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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First winner announced in Gerry Frierdich bike raffle

Congratulations to Diane Roche of St. Louis, the winner of the first of two Bacchetta Belandare recumbent bicycles that are being raffled off to raise money for Gerry "Chief" Frierdich, the Belleville, Ill., cyclist was was paralyzed from the chest down in August 2007 when his Bacchetta recumbent was struck by a pickup truck.

Diane's name was drawn Sunday at the Millstadt Biathlon, the first of two scheduled drawings.

Diane, shown here with Gerry outside her St. Louis home, was so excited because it means she can retire her old 10-speed bike.

As it turns out, Diane entered the raffle the day of The Gerry Frierdich Road to Recovery Bicycle Ride (June 1) while her fiance, Dewayne, rode all 50 miles of the long route through Belleville and the nearby communities of Paderborn, Floraville and Millstadt. When he returned to Central Junior High School in Belleville, the start and finish spot for the ride, Dewayne was met by Diane and their kids, Breana and Anthony, holding a sign that said, "We Love You Dad"

"In one way or another, Chief continues to create lasting memories for everyone around him," said Sandy Gore, one of the key organizers of the event. "By the time we left, hugs were flying like crazy. We sure do wish Diane, Dewayne and their family the very best and hope to see them again very, very soon!"

Those of you who bought tickets didn't win are still in the running for the second drawing, which will take place Feb. 7, 2009, at the Gerry's Mouse Race Benefit at Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville.

If you want to buy tickets for the second drawing, you may buy them at The Touring Cyclist bicycle shop in Fairview Heights or Bicycle World in Belleville. You also may contact Bud & Sandy Gore, 4gores@charter.net or 618-277-5129, or Jean Bauder, greyhoundz_2@yahoo.com or 618-624-4910, if you want to buy tickets. They are $5 each or three for $10.

If you want to make a donation for Gerry's long-term recovery, you may do so through Active.com.

As a member of the committee who helped organize the ride, we want to thank Bacchetta for donating the two recumbent bicycles for our raffle.

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