BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Five teenagers from Harrison, Mamaroneck and Mount Vernon are part of a team that began a 3,968-mile bicycle trek on Thursday to raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer research.
Their 23-day cross-country journey began at the Brooklyn Bridge and ends July 24 at the Golden Gate Bridge.
The youths are riding as part of Relay X America, which gets teens active in issues surrounding children's cancer, while raising $396,800 for the cause -- or $100 for each mile ridden this month.
Split into three teams of bicyclists, each will ride about 60 miles per day, with teams starting at different points on the U.S. map in a route that ensures that the country is traversed. The routes have been carefully chosen, as have the local dining spots and hotels the teams will visit each day. The five teens with local ties, who trained for up to 20 hours per week in advance of their cross-country trip, are:
Will Marriott, 15, just completed his sophomore year at Harrison High School where he has competed in junior varsity baseball, basketball and soccer
Cassidy Marriott, 17, just completed her junior year at Harrison High School where she regularly appears in school musicals, plays the piano, practices ballet and has been treasurer of the school's literary magazine.
Erika Feldman, 17, formerly of Mamaroneck, moved to Dallas last August after attending Rye Neck High School for two years. She's an accomplished violinist.
Jean Mpalomby, 18, escaped from the Congo at the age of 9 as a political refugee. He just graduated from Mount Vernon High School where he was senior class president and played soccer. Tustin Neilson, 16, just completed his sophomore year at Mamaroneck High School where he competes on the fencing and track teams.
In order to meet its fundraising goal, the group will seek donations in a variety of ways, including soliciting donations based on miles biked, directing donors to a website so that donations can be made online directly to the American Cancer Society and seeking corporations and foundations to include Relay X America as a beneficiary of their annual giving campaigns. All money raised goes to the American Cancer Society since all riders are funding their own trips across the country. For more details, visit Relay X America here.
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