City to celebrate riding bikes Thursday

Event to raise awareness of bike safety; raise funds for Twin Towers Orphan fund

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The city of Craig will host a special celebration in conjunction with Ride Your Bike to Work Day Thursday.

As part of 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 designed to assist children who lost 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.

"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."

Pam Thompson, community relations director for the hospital, said the mission in the morning is to promote bike safety and awareness, and to get everyone to bike to work.

"We really want everyone to try to ride their bike to work that day," Thompson said.

Ride Your Bike to Work Day events will start with a free breakfast in front the Moffat County Court House from 8 to 10 a.m.

The activity will include a bicycle raffle and free bicycle helmet and T-shirt giveaways.

That evening, a free barbecue picnic will take place at 6 p.m. 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 take place.

The three riders will discuss, among other topics, their goals of keeping young people's dreams

of education alive and bicycle safety.

The ride, which started May 27 in Seattle, will work its way across the United States for more than 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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