When Governor Chris Christie ordered a state of emergency for New Jersey, it effectively canceled the MS Bike: City to Shore ride that was to take place throughout South Jersey this weekend.
The organizers did not want to pull the municipalities away from focusing on the impending storm to help with the 7,000 person event. Thousands of people had a question to ask.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society had to ask themselves how they would deal with preparing for a two-day event with over 1,000 volunteers and 7,000 participants. All those people had to be fed, and now the society had food ordered that could not be returned, so they had to find a place to give it to.
According to Kevin Moffitt, that food will be going to good causes. Both Manna of Philadelphia and the Food Bank of South Jersey will receive 5,000 hamburger rolls, 20 cases of chicken breasts, five cases of celery and 40 cases of pierogies.
Moffitt said the food had already been purchased, so they were happy to donate it to worthy causes. The initial thought was to donate it all to Philabundance, but they do not have refrigerators to preserve the food.
Some of the riders also took the initiative to try and raise the awareness that usually comes with the event, even though it was canceled.
Mark Nicholas, the leader of the Heaven’s Helper’s team, said they had reached their goal of raising $20,000 between 29 people Friday morning. Nicholas was “so disappointed” they could not participate in what is their biggest fundraiser of the year.
He decided there was no way he was going to not get on his bike. He organized a short ride around his neighborhood for his team to thank the donors that helped them reach their goal. He expects 15 to 20 people to participate, saying the others are out of state and will not be able to travel due to the weather.
They will take at least one loop around his neighborhood, which is about a mile. He said people can bike longer if they want to, but the real reason is to show the donors they appreciate their effort.
“We set a really aggressive goal and we met it this morning,” Nicholas said on Friday. “We all want to ride just to say thank you.”
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society will also hold an event at 10 a.m. today at XFINITY Live! in Philadelphia, PA 1914 called “Your Bikes Weren’t Made for Joaquin.” All registered cyclists and volunteers will be able to drop off donations, pick up T-shirts and medals as well as enjoy some of the leftover food.