Published July 7, 2021
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — The 17th annual Reid’s Ride is going to be a virtual fundraiser once again this year when it returns on Sunday, July 18.
The Reid’s Ride bike-a-thon has been a popular North Shore tradition for 15 years, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced last year’s event to be virtual. The annual event raises funds for the Reid R. Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Alliance and serves as a tribute to the life and legacy of Reid Sacco. Reid was a Lynnfield High School graduate who passed away in April 2005 after a courageous two-year battle with soft tissue sarcoma.
Funds raised from Reid’s Ride are used to support new treatments for adolescents and young adults fighting cancer in hopes of finding a cure.
“The Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance started as a grassroots movement,” said Executive Director Lorraine Sacco in an email sent to the Villager. “Today, 17 years after its inception, the alliance remains an all-volunteer organization that, among other things, raises funds and provides grants to select AYA cancer programs. The vision of the alliance is to see the day when the cancers striking adolescents and young adults are routinely curable or entirely preventable. Our mission is to promote awareness, patient advocacy, clinical research and collaboration so that our vision is realized in the next decade. The alliance’s values, priorities and objectives are the ingredients needed to conquer cancer with the support of the people in our community.”
Sacco recalled that the 16th annual Reid’s Ride raised over $70,000.
“Like other large public events last year, the 16th annual Reid’s Ride was held as a virtual event because of COVID-19,” said Sacco. “Appropriately enough, the theme for last year’s Reid’s Ride was ‘Stronger Together While We Are Apart.’ Despite going virtual, the 2020 Reid’s Ride continued its 16-year history of successful fundraising to support the fight against adolescent and young adult cancers.”
Sacco said the alliance is holding a virtual fundraiser for the second straight year because Stage Fort Park in Gloucester decided to cancel all public events this summer. Reid’s Ride has traditionally been a 28-mile bike-a-thon that begins at Lynnfield High School and ends at Stage Fort Park.
“As a 2021 Reid’s Ride participant, people can choose any activity they prefer,” said Sacco. “Participants can ride a bike, run, walk or row, and complete it independently as an individual or as teams on the day of the ride at any location they choose. Participants can design their own Reid’s Ride this year, and complete it on Sunday, July 18.”
Sacco encouraged participants to take a short video or a photo of themselves or their team participating in the activity they are undertaking for Reid’s Ride. She urged people to email photos and videos to email@example.com.
“We will assemble all of these videos and photos into a single video that we will post on the Reid’s Ride Facebook page,” said Sacco.
Sacco said each Reid’s Ride participant will be receiving a T-shirt this year. The individuals and teams who raise at least $400 will each receive a stainless steel Reid’s Ride insulated travel mug in addition to the T-shirt. The individuals and teams who raise at least $750 will also receive a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant. The individuals and teams who raise at least $2,000 will also receive a Reid’s Ride Signature Cycling Jersey, a Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance lapel pin and a Mariposa Statement Tray.
Residents can register for Reid’s Ride by visiting www.reidsride.org.
Sacco said people who don’t want to participate in the 17th annual Reid’s Ride but still want to support the fundraiser can make a donation by visiting https://secure.frontstream.com/2021reidsride/donation. She also said people can write a check to Reid’s Ride 2021, and mail it to 18 Sylvan Circle, Lynnfield, MA 01940.
“People do not have to ride to support Reid’s Ride,” said Sacco. “People’s donations are more than appreciated, especially this year. Please consider donating any amount. It has been a rough year for everyone, but there is nothing like isolation while fighting cancer, especially as a young adult.”
Sacco said the alliance was able to hold the first annual Northeast Cancer Conference in early April. She noted that the event was a telehealth conference.
“The purpose of the conference was to drive collaboration among physicians, researchers and providers to accelerate progress in the care, treatment and prognoses of adolescent and young adult cancer patients and cancer survivors,” said Sacco. “The conference was a milestone that the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance is so proud of.”
Sacco thanked the Lynnfield community and all of the communities on the North Shore for supporting Reid’s Ride and the alliance over the past 17 years. She also thanked Alliance Advisory Board members Liana Boghosian, Reid Lavoie, Jackie Tewksbury, Nathan Bankoff, MD, Chi Chu, MD, Mike Marra, Jane Greeno, Meredith Nash, Meg Sacco, Colin Doody, Katie Bush, Meaghan Nelson and Matt Parziale for supporting the alliance’s mission of finding a cure for AYA cancers.
“They are the most resilient, focused, driven and dedicated young adults who have brought the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance through COVID without skipping a beat against cancer,” said Sacco.
Sacco also thanked her husband, Gene, and her son, Weston, for both going above and beyond for the alliance while honoring their son and brother’s memory. “Gene conducts the advisory board as if it were a symphony of talented musicians,” said Sacco. “We are partners in living life to it fullest. And for us, the fullest life is working each day to end cancer. As Reid’s only sibling, Weston has helped shape the path and trajectory of this all-volunteer organization inspired by his late brother’s own battle with AYA cancer. Weston is now an attending physician in emergency medicine at Emory Johns Creek Hospital in Georgia.”