Checks for the approximately $50,000 in funds raised during “the one and only” Sandy Hook Green Ribbon Ride fundraiser and remembrance, held on Sunday, May 5 will soon be in the mail to recipients, according to event co-organizer Anthony Capozziello. Mr Capozziello, fellow organizer Greg Gnandt and Ride Director Fred Garrity Jr are not thinking of doing the ride annually.
Mr Capozziello, the assistant chief of Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co., and Mr Gnandt counted “at least” 2,000 motorcycles plus passengers who kicked off after a brief ceremony in downtown Shelton that Sunday, then wound through Derby, Oxford, Newtown, Monroe, and eventually gathered again for music and refreshments at Trumbull Westfield Mall.
“I feel it was very successful and an emotional day for everybody involved,” said Mr Gnandt. “It far exceeded our expectations.”
Despite the high number of participants, Mr Gnandt said, “It went as smooth as can be, all the hard work paid off and the volunteers worked hard.” The town officials and police helped make it very successful, he said.
The ride route along Route 34, up Wasserman Way, and onto Route 25 saw hundreds of residents from the various towns at the curb cheering and waving. Feedback from both participants and spectators “has all been positive. A lot of great energy,” Mr Gnandt said.
Although the day raised funds, he said, “It was more about a day to heal and support the families.”
Based on information from GreenRibbonRide.com, the ride was “dedicated to the Newtown first responders, and the memory of the 26 angels.” Newtown’s five fire departments (Sandy Hook, Hook and Ladder, Botsford, Hawleyville, and Dodgingtown) sponsored the event.
Money will be distributed directly to the 26 families, The Sandy Hook Family Healing Fund, Newtown Police Union, Newtown EMS, to each of the five Newtown Fire Departments, two local children’s charities in honor of the lost children, The Center for Women & Families, and Al’s Angels.
“The Green Ribbon Ride truly succeeded in being a positive step for Newtown and its neighbors to pay tribute in a safe and public display of solidarity,” organizers posted on the event website following the May 5 ride.