Time for a bike ride

This year’s events on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 16 will feature four separate rides: a family ride in uptown Kingston and three distance rides of twelve (Hurley), 25 (Rosendale and Stone Ridge) and 50 miles (the Shawangunks) in length. There’ll also be a youth bike rodeo. Up to 500 riders are anticipated in all, and 125 volunteers are expected to help out.

The fund currently provides assistance of grocery and/or gas gift cards to patients meeting the financial qualifications. It also may provide assistance when a patient’s health insurance does not cover a required cancer treatment product

The ninth annual Bike for Cancer Care will start and finish at Dietz Stadium. Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. Riders and volunteers will enjoy breakfast, fully supported rest stops, a barbecue lunch, ice cream and live entertainment at the end of the ride. Prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers for both individuals and teams. Entries are welcome as late as the day of the rides ($15 registration fee).

Please contact the oncology support program at Benedictine Hospital — (845) 334-2071 — or Barbara Klassen at the Benedictine Health Foundation — (845) 334-3017 — to inquire about the fund or to receive an application.

Ulster County patients who are in current treatment for a cancer diagnosis and have an annual household income of less than $50,000 for families or $35,000 for single persons qualify to apply for assistance from the fund. Once a person is qualified, non-cash assistance of up to $500 per calendar year is available.

One-hundred percent of the patients who have qualified have been provided with assistance. To date, distributions have been made to almost 1,000 patients and their families.

The all-local no-frills program has attracted philanthropic attention. In March the Millbrook-based Dyson Foundation awarded a grant of $50,000 to the Benedictine Health Foundation for the benefit of the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund at Benedictine Hospital.

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