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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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Cyclers fundraise for Israeli special-ed school

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HAMILTON — Geoff Rose has cycled thousands of kilometres, but his next 2,000 may be the most meaningful.

Cyclers Geoff Rose and Ori Menahem

The Hamilton man will cycle to Halifax to raise funds to support Shechafim Regional Special Education School near Kiryat Shmonah in Israel.

His 20-year-old son, Daniel, will join him, along with Ori Menahem, an Israeli working at Hamilton Hebrew Academy for the year.

Shechafim is a partnership project of the UJA Federation of Hamilton, the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and the Atlantic Jewish Council. Since 2007, Hamilton federation has been raising funds to support special projects for the school and to donate equipment to the school.

After touring the school during a trip to Israel in March, Rose decided he wanted to do something to help the students there.

“They have all children there – Muslims, Orthodox Jews, secular Jews, it doesn’t matter. The kids there have so many challenges, but they are bringing out the most in them,” he said. “They have very specialized equipment, but they have to fundraise for all of it.”

The goal is to raise $6,800 – enough to purchase two Rifton Adaptive Tricycles and two helmets for use by Shechafim students. This would help children with special needs improve their physical coordination, strength and spatial perception, while having fun and experiencing change and variety in their daily routine.

Cycling long distances is nothing new for Rose, who biked to Calgary many years ago. He cycled Manitoulin Island last summer with his wife and has cycled through northern England and Holland. Lately, he’s been training with four-hour, 80-kilometre rides on Hamilton area trails.

“It has been a while since I’ve done a long-distance ride, and the bonus is, I get to bring my son,” he said. “We will be camping most nights and plan to stop in Jewish communities along the way, especially for Shabbat.”

Geoff and Daniel will ride a tandem, towing a trailer with their camping and other gear. Menahem will ride his own bicycle, carrying additional necessities.

The three-week trip will be more than 2,000 kilometres and the men plan to travel about 120 kilometres each day, breaking on Shabbat. They will leave from Adas Israel Congregation of Hamilton on June 26 at 9 a.m.

The men will blog each day on their Facebook page, which can be found by searching “Shechafim” on Facebook.

If they exceed their $6,800 goal, every additional $3,400 would allow them to purchase another tricycles from Rifton. The school needs seven trikes.

For more information, visit www.jewishhamilton.org and click on  Cycling for Shechafim.

 

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