Watch CBS News

Organizers Of Ben To The Shore Bike Ride Hoping To Raise $1.2 Million For Fallen First Responders

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The 35th annual Ben to The Shore bike ride is coming up in less than two weeks. Organizers are hoping to raise $1.2 million to benefit the families of fallen police officers, firefighters and paramedics.

The Urban Bicycle Team, with Temple University Police, is gearing up for a mission that requires endurance and a lot of heart.

"I'm just going to try to push through it and see if I can make it," 14-year-old Quadrice Quarles said.

The charity bike ride is known as the Ben to The Shore. It starts at the base of the Ben Franklin Bridge and ends in Atlantic City.

"I feel good knowing I'm doing something good for the community," Quadrice said.

All proceeds from the ride go to the families of fallen first responders, like Nicole McCausland.

She's the widow of Audubon police officer Michael McCausland, who died by suicide last year.

"We had been married for 11 years at the time and it was just devastation," Nicole said. "I not only lost a husband and a father and friend but a source of income."

That's when a nonprofit called Families Behind the Badge Children's Foundation stepped in with a $5,000 grant so she could take care of her three children without having to worry about paying bills.

"I was just overwhelmed. I couldn't believe people would come in and do this for us," she said.

The nonprofit gets money to help families through the annual bike ride.

"It just takes some of that pressure off the people at the very worst time in their lives," Mark O'Connor, executive director of the nonprofit, said. "So if we can do that, we're very happy to do it."

The adults are doing the full 65-mile ride, but the Urban Bike Team is doing a shorter version that's 30 miles.

"The bond between us and the team is unbreakable," Quadrice said.

And so is the bond between the team and the Temple University police officers who help them train.

"There's a gap between relationships with the community, especially our youths and the police," Temple University police officer Leroy Wimberly said. "So by doing this and with this program, we're showing them that there are good cops."

The ride takes place on July 24.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.