Northeast Times

Bike ride looks to raise $500,000 for charity

— The trip is from one Ir­ish pub in Phil­adelphia to an­oth­er in At­lantic City.

(left to right) Chief In­spect­or Joseph Sul­li­van, Phil­adelphia Po­lice and Board Mem­ber of the Ir­ish Pub Chil­drenÕs Found­a­tion, presents Lt. Bry­an An­thony, Com­mand­ing Of­ficer of PAL, with a $50,000 check as a dona­tion to PAL from the 2011 Tour de Shore.(Photo Cour­tesy of An­dre Flewel­len)

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Gregg Murphy, the Com­cast Sports­Net Phil­lies field re­port­er, de­scribes the Ir­ish Pub Chil­dren’s Found­a­tion as “near and dear to my heart.”

Murphy is a mem­ber of the non-profit found­a­tion’s board and par­ti­cip­ates in the char­ity’s an­nu­al bi­cycle ride from the Ir­ish Pub loc­a­tion near 20th and Wal­nut streets to the Ir­ish Pub and Inn in At­lantic City.

This year’s 65-mile ride will be ex­tra spe­cial be­cause it’s the 25th an­niversary of the char­ity event. Be­fore the rider pack breaks up, it’s quite a scene from the start­ing line to the cross­ing of the Ben­jamin Frank­lin Bridge.

“It’s a sea of bikes on a beau­ti­ful Sunday morn­ing in Phil­adelphia,” Murphy said. “We own Mar­ket Street. I ab­so­lutely love it. The ride is so uniquely Phil­adelphia.”

In an­ti­cip­a­tion of the Tour de Shore, which kicks off at 7 a.m. on Ju­ly 29, the Ir­ish Pub hos­ted a news con­fer­ence to present $50,000 to the Phil­adelphia Po­lice Ath­let­ic League. That money is part of the $405,000 raised in 2011.

Among those who at­ten­ded the news con­fer­ence were po­lice de­part­ment Chief In­spect­or Joseph Sul­li­van, a mem­ber of the found­a­tion board, and Lt. Bry­an An­thony, com­mand­er of the Po­lice Ath­let­ic League.

In all, the found­a­tion has raised more than $2.2 mil­lion, with the bike race grow­ing in size over the years.

Pro­ceeds from the up­com­ing ride will be­ne­fit or­gan­iz­a­tions such as the Daniel Faulkner Edu­ca­tion­al Grant Fund, the Sgt. Patrick Mc­Don­ald Schol­ar­ship Fund, Art Sanc­tu­ary of Phil­adelphia, the Phil­adelphia Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5 Sur­viv­ors Fund, Save El­lis Is­land, South Jer­sey Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice, the Boys and Girls Club of At­lantic City and the Phil­adelphia and At­lantic City Po­lice Ath­let­ic League groups.

“It all stays loc­al,” said Ir­ish Pub co-own­er Mark O’Con­nor.

The event in­cludes in­di­vidu­al riders and teams.

The biggest team is the Mont­gomery County dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice, and DA Risa Fer­man is among the riders. There are also teams in memory of slain po­lice of­ficers John Pawlowski and Chuck Cas­sidy.

Team Murphy, cap­tained by the Phil­lies tele­vi­sion re­port­er, is also a big group. He has more than 90 riders, with each re­quired to raise $175.

“If you get ten people to give you twenty-five bucks, you’re past your goal already,” said Murphy, who’ll be mak­ing his sev­enth ride.

The riders usu­ally in­clude former Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er John Ti­money, now a con­sult­ant in Bahrain; Maur­een Faulkner, wife of slain po­lice of­ficer Daniel Faulkner; ra­dio per­son­al­ity Mi­chael Smer­con­ish; NBC 10 re­port­er Deanna Dur­ante; and New Jer­sey Su­per­i­or Court Judge Lee So­lomon.

Riders are in­vited af­ter­ward to a party in the park­ing lot of the At­lantic City Ir­ish Pub, where there will be food, mu­sic and raffle prizes.

There is re­turn trans­port­a­tion for riders and their bi­cycles.

“You can have a few beers, re­lax, take a nap on the bus back home and then pick up your bike,” O’Con­nor said.

O’Con­nor said there are already a re­cord 1,600 people re­gistered. The goal is to raise $500,000.

“You’ve got to give back and be in­volved,” he said. “It’s a labor of love.” ••

For more in­form­a­tion about re­gis­tra­tion and spon­sor­ships, vis­it www.ir­ish­pub­philly.com or check out the Ir­ish Pub Tour de Shore page on Face­book.

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You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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