(Courtesy of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest) Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ’s second annual Tour de Summer Camps NJ is taking place on Sunday, September 22. Proceeds of this community cycling and Family Fun Day event will make it possible for more children across Greater MetroWest NJ to attend Jewish summer camp through One Happy Camper grants and need-based scholarships.
The start and finish line, as well as the Family Fun Day activities, will take place at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown.“This is one of the biggest events of the year for our Greater MetroWest Jewish community,” said event co-chair Gary DeBode. “The bike ride is the perfect way for cyclists to come together to ride some beautiful routes and raise money for a great cause. And the Family Fun Day event is going to be a blast for families!”
“For cyclists,” he continued, “we are offering a 62-mile route with nearly 4,000 feet of climbing. Intermediate riders may opt for the 36-mile route with significantly less hills and for novice riders we suggest the 18-mile route with a modest 800 feet of climbing. All routes are fully supported and are on scenic and less traveled country roads in northern New Jersey. Riders will travel through the middle of the Great Swamp Wildlife Preserve and have a rest stop at the Raptor Trust, a facility that rescues injured eagles, owls and other birds of prey. They will also pass through Jockey Hollow where the Continental Army encamped during the harshest winter of the Revolutionary War.”
Cyclists at this year’s event will be joined by riders from Israel, participants of the Cycling2Gether program with partnership the community of Ofakim/Merchavim. The 12 men and women will be here for a week, enjoying practice rides to see area sites of interest, visiting greater MetroWest agencies and synagogues and staying with local families participating in the Tour de Summer Camps NJ.
The Family Fun Day event, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will feature an optional one-mile family-friendly bike ride, a live concert by Jewish rock star Rick Recht, a kosher barbecue lunch and lots of camp-led activities. Kids will enjoy ga-ga, arts and crafts, inflatables and face painting, as well as a woodworking program with Maplewoodshop and a group drumming program with Path to Rhythm. There will also be sensory resources available for children who need them.
“Tour de Summer Camps NJ was a great success last year, and we’re hoping to make it even larger and more special this year as it’s the 10th anniversary of our Greater MetroWest Jewish Camp Enterprise,” said Elisa Spungen Bildner, who, along with her husband Rob are sponsors of the event as well as founding donors and co-chairs of the Jewish Camp Enterprise in Greater MetroWest and founders of the North American Foundation for Jewish Camp. “Years ago, after participating in the Wexner leadership program, Rob and I recognized that there’s a great need for informal Jewish educational opportunities for children and overnight camps provide that. Federation’s Jewish Camp Enterprise makes it possible for all children to experience the magic of Jewish summer camp.”
The fee to participate in the bike ride is $75 for early bird registrations until September 15. The cost of Family Fun Day is $25 per person, $50 per family (up to 5 people), children under 3 and family members accompanying distance cyclists are free.
For more information about the event and to register or make a donation visit the Tour de Camp NJ website at tourdesummercampsnj.org. For any additional information or questions contact Fara Gold at [email protected] or 973- 929-3179.