​WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Pleasantdale Pedalers, a stationery cycling team comprising Pleasantdale Principal Joanne Pollara and teachers Melissa Malfettano, Nick Salese, Laura Amendola, Lisa Brattoli, Karen Weinstein and Melissa Montanez, raised $1,447 to help fund research for rare cancers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center during the Eighth Annual Cycle for Survival on Feb. 7.

The team pedaled at The Equinox Gym in Summit along with several other teams including a large contingent from the West Orange Fire Department. Founded in 2007 by Jennifer and David Lin after Jennifer was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Cycle for Survival has raised over $50 million in funds to research rare cancers, which comprise approximately 50 percent of all cancers worldwide. Lin passed away in 2011, but Cycle for Survival has continued to grow in size and scope with yearly events across the country.

Pleasantdale Guidance Counselor Florence Chirichiello volunteered at last year's event dressed in costume as "Disco the Clown." Her experience motivated her to help Pleasantdale put together a team of their own, collecting donations from fellow staff members, friends, parents, and other supporters in the West Orange community.

“The energy and love in the room was amazing as so many people cycled for an important cause that is so close to everyone’s heart and we can’t wait to do it again next year,” said Chirichiello. Dr. Pollara and the Pleasantdale Pedalers are already planning next year's effort and hope to raise even more money for Cycle for Survival.​