22 Years of Riding for a Cure
2021 marks the 22nd year of this fun and family-friendly bike ride which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the ALS cause.
In 1999, Dan Frank and his siblings hatched an idea that turned into one of the most successful ALS fundraisers for the ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter. Their idea: A long-distance bike ride through South Jersey, ending at the family summer home in Sea Isle, NJ. It was a great first-year for the “ALS Express” as it was then called and culminated with friends and family celebrating Dan’s mom, Eileen Frank, who was living with ALS. Each rider solicited donations to raise money for the Chapter’s work in helping families like the Frank’s as well as support funding for ALS research.
The next year brought change. And this change became a catalyst for the success of the ride.
Jackye Morey loved scooting along the beaches of Wildwood, NJ in her large tired beach wheelchair. Tragically, her ride came to an end in July of 1998 when ALS claimed her life. However, thanks to her sons, Will and Jack Morey, and thousands who have participated in what was rekindled the “Ride to Defeat ALS”, she will never, ever be forgotten. Will and Jack agreed to move the bike ride endpoint to Morey’s Piers and Waterparks in Wildwood, thus drawing hundreds of happy cyclists to enjoy this seaside mecca. 2019, the 50th anniversary of Morey’s Piers and Water Parks, saw more changes in the ride and today it begins and ends on the boardwalk in Wildwood and riders can chose from five distance options. No other bike ride in the country offers such amenities - TWO 2-day passes to Morey’s Piers for every rider and free passes for ALS families and a fun-filled endpoint with free lunch in Wildwood.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw the ride transition to an entirely virtual event. Despite the challenge of this new format our riders continued to ride for the ALS cause. 2021 will once again be virtual, with riders riding their way, whenever and wherever they choose! We hope to see all of our riders in person in 2022!
We thank the Frank family for their vision and the Morey family for their unwavering support.
In 2000, family and friends of Eileen Frank (center) cruised into
the newly-designated endpoint at Morey’s Piers and Waterparks.
Will, Jack and Janice Morey and Merideth Fiorucci of Morey’s Piers take
in the festivities with Chapter Board Chair Ellyn Phillips at the 2000 ride endpoint.
Will Morey (right) cycled in the ride's early days and here he joins members of the Phillies family who also participated.
Jack Morey helps his son pin on his rider number at the 2003 ride.
Family Teams like Barry's Bikers are ride mainstays. Barry's Bikers, shown here in a 2008 photo are still riding today!
The presence of ALS patients Karen Delaney Shideleff and Wes Rose at the 2012 event remind us of "Why we ride."
Marcia (Ride Chair) and Greg Telthorster and their team Legs for Greg at the 2013 endpoint.
The Phelan Family enjoys the endpoint at Morey's - they ride in memory of their husband and father, Tom, every year.
CompoSecure is one of many corporate teams that adds to the success of the ride.
US Army Veteran and ALS patient Chuck Schretzman celebrates with members of the Frank Family and Will Morey in 2019 at the Ride's 20th anniversary celebration on the Boardwalk.
Riding 4 Romano rode their way in 2020: over 100 milies on the Schuykill River Trail in Pennsylvania.