Cheerleaders welcome RIDERS
Cheering the RIDERS
Riders listen to the Band play and the Chorus sing
With A Cheerful 2019 Celebration, Middle School Commemorates Twenty-Two Years of RIDE FOR LIFE with Chris Pendergast
The first RIDE FOR LIFE was launched in May 1997 during ALS Awareness Month by Chris Pendergast. Since then, the annual RIDE, comprised of ALS patients, their caregivers, and some of their greatest supporters, brings awareness and raises funds for a cure by making a special trek on foot and in wheelchairs through towns, villages, and school districts.
For many years, Sayville Schools have been part of this traditional journey to help loved ones battling the disease of ALS. Although each building has brought awareness in different ways, the goal has always been united—to support the research to find a cure!
Clapping and cheering, the Sayville Middle School community extended greetings to this year’s RIDE FOR LIFE participants: Chris Pendergast, Paul Weisman, Keith Mauro, and Donald Lang. Going “ALL OUT” with their warm welcome, the Middle School band conducted by Mrs. Kimberly Lattanzio opened with Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by The Police while the Chorus conducted by Mr. Fred Diekmann sang Lean On Me by Bill Withers
Sayville Middle School RIDE organizers Tara Felice and Kathy Mellynchuk had prepared a full program that included:
- …“a special ‘Thank You’ to our friend, Mr. Paul Weisman for donating his time about a month ago for a Middle School presentation. Mr. Weismann helped our students learn more about ALS, Commonly known as Lou Gehrig ’s disease, named after the Yankee legend who died in the prime of his life from the illness. Lou Gehrig’s number on the Yankees was 4. So, that is the significance of the blue and white wristbands (which are the Yankee Colors) that many of you are wearing with the number 4 on them;”
- … “time to acknowledge another very special person today, Mr. Chris Pendergast, who this year, is participating in his 22nd Ride for Life!”
- … a “moment to sing Happy Birthday to” Chris Pendergast who recently celebrated his 70th Birthday… “take it away, Mr. Diekmann…;”
- The results of the school’s fundraising efforts: “We sold blue and white wristbands...that stated: Fighting ‘4’ a Cure for ALS!”
During the RIDER’s visit, Mrs. Felice announced that the community wished to honor the memory “of our Middle School colleague and dear friend, Diane Lynch. Sadly, ALS took Mrs. Lynch a little over a month ago. Two of Mrs. Lynch’s friends are with us today. Thank you, Kathy McNeill and Linda Keyes, for coming today.” Nodding to Diane’s husband, Michael, Mrs. Felice continued, “We are all keeping the Lynch Family in our thoughts and prayers. At this time I invite McKenna and Anna to help us present our check….”
On behalf of Sayville Middle School, Mr. Pendergast was presented with a check in the amount of $1,100.00, “an amount that has surpassed the Middle School’s goal for this year.” According to Barbara Brown, a member of the Board of Directors for ALS, RIDE FOR LIFE who coordinates all these school visits, this generous “donation far surpassed any school they have been to!”
The celebration closed with enormous thanks:
- … “to our Art teachers, Mrs. Pontieri and Mrs. Schwenzer, for the magnificent welcome signs and beautiful check presentation;”
- … “to our cheerleaders who helped in welcoming our courageous guests of honor today;”
- … “to Dr. Stimmel for coming today;”
- “And a final thank you to all the students, faculty and staff who helped fundraise and make this day so successful.”
The Middle School band’s performance of Rhythm is Gonna Get You by Gloria Estefan concluded the heartwarming event.