9-11 NY Education riders to make stop over in Craig

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The city of Craig is planning a special celebration in conjunction with Ride Your Bike to Work Day on June 27.

As part of the day-long event, 9-11 NY Education Ride bicyclists Ira Levy, Beth Mingledorff and Michael Marijanovic will be stopping in Craig on Day 33 of their cross-country bike ride.

The trio is riding more than 4,300 miles in an effort to raise money for a college education fund for children who lost their parents on September 11.

The Craig Chamber of Commerce, The Memorial Hospital and Colorado Northwestern Community College are helping sponsor the 9-11 NY Education Ride.

Ride Your bike to Work Day events will start with a free breakfast in front of the Moffat County Courthouse from 8 to 10 a.m. The activity will include a bicycle raffle and free bicycle helmet and T-shirt giveaways.

"The mission in the morning is really to promote bike safety and awareness, and to get everyone to bike to work," said Pam Thompson, the community relations director for The Memorial Hospital. "We really want everyone to try to ride their bike to work that day."

A free barbecue picnic will take place at 6 p.m. that evening, at the Moffat County Fairgrounds covered picnic area. The picnic will include live entertainment and a bike rodeo.

A special ceremony with Levy, Mingledorff and Marijanovic appearing as the guests of honor will also be held. The three riders will discuss, among other topics, their goals of keeping young people's dreams of education alive and bicycle safety. Mayor Dave DeRose will deliver a proclamation to the riders.

"We decided to make this a positive community event," said Cathy Vanatta, the executive director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce. "We thought that this would be a good time for our community to come together and have a free picnic. We plan to have a lot of things going on that should make it a real fun family event."

Colorado Northwestern Community College's College for Kids is also taking part in the celebration, sponsoring face painting by Pickles the Clown and creating a banner, which will be presented to the 9-11 NY Education Ride. Mary Morris, the community education/public information coordinator for the college, said after the banner has been designed and painted, Craig residents will be asked to sign the banner.Vanatta said the purpose and emphasis of the 9-11 NY Education Ride Craig stop is not about raising money, but rather promoting bicycle safety and discussing the goals of the organization. A booth will be set up for those who wish to donate to the 9-11 NY Education Ride.

The ride, which started May 27 in Seattle, will work its way across the United States over 70 days, ending on August 3, at New York City's ground zero. The riders hope to raise $1 million to donate to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund.

Money collected by the Twin Towers Orphan Fund provides long-term education, housing assistance, daily necessities, and physical and mental health care for the children affected by the terrorist attacks. The Twin Towers Orphan Fund is registered with the state's Attorney General's office of New York.

According to the organization's Web site, Levy, who was born and raised in New York City, came up with the idea for the ride as a way to help the victims and cope with his feelings since the attacks. Levy designed a route that would cover 4,330 miles in order to travel one mile for each life lost, for each surviving family and for each of the police officers and firefighters still at work as a result of the attacks.

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