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Cycling for Fitness and Safety

Pedal your bike, tricycle, unicycle or any other non-motorized wheeled vehicle through the streets of New Orleans May 16 in what has become the largest bike tour in the Gulf South. The fifth annual Bike Tour, sponsored by Bike New Orleans, offers a 7-mile course and a 24-mile tour that begins and ends at Popp Fountain in City Park.

Riders can pre-register now (call 288-8228 for locations) or at Popp Fountain from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 15 and 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. May 16. Registration is $30 for adults and $15 for riders younger than 15. Proceeds benefit the New Orleans Police Foundation, which helps fund police officer training, equipment purchases and education.

The 24-mile tour begins at 9 a.m., and the 7-mile tour begins at 9:30 a.m. Participants will receive a T-shirt as well as refreshments at designated rest stops. A post-tour party will include exhibits, food, beverages and music.

Feed the Hungry

In a city so rich in food culture and variety, it sometimes is difficult to imagine that some 850,000 of our fellow Louisianians live below the poverty line and often go hungry. To help curb the problem, the National Association of Letter Carriers Union and Hibernia National Bank are sponsoring the 12th annual Letter Carriers Food Drive Saturday, May 8.

On that day, letter carriers will collect bags of non-perishable food items residents leave by their mailboxes and will deliver them to Second Harvesters Food Bank, which distributes free food to the needy. Last year, more than 190,200 pounds of food were collected during the one-day drive.

Make Dreams Come True

The National Association of Catering Executives is sponsoring Big Top Dreams from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. May 20 to raise money for Kids Kicking Cancer, a nonprofit group that hosts programs for young cancer patients and their families.

The event at the Foundry (914 N. Peters, 529-1583) will include cuisine from noted New Orleans restaurants such as K-Paul's, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and Bella Luna, as well as activities, music and entertainment by magicians, mimes, stilt walkers and others.

Tickets to Big Top Dreams are $45 or $65 to the fundraiser and a champagne patron party that begins at 6 p.m.

Healthful Diversion

Take a walk or run, enjoy some live music and help collect money to find a cure for inflammatory bowel diseases at a special event at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 8 at Lafreniere Park in Metairie.

The Louisiana/Mississippi Chapter of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America is holding its fourth annual Pace Setter Walk. Food and drinks will be provided for participants, and The Boogie Men will play music. Proceeds will be used for research and education programs for people suffering from Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis.

Registration is $15 in advance, $20 the day of the event. For sponsor forms and information, call 888-1135 or (800) 799-0157.

In Search of a Hot Seat

Ethan Allen Home Interiors and Ochsner Clinic Foundation are hosting Palettes & Palates with Chairs that Care, an evening of food, wine, art, music and celebrity-designed chairs on May 22 at 625 St. Charles Ave. Proceeds will benefit Ochsner for Children.

Highlights of the evening include auctions of art and fine wine as well as chairs designed by such celebrities as Britney Spears, Blaine Kern Studios, Lilly Pulitzer and Ellen DeGeneres and members of the New Orleans Saints, Hornets and Zephyrs.

Tickets are $50 for the main event, which begins at 8 p.m. and features auctions, wine from Elio's Wine Warehouse, The Cellars of River Ridge and Partners Wine Marketing Group as well as food prepared by Anna Banana and Pigeon Catering. Patron tickets are $125 and also include a patron party, which begins at 7 p.m. and includes a tour of condominiums at 625 St. Charles as well as champagne and hors d'oeuvres by Joel's Grand Cuisine.

Take a Swing at Cancer

The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad is sponsoring a golf tournament at English Turn Golf & Country Club (1 Clubhouse Drive) May 10 to benefit the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium, a partnership between Tulane and Louisiana State universities.

Registration for the four-golfer scramble tournament begins at 11 a.m.; tee time is 1 p.m. The cost is $175 per golfer, which includes 18-hole green fee, cart, gifts, food and beverages. There will be prizes given for hole-in-one, closest to the hole and longest drive. Corporate sponsorships range from $200 to $15,000. For more information, contact Ron Richoux at 896-7432.

A Good Sign

The Irish Channel Action Foundation (ICAF) has scheduled introductory sign language classes for children and adults on Tuesdays May 4 through May 25. The classes, which will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., will be held at ICAF (1813 Magazine St.) and will be taught by certified interpreter Barbara Lovas. The cost is $5 per class, with family rates and scholarships available. For more information or to register, call 525-1940.

Risk-Free Improvement

As part of International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association's nationwide campaign for better health for Americans, health club members of the group are offering free visits for people who want to determine if working out at the facilities can improve their fitness, health and nutrition.

During the Get Active America! campaign, participating clubs will allow members to bring friends and family members to the clubs for free from May 17-20, and will allow anyone to visit and work out at the facilities for free from May 21-23.

Clubs participating locally include Mackie Shilstone Pro Spa (2111 St. Charles Ave.), French Riviera Health Spa (8350 Earhart Blvd.; 3908 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie; 9851 I-10 Service Road), Franco's Athletic Club (111 Robert E. Lee Blvd.; 100 Bon Temps Roule, Mandeville), Lakeway Athletic Club (3838 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie), Pelican Athletic Club (1170 Meadowbrook Blvd., Mandeville) and Cross Gates Athletic Club (200 N. Military Road, Slidell). For more information and updated participants, visit www.getactiveamerica.com.

What Eyes Reveal

Floyd Franco Ballesteros, president and founder of the Institute of Iridology and Naturopathy of Brazil who was accredited as an international instructor by the National Iridology Research Institute in Seattle, will teach a workshop in integrated iridology from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 22 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 23 at 1320 St. Andrews St. He also will be available for consultations from May 17 to May 21. Iridology is the study of the eye's iris to determine health imbalances and, sometimes, personality traits.

Call 410-2416 or 723-3310 for more information about the workshops and consultations.

Cognitive Trial

Adults with mild cognitive decline may be eligible to participate in a study to determine whether a drug now used to treat Alzheimer's disease might also be useful in treating their symptoms. Researchers at Tulane University are looking for people between 45 and 90 who are experiencing memory loss and other changes in thinking not attributed to Alzheimer's. For more information, call 588-5800 or (800) 588-5800.

click to enlarge Enjoy a healthy day of pedaling for a good cause at the fifth annual Bike Tour May 16, sponsored by Bike New Orleans.
  • Enjoy a healthy day of pedaling for a good cause at the fifth annual Bike Tour May 16, sponsored by Bike New Orleans.
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