More than 1,500 cyclists participated in the Fourth Annual Tour de Pier on Sunday May 15, 2016, which raised more than $1 million to benefit three cancer charities. Two of the charities - the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research and the Uncle Kory Foundation for brain-cancer research - provide significant support for cancer research at UCLA. This unique fundraising event takes one of the hottest indoor fitness activities, spinning, outside, where participants ride in place to move charity forward. Held on the Manhattan Beach Pier, Tour de Pier featured South Bay fitness instructors who led riders through five 50-minute sessions with energizing music. In addition to cycling, the day included a health-and-fitness expo, a Cardio Kids Fun Zone with tot-sized stationary bikes, games and activities. Gene Simmons, from the band KISS, sang the National Anthem. Event sponsor UCLA brought along Joe Bruin and the Spirit Squad to entertain and encourage riders, including UCLA Health's radiology staff members, who rode in shifts.
"Since its inception in 2013, the Tour de Pier has quickly grown into a signature fitness philanthropic event, selling out for four years running and raising more than $2.8 million for cancer research and support services," says Jon Hirshberg, co-founder of the Tour and Hirshberg Foundation trustee. Agi Hirshberg and her family, in memory of her husband Ronald, who died of pancreatic cancer, established the Hirshberg Foundation. The foundation has committed $10 million for pancreatic-cancer research at UCLA, and last year the Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Diseases at UCLA was named in recognition of Hirshberg's visionary support.
Tour de Pier co-founder Heath Gregory adds, "We are incredibly grateful to our corporate sponsors and committed riders for helping us to reach and exceed the $1-million mark in our fourth tour." Gregory and his wife Amanda founded the Uncle Kory Foundation, which has made significant contributions to the UCLA Neuro- Oncology program in memory of Amanda's brother Kory, who suffered from glioblastoma. "There is still so much more that we can do to raise funds for cancer and heighten awareness," Gregory says. "We are confident that the Tour de Pier will continue to do both."
For more information, contact Pamela Thompson at: (310) 237-1837