he was recognized for reaching the top fundraising level over all the rides he’s done with Wheels of Love. “You can see the impact you make on the children’s lives firsthand,” he said. “Alyn literally works miracles, and its innovation center has developed so many great technologies that help children across the world. Every kid needs something different, and they just do not give up.” Over the years, Mr. Alexander has shared his passion for Wheels of Love with his family, friends, and community members; many of them have joined him on the ride. “In 2009, I brought my dentist with me because she loves to cycle,” he said. “She’s not Jewish, but she wanted to try riding in an exotic place, and believed and supported in the cause.”
Last year, the pandemic forced the ride to go virtual; in May, a single-day ride in Morristown raised more than $130,000. This year is the first time that American riders can participate in a multiday ride in the United States. Israeli cyclists also will participate in the 22nd annual Wheels of Love ride, this year set for in Southern Israel. It will begin on October 24.
“Wheels of Love is the hospital’s largest fundraising event of the year, supporting the thousands of children with disabilities who rely on the innovative and personalized treatment Alyn Hospital provides,” Maayan Aviv, American Friends of Alyn Hospital’s executive director, said.
Online registration is open now. The $500 registration fee covers accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort for the three-day ride, as well as lunches, a dinner reception, and more. Registered cyclists pledge to raise $2,500 each. Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available as well.
To ensure participants’ safety, covid-19 precautions will be in place throughout the event. All riders must submit proof of vaccination. A virtual ride, #MyALYNRide, is available for people who are committed to supporting ALYN Hospital but unable to travel to Maryland. For more information, go to alynus.org.