Each year since 2002 hundreds of first responders and others have participated in the Annual “Tour de Force”, a charity bike ride started by retired NYPD Detective Robert De Paolis, to honor the fallen police officers and first responders that gave their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
This year, marked the 12th annual ride which kicked off on September 8th from the Freedom Tower in New York and arrived at the Boston Marathon Finish Line on September 11th for a total distance of 270 miles. The last 65 miles of this year’s ride specifically named “Sean’s Ride” honored fallen MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, who lost his life days after the Marathon Bombings.
Taking part in Sean’s Ride were a total of 350 riders, two of which were BC Police Officers, who contributed to helping raise money for fallen officers and their families nationwide.
Officers Dina Smith and Spencer MacWilliams (pictured) both stated that the ride was a “nice way to commemorate Sean Collier’s memory and raise money for fallen officers and their families.”
Officers Smith and MacWilliams endured the 65 mile trek from Warwick, RI to Boston in the heat and high humidity, but said “you remind yourself along the way why you are doing it.” Officers Smith and MacWilliams who both enjoy cycling said that they did no special training for the ride, but certainly added they felt a “since of accomplishment and satisfaction” when they reached the finish line and reflected on their ride and what it meant. Smith said it is “important that people remember the number of police officers killed in the line of duty each year”.
All in all a total of $35,000.00 was raised from the ride and will be donated to the Officer Sean Collier Fund at MIT.
Prepared by Sgt. J.S. Postell, Community Relations/PIO
Friday, September 13th, 2013