Rutgers cyclists stop at NSA

Published 10:03 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2013

By William Scott

Correspondent

A group of Rutgers University students, known as Dream4TK, bicycling from New Brunswick, N.J. to Orlando, Fla. in the name of raising funds and awareness for Embrace Kids Foundation, stopped overnight in Suffolk to rest on Tuesday.

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Arriving at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy at about 4 p.m., the group settled down in the eighth-grade school lounge. The bikers’ stop at the academy was thanks to NSA alumnus Andy Dewing.

Gabrielle Rossi and Phil Lubik are two of the bikers who stayed overnight at NSA on Tuesday during a stop on their journey from New Jersey to Florida to raise money for the Embrace Kids Foundation.

Gabrielle Rossi and Phil Lubik are two of the bikers who stayed overnight at NSA on Tuesday during a stop on their journey from New Jersey to Florida to raise money for the Embrace Kids Foundation.

Dewing, who had heard of the Dream4TK’s aspirations, noticed that they had not yet found a host location in Suffolk. Calling NSA Head of School Debbie Russell, Dewing was able to arrange for the cyclists to stay in the eighth-grade lounge overnight.

On Wednesday at 9 a.m., the group left Suffolk heading for its next destination in Elizabeth City, N.C.

“We want to send a message in terms of your first step in accomplishing a dream,” said Brendan McCartney, a member of Dream4TK. “Making the impossible possible.”

The group of Rutgers students raises funds for Embrace Kids Foundation, a nonprofit group that provides free non-health-related services for children with serious health issues such as cancer and sickle cell anemia.

“This is the only way I would recommend seeing the country,” Gabrielle Rossi, a cyclist for Dream4TK said. “It’s breathtaking and not something you can get by driving or taking a plane.”

Dream4TK — 4TK meaning “for the kids” — consists of five cyclists, Brendan McCartney, Phil Lubik, Sameen Jalal, Richard Trent and Gabrielle Rossi. In addition, there are three people — Natalie Twerdowsky, Jovelle Tamayo and Ramon Dompor — who drive a U-Haul truck to support the team with checkpoints that provide rest and hydration to the bikers. The truck also carries supplies for bike maintenance as well as luggage.

These three also provide updates with pictures and blogs of the bikers on Dream4TK website as they travel.

The journey will take the bikers 20 days and approximately 1,500 miles to complete. Thus far, they have traveled at least 546 miles and raised $27,000. Dream4TK is hoping to raise a total of $1 million, the cost to operate the Embrace Kids Foundation for a year.

The group travels about 75 miles on average each day. For six days on their journey, Dream4TK will stay where they are and volunteer in the local area.

Dream4TK are scheduled to arrive at Orlando, Fla., on Aug. 24. The following day the group plans to volunteer community services. On the 26th, the team will celebrate by visiting Walt Disney World.

For more information on Dream4TK and updates on their journey or to donate, visit www.dream4tk.org. To donate directly to Embrace Kids Foundation, visit www.embracekids.org.