“Race to Respond” gets unofficial kickoff on Long Island

The “Race to Respond,” a cross-country cycling tour in support of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), will get its unofficial kickoff on Saturday, June 22, with the “Long Island Lap.”
The event will be held at Morgan Park in Glen Cove, Long Island, and will feature food, music, games and beach activities. Two members of the Race to Respond cycling team, Jim Angelus and Michael Tsakalos, will ride 90 miles along Long Island’s northern shore that morning, arriving at the park between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Their arrival will be accompanied by a rally featuring media coverage and civic leaders.

The day is a prelude to the 25-day benefit ride that will take place this August in celebration of IOCC’s 10th anniversary. Starting Aug. 3, five amateur cyclists, including Angelus and Tsakalos, will ride across the United States to raise awareness and support for IOCC’s humanitarian mission. Along the way, they and a support crew will stop at Orthodox Christian parishes and other venues to give presentations about IOCC.

Saturday’s event, scheduled from noon to 4 p.m., is being organized by members of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Resurrection in Glen Cove, Long Island. Morgan Park is a waterfront venue with a stage, a beach, a picnic area and walking trails. A “garage band” of New York musicians will take the stage from noon to 2:30 p.m.

Anyone making a pledge to an IOCC “e-team” on Saturday will be automatically entered into a prize drawing. E-teams are one way people can get involved in the Race to Respond without riding a bicycle. By visiting www.racetorespond.org, participants can set their own fund-raising goals, combine their fund-raising efforts and invite others to join.

Other upcoming pre-race events include:

• The Summer Social Benefit on Tuesday, June 25, at the Pegasus Restaurant, 130 S. Halsted St. Chicago, Ill.

• The Pan-Orthodox Food Festival on July 27 at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, 16-20 W. 26th St., New York, N.Y.

Visit the race Web site to stay current with all race-related events. Founded in 1992, IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of Orthodox Christians.