By Christopher Roberson
In the early morning hours on July 15, 355 riders left Lynnfield High School on the 14th Annual Reid’s Ride to Fight Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer. Less than two hours later, riders began crossing the finish line 28 miles away at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester.
“It was a great day to ride,” said Carolyn LaRosa of Somerville, adding that she has participated in Reid’s Ride since it began 14 years ago.
She said the hilly terrain presented some challenges, particularly as she passed through Manchester-by-the-Sea. “There’s a killer hill at the end of Manchester,” said LaRosa.
Heather Pisapia of Reading agreed, saying the hills were a formidable opponent. “There were definitely some tough hills; I got quite exhausted on a few of them,” she said.
Matthew Desimone of Lynnfield said he has been riding Reid’s Ride for the past seven years. “The people who put this on are really great people,” he said.
John Barrows of Danvers and Paschal Corrigan of Gloucester joined in the event with their 50-plus soccer team, the North Shore Celtics. “The hills at the end are a little bit tough,” said Barrows.
As of July 18, the event has raised more than $215,000 – a record for the event. The top fundraising team was We Can’t Stop with $15,111, and the top individual fundraiser was Paula Parziale with $8,528. The online donation page, https://www.firstgiving.com/event/Reidsride/2018/donate, will remain active until Oct. 1. All proceeds will benefit the Essex County Community Foundation.
Reid’s Ride was founded by Lynnfield resident Lorraine Sacco after she lost her 20-year-old son Reid to sarcoma in April 2005. According to the Mayo Clinic, sarcoma is considered to be a rare form of cancer with less than 200,000 cases reported each year. However, Sacco was never alone in her efforts to honor her son’s memory.
“We brought all the givers together from throughout the North Shore,” she said during a prior interview. “It’s a commitment throughout.”
She also said Reid’s grandfather, Robert, continues to have a significant influence on Reid’s Ride despite his passing in December 2017. “It’s the character of Reid’s grandfather,” Sacco said of the event.
In addition, she credited the community at large with the event’s ongoing success. “I love Lynnfield; your community is your family,” she said.
According to the event’s website, https://www.firstgiving.com/event/Reidsride/2018, the course winds its way through Middleton, Danvers and Beverly. Then it turns east and hugs the coast along Route 127 North before reaching the finish line on Cape Ann. There is one rest stop located approximately halfway through the course at Endicott College in Beverly.
Although other fundraisers are held during the year, Reid’s Ride is the flagship event for the Reid Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Fund.
Sacco said that during his battle with cancer, Reid was always optimistic that he would beat the disease and someday “ride in an event to raise money to support research in young adult cancer.”