About Town: Tour de West County

Category:  Community
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 8:00 AM
About Town: Tour de West County by Rebecca Styn
Edmund William White

We are all affected.

According to the World Health Organization, one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. The other two will know someone who is diagnosed.
Family physician Michael Spellacy knows this. He saw it over the years in his practice and the impact it had on his patients and their families.

Be the change you want to see

Seven years ago Spellacy decided to do something about it. With that, he created the “Tour de West County,” a family-friendly, charitable cycling event to benefit the LIVESTRONG foundation, whose mission is both to unite, inspire, and empower people affected by cancer and to work for a world in which the fight against cancer is no longer necessary.

Over the years though, Spellacy, along with his volunteers and sponsors, decided they wanted to see some of the donations received to stay local. So, in 2011 the event added EmergyCare as a beneficiary. While LIVESTRONG provides resources and support to cancer patients and families on a global level, Jennifer Farrar, development director for EmergyCare adds, “We provide life-saving, emergency medical care to individuals locally and across seven counties of NW Pennsylvania with all types of illness and injuries.”

And they are much more than just a ride to the hospital. Whether it’s non-emergency transportation for those in wheelchairs, air medical services via LifeStar, educational offerings for volunteer firefighters, medical office workers, or the general public, standby services at festivals, events or fairs, and advocacy to the residents of their service area, EmergyCare services target more than 550,000 residents over a 5,622-square-mile service territory. And they do this only by funding through donations, grants, education and outreach, and memberships. They receive no tax revenue from the communities they serve.

So, with that, and in accordance with all About Towns, the following are the details of the event:

Tour de West County

7:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 21.

This eighth annual event offers 5, 12, 25, and 50-mile ride routes through scenic western Erie County that are designed for every skill level. The rides are followed by a picnic and fun and entertainment for all ages. Plus, the silent auction offers a great variety of items, tickets, gift certificates, works of art, and more.

Farrar adds, “LIVESTRONG and EmergyCare are both great causes. From our organizational standpoint, whether we like to think about it or not, an accident can happen at any time. It’s important to have a strong emergency medical network and the right people and right equipment in place. That’s part of the reason I love what I do. It’s the type of organization that could potentially help any one of us. Nobody is immune.”

Also, it’s only a suggested donation of $25 to register. “We don’t turn anyone away that wants to ride. If you want to show up that day and make any type of donation, we just want you there. It’s a great cause, and we want everyone to have fun.”

Details and registration are available at www.emergycare.org/tour-de-west-county.

Rebecca Styn can be contacted at rstyn@eriereader.com

Tags: cancer

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