An avid cyclist, Dr. Alan Solinsky rides five days a week, peddling away over Avon Mountain and in his very hilly West Hartford neighborhood. That rigorous training served him well last this past fall, when he traveled to Israel to take part in his first five-day Wheels of Love charity bike ride.
The ride raises much needed funds for Israel’s ALYN Hospital, a world leader in the field of diagnosis and rehabilitation of children in which multidisciplinary expertise has been developed in rehabilitative treatment of children and youth.
Solinsky, who participated in the ride for the first time this year, raised more than $20,000.
“I have 150 generous friends and family who donated over $20K,” says Solinsky. This also included donations from the office staff of Solinsky Eye Care. Solinsky and his partners tripled their previous donation.
“It’s been on my bucket list for the past few years,” says Solinsky. “But this was the year to do it when many things came together including the fact that my father went to Israel to do his part to help the young country in 1949 and this is the 70th anniversary of when he went.”
This year, 500 cyclists representing a total of 12 countries participated in the ride, an annual international charity event that has been held in Israel for 20 years.
Participants chose from six different routes, each one designed to suit a certain cycling ability. Solinsky chose the “Road Route,” designed for cyclists fit enough to ride 7-8 hours a day for five consecutive days.
This year’s route took participants past Tsfat, along Israel’s border with Lebanon, and up to Rosh Hanikra and the Mediterranean Coast. On the final day, riders climbed the Jerusalem Hills towards ALYN, where they entered the hospital grounds and were given a hero’s welcome by patients and staff.
“The funds raised allow us to give the children the treatments and therapies they require,” says ALYN’s director general, Dr. Maurit Beeri. “Every additional penny goes towards additional therapists, a wider selection of emotional support modalities, innovative inter-disciplinary projects and extra hand on care. It helps us give the child that extra chance that might just make all the difference in the world. Without the Wheels of Love Ride, ALYN could not be the special place it is, and could not enable the miracles we see every week.”
Registration opens for the Wheels of Love 2020 at the end of December.
Main Photo: Alan Solinsky and friend stop to enjoy the scenery during the Wheels of Love charity bike ride in Israel.