Sunday, April 3, 2011

Healin’ through wheelin’

Posted By on Sun, Apr 3, 2011 at 11:16 PM

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Tour de Lis, an annual 5K walk-run-bike through City Park to benefit cancern patients in the New Orleans area, will be held at 8 a.m. to noon this Saturday (April 9). The event begins behind Tad Gormley Stadium in the park. It’s not a race; it’s a “ride with a purpose.”

Tour de Lis offers something for everyone — a fun-filled event featuring food, music, prizes and more. Best of all, the costs associated with putting on the event are donated by sponsors, so every penny raised goes to the 501(c)(3) charity Tour de Lis and to LiveStrong, the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Even if you don’t walk, run or bike, you can still participate by donating. Go HERE to check out the history of this great local charity. Founded in 2006 by local community activists Carol and Harold Asher, Tour de Lis seeks to improve the survival rates and quality of life for people faced with a cancer diagnosis. Others who helped organize the first Tour de Lis include Doug Thornton, Mickey Allweiss and Bill Schwartz, and Abby and Josh Lipschutz. (Josh, a 1992 Tulane graduate and former New Orleans resident was married less than a month when he was diagnosed with malignant brain cancer. He battles this today with tremendous optimism and courage. In his honor, the Ashers organized Tour de Lis.)

“We are committed to funding educational programs and services in and around New Orleans specifically for cancer survivors and their families,” says Carol Asher. “Cancer is the leading cause of death in this world. The better educated all of us are, the better equipped we can be as caregivers and loved ones.”

The 5K walk/run is the first event at 8 a.m., followed by the bike ride at 9 a.m. the course follows a 3-mile loop, which can be done as many times as cyclists wish. The cost is $35 to walk, run or ride — $40 to do both. Participants must be 12 years old to cycle, and no babies or children are allowed on backs or bikes (or pulled on bikes), and all cyclists must wear helmets.

This year, for the first time in its history, Tour de Lis has surpassed its goal of raising $250,000 before the event. Now, says Carol Asher, organizers hope to see 1,000 participants turn out for the event.

“I normally ride for fun, but I do this for a purpose,” says Thornton, GM of the Superdome and Arena and an avid cyclist. “We are very fortunate to have an incredible committee of more than 25 community leaders helping to plan and raise funds for this event. We designed this event for local and national serious riders, casual cyclists and those who want to show support for cancer victims, their friends and families alike.”

To donate or participate, go to the Tour de Lis website and sign up.

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