The Hospice Gran Fondo is July 24 --Why do you ride?

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By Margaret McIntosh, Special Events & Marketing Intern

Niagara Hospice has been helping patients and families throughout Niagara County for more than 33 years. One way that the community can say thank you and give back to the organization is by participating in the annual Hospice Gran Fondo bike ride. This fun, family-oriented fundraiser event takes place on Saturday, July 24 on the Niagara Hospice campus at 4675 Sunset Drive in Lockport.

The bike route takes riders of all ages and abilities through some of the most beautiful parts of Niagara County. With three distance options - 15, 33 and 62 miles -- there is a ride for everyone. 

You may be asking yourself…what is a Gran Fondo? Well, a Gran Fondo is a type of bike ride that originated in Italy. It translates to “big ride.” They usually include a mass start, food and refreshment stops, and scenic routes. The Hospice ride includes all of those things! Gran Fondos are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, and we are proud to be the first one in Western New York. The event is not a race as everyone is free to pedal at their own pace. 

Leading up to the Gran Fondo, the Special Events Department would like to highlight some riders who have been participating in the event over the last seven years and ask them, “Why do you ride?” This week we are highlighting Dick Mullaney, who has participated in every Fondo since its inception in 2014. He decided to become a participant because he knows firsthand how important is to support the essential care and support services that Niagara Hospice provides to the community.

“My mother-in-law spent the last few months of her life under Niagara Hospice care while living with my wife, our daughter and I," said Mullaney. "I saw firsthand the dedication of the staff. Being at our home the last months of her life versus being in a hospital was comforting to her, and it meant a great deal to my wife, daughter, my brother-in-law and myself. 

When I was a teenager, my mother, a cancer patient, spent the last months of her life (in 1970), in a hospital. She received wonderful care at LMH, but it is my belief if hospice services had been available, she would have suffered less and we could have spent more quality time with her. I also think as teenagers, my brother, sister and myself would have benefited by hospice services offered to family members.”

Dick really values the positive difference that Niagara Hospice makes in the lives of patients and their family members, and that’s why he rides. 

Are you interested in sharing your story about Why You Ride in the Hospice Gran Fondo? Please email margaret.mcintosh@niagarahospice.org with your name and story. 

To register to ride in the Gran Fondo, visit HospiceGranFondo.com.


 

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