LIVINGSTON, NJ – Approximately 150 people participated in Pedaling For Prevention, a bike-a-thon raising money for The Burn Foundation, which benefits The Burn Center at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.
Beverly Foster, Director of the Foundation, stated that the Burn Foundation, “Raises money for the Burn Center at St. Barnabas. It’s the only state certified Burn Treatment Center in New Jersey.”
Proceeds from the fundraiser goes to equipment for The Burn Center, and also to help patients in need.
The Burn Center has been in existence since 1977 and consists of four surgeons specializing in burns. The Center is affiliated with St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston and its Foundation has been in existence since 1987.
Ms. Foster stated that annually, “anywhere from 350 to 400 patients are treated in The Burn Center, and then up in the thousands of outpatients.”
The 2013 Pedaling For Prevention marked the seventh year of its existence. According to Beverly Foster, an employee of The Burn Foundation, who was a burn educator, came up with the idea of a bike-a-thon since biking is a popular activity.
Those who worked for The Burn Foundation, former patients of The Burn Center, families, and friends could be seen at the event.
William Lockbrin, a firefighter from Sea Girt, was a patient at The Burn Center twenty-one years ago. Lockbrin referred to The Burn Center as his “extended family.” He has continued his involvement with The Center since a year after he left as a patient.
“I look at the day I was burned in a house fire as my rebirth. My second family is the team at the Burn Unit.” He also cautioned people to be aware of the necessity of exercising safety to avoid burns, and that The Burn Center was always there for people. Lockbrin, who likes to bike on weekends when the weather is good, completed the ten mile bike ride.
During this year’s event, bicyclists could choose between three routes: one lasted ten miles, another twenty-five, and a third lasted for forty-miles.
Ari Rosenberg of New York City, who decided to attend the event with his eighty-year-old father, went on the twenty-five mile ride. Rosenberg said that he was able to see “a lot of beautiful hills and countryside”, in addition to seeing The Great Swamp. Ari’s father, Joe Rosenberg of Maplewood, NJ, stated that he was at the event previously, and that he was “looking forward to being here again.” Joe said that he “tries to get out 2-3 times per week” on his bike.
Elizabeth Bryant of Short Hills and her daughter, nine-year old Madelyn, completed the ten-mile bike ride. Bryant stated that she and her daughter came to the event “to help the burn victims and for the athleticism.” Today also marked the first time Madelyn, who started biking at age 7, rode her bike beyond five miles. During their ride, they were able to see parts of Chatham. Bryant also commented that the routes were well marked.
Gidi Fox, 10, who came to the event with his mother, Shira Vicor Fox, said that the event was for “a good charity.” Gidi and his mother did the ten mile route. Gidi stated that “the big hill is annoying, but its fun.” While his mom said that she came to the event because “its something fun and healthy that I can do with my son.” Fox initially heard about the event at a bike shop.
Lou Delurand, who heard about the event through an email from the St. Barnabas Network, said he came to the event to “help raise some funds for The Burn Unit. It’s traumatic for the people who were burned one way or another.”
Following the bike-a-thon, participants were able to win prizes and enjoy an Italian lunch provided by Calabria’s Restaurant in Livingston, while enjoying a variety of music.
“Today’s prizes were all bike related stuff; tire gauges, mirrors, things for your wrist so you can see how your heart rate is doing” said event producer, Mark Zenobia, whose company On Your Mark Productions helps put together non-profit events. Zenobia and his company have produced the Pedaling For Prevention events all seven years, in addition to nearly eight hundred and fifty events.
Megyn Kelly, who is on The Burn Foundation’s event staff, said that they also hold other events during the year such as the Valor Awards, and a food and wine tasting.
Supporters of the event included PSE&G, Calabria’s Restaurant, Mark Zenobia of On Your Mark Productions, and Be Entertained, who provided music for the event. Other supporters included Barnabas Health, Johnson&Johnson, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Sodexo, SEI, Meyersville Cafe, and High Gear Cycling.