We recently told you about the 2011 Brotherhood Ride’s charity cycling journey from Naples, Florida to Ground Zero, in order to honor the 10th anniversary of September 11 and those emergency responders who died in the line of duty. Not only were Ft. Myers Crewmembers actively involved in raising funds and spreading awareness for the cause, they threw a welcome home party for the cyclers this past Sunday.
To ensure that riders had their essentials nearby during the demanding journey, JetBlue supplied the team with a 25-foot trailer to carry equipment, clothes and food; the trailer followed the team all the way to New York! JetBlue also lent support by supplying two round-trip gift certificates in order to help with fundraising.
After cycling thousands of miles, the team was welcomed into NYC by a large crowd of firefighters, police officers, and EMS workers who participated in the day’s ceremonies. Ft. Myers Crewmembers even flew to New York in order to escort the riders home to Florida for their party and were given VIP treatment at the airport! Crewmembers escorted them through security and across the airfield in two shuttle buses donated by the airport.
The party took place in a parking lot on airport property and included fire rescue and police vehicles, SWAT teams, honor guards, ladder trucks with flags, drummers and bagpipers! There was also support from police/fire chiefs, commissioners and over 200 representatives from local Florida service departments. JetBlue presented the team with a check for $5,000 (the total amount raised by the riders and Ft. Myers Crewmembers), which will be split between two charities: National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Concerns of Police Survivors. We arranged for the riders to receive an actual tail fin to put in their office as a reminder of our support for their organization.