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Tour de Fort Lee cycle event to raise funds for local schools

The Record / Local

Tour de Fort Lee cycle event to raise funds for local schools

By: Adrienne Lu

Record_9_15_06 Fort Lee- A charity formed to benefit local schools wants you to dig out your bike shorts and strap on your helmet for the first Tour de Fort Lee on Saturday. The Fort Lee Education Foundation, created about a year and a half ago, awards scholarships to students and grants to district teachers who apply for funding for various projects. Participants in the Tour de Fort Lee will complete a 6-mile loop around the borough twice. There will be three groups of riders, for experienced riders, leisure riders and families. Michael Villano, a borough councilman with the foundation, said the group got the idea for the bike tour after hearing about a similar event in Elizabeth. The Fort Lee foundation is hoping for 100 riders in the first year of the event. “It’s a bunch of former Fort Lee High School students trying to give back to the community,” said Villano, who taught high school social studies for 30 years. “We just want to enhance the educational experience of all the students.” So far, corporate sponsors have pledged about $21,000. Town & Country Developers, which is redeveloping the former Helmsley property, has pledged $5,000. Daibes Enterprises and Bank of New Jersey each gave $2,500 and the following each gave $1,000: The Chen Agency, Mariner’s Bank, Martin Cadillac, Step-Mar Contracting and EDC Engineering. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the tour will begin at 9 a.m. The fee for registration is $15 per individual or $10 per person for families. Helmets are required and the event will be held rain or shine. The tour is not a race. Participants will be asked not to go ahead of police cars that will drive in front of the groups. Raffles will be held at the end of the tour. “We’re going to have fun,” Villano said. “I think it’s going to be a fun day and it’s a nice Fort Lee event.” 09/15/06

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