The sixth annual Chai Lifeline Bike-a-thon arrived on Thursday afternoon in Camp Simcha in Glen Spey, N.Y., their efforts paid for by a nearly $6 million in pledged sponsorships.
The ribbon was cut in Stamford, Conn., on Wednesday morning, and 400 bikers took off on the 180-mile trip, raising a record amount of money to support the camp for sick children in the process. The bikers rode for two days with a sleepover in Monsey on the way.
The event was started six years ago by Dovid Egert, a volunteer at the camp who made the trip by bike when he did not find bus transportation. He asked people to sponsor him by the mile, raising $10,000 to support the weeklong camp experience for ill children. The bike ride has since grown into 40 bikers in 2010, 150 in 2011, 200 in 2012 and 300 last year.
More than $5.7 million was pledged for Camp Simcha for this year’s trip. Upon the group’s arrival, they celebrated with over 300 chronically ill children and staff members. The post-ride event includes presentations, a camper show and a barbecue for cyclists and their families.