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HeartShare’s Bike Team Races to Finish Line

May 9, 2018

Community, In The Media

Some HeartShare team members, (left to right) Mark Lupo, Danielle Eaton, Alex Bethea and Johnny Johnston, chatting before taking off for the TD Five Borough Bike Tour on Sunday, May 6th.

(New York)—HeartShare created an inaugural bike team as an official charity partner of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour on Sunday, May 6, 2018.

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is the largest charitable bike ride in the U.S. On the first Sunday in May, over 30,000 cyclists of all skill levels come from around the world to roll through every borough of NYC on streets totally free of cars. “I wanted to participate because HeartShare brings out the best in the people it supports,” said Board Member Johnny Johnston.

“We couldn’t have done it without support and motivation from our amazing family and friends. They’ve gone above and beyond to help us reach our fundraising goal and to cheer us on,” said Alex Bethea, HeartShare’s Payroll Director, who has been with the agency for 23 years.

“It was my goal to do the Bike Tour for a long time and because of me, HeartShare created the team,” explained Joey Benfante, who lives at HeartShare’s Attardi Residence and had trained for the Bike Tour through HeartShare’s Community Habilitation Program.

HeartShare Direct Support Professional Craig Marques accompanied Joey on the team. “I’m so proud of my son for setting this goal and grateful to HeartShare staff who helped him see it through,” said HeartShare Board Member Joseph Benfante.

The team spent months preparing for the Tour and was ready to cross the finish line for HeartShare. “Preparing for the Bike Tour has been an exciting experience for us…One Saturday, we rode from Bay Ridge through Manhattan and back, crossing two bridges and totaling almost 20 miles,” shared Danielle Eaton and her partner, Mark Lupo.

Through her family, Danielle and Mark have attended HeartShare events and spent time at HeartShare’s Eaton Residence for children with autism. “I’m very proud of my daughter Danielle and Mark Lupo for representing HeartShare in the Bike Tour,” said HeartShare Board Member Craig Eaton.

Harbor Fitness provided free training, including spin sessions for the HeartShare cyclists. “The group was so motivated and came to class prepared to work hard. It was a lot of fun,” said trainer Gisela Key. Harbor Fitness will be hosting the Annual Race for Autism on Sunday, June 10th in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, which benefits children with disabilities enrolled in HeartShare pre-schools and The HeartShare School.

“By supporting our team, your donation helps us offer innovative programs to children and adults with disabilities,” shared Meredith Beck, HeartShare Vice President of Development. Proceeds return to HeartShare’s Developmental Disabilities Services, which includes residential, employment, educational and other programs. “It’s not too late to make your miles count, but act fast because there’s only a couple spots left on our Marathon team in November,” she added.

To join HeartShare’s Marathon team, please reach Mario Principato at or 718-422-3213.

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