Lung Association’s Autumn Escape Bike Trek Celebrates Another Successful Year

275 Trekkers and 75 volunteers help raise $250,000 to fight lung disease

(October 1, 2012)

This past weekend, the American Lung Association celebrated its 28th annual Autumn Escape Bike Trek. Despite the inclement weather, 75 people came out to volunteer their time while 275 participants rode 160 miles to support healthy lungs and healthy air, raising $250,000.

Trekkers took off from the start line at 9 a.m. on Friday, located at the Plymouth Hilton Garden Inn. They finished up Day One, after riding more than 50 miles, at Camp Burgess in Sandwich. Day Two started off at 8:30 a.m., with cyclists taking off at Camp Burgess and crossing the Day Two finish line at Cape Cod Sea Camps in Brewster. On Day Three, after cycling another 50 miles, trekkers crossed the final finish line at Veteran’s Memorial School & Community Center in Provincetown, to crowds of volunteers, friends, family and loved ones cheering them on.

“The Autumn Escape Bike Trek has been an American Lung Association tradition for almost three decades,” said Jeff Seyler, American Lung Association of the Northeast’s President & CEO. “We are so proud of how our event has grown over the years and continue to be humbled by the outpouring of community support. Events like this make it possible for us to continue funding valuable lung disease research, advocacy and education in our region.”

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was the premier sponsor of the 2012 Autumn Escape Bike Trek. Other sponsors included Kindred Healthcare, EasCare Ambulance, Genentech, Massachusetts General Transplant Center’s Lung Transplant Program, Magic 106.7 and Creative Mobile Technologies.   Registration is now open for 2013 at www.biketreknewengland.org. All proceeds from the Autumn Escape Bike Trek directly fund lung disease research, advocacy, and education; including COPD/asthma management, smoking cessation programs, and advocacy for stronger clean air standards.

Participants shared their personal stories of loss and hope at the “Spirit of the Trek “ceremony that was held during the event.  In addition to riding in memory of loved ones who were lost due to lung diseases like COPD, asthma and lung cancer, many are compelled to ride in the event year after year because the Lung Association’s clean air advocacy gives them hope for healthier air.  Locally, Barnstable County received a ‘D’ grade for ozone pollution in the American Lung Association’s State of Air Report 2012, released earlier this year.  While this is up from an ‘F’ in 2011, there is still much that needs to be done so that all Bay Staters can breathe clean air. Visit www.fightingforair.org for more on the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air.

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