Monday, July 18, 2016

Tour de Fence

I have said this many times, my favorite part of my drive home is coming up Pine Street. Pine Street with all it trees, is a seasonal spectacle of color.  Even in the winter the street is postcard picture perfect.

One day, not long ago something caught my eye on my drive up Pine Street, it was a bicycle, actually it was a few bicycles, in row.  I later learned that this work of art was the brain child of one, Ben Ferenchak who lives at the corner of Fifth and Pine Streets.  Later I found the Tour de Fence Facebook page and I learned why Ben built the bike fence.

Ben road in 5 Pennsylvania Perimeter Ride Against Cancer, including his first 1000 mile ride in 1983.  In 2008 Ben road from Pennsylvania to Florida to raise $10,000.00 for Autism Speaks.  I am sure there are a lot more rides and fundraisers that I don't know about.

Also, let us not forget Ben organized the Mother of All Class Reunions in 2014 - that was the best class reunion ever!

An illness has sidelined Ben from riding in these long bike rides, but it hasn't stopped him from raising money for the American Cancer Society.  You see, this artistic endeavor of Ben's fence is to help raise money for the Pennsylvania Perimeter Ride Against Cancer.

Tour de Fence is a tribute art exhibit made from old bikes that is a memorial to those who have lost their battle to cancer, and also honors those fighting cancer and those who have survived cancer.

I asked Ben how he got the idea, not why but how does one think of using bikes for a fence.  He told me it started with one bike, Joe Galm's.  Joe's wife called Ben and wanted Ben to find a home for Joe's bike.  If you remember Joe, an elementary teacher in the Catasauqua Middle School, he was a tall man, so was his bike, it wasn't easy to find someone who could use the bike, so that's when Ben came up the idea, Joe's bike was the first brick in the de Fence; and what a fence it is.

On this Saturday, July 23, 2016, at 1:00 PM there will be a Dedication of Tour de Fence and Block Party at the corner of Fifth and Pine Streets in Catasauqua. There will be live music supplied by Tavern Tan, food, games, Basket Raffle, & 50/50.  There will be Attic Treasures, a bake sale, prayer booth and more.  I don't know about you - but I plan on being there.

Cancer has probably touched your life, if not personally I am sure you know a family member or friend who either is gone because of it or is fighting it or has had victory over it.  I hope so many people come out this Saturday that is causes a traffic jam.  (I don't care I am in walking distance)

If you can't make it and want to donate - here is the site

Ben's goal is $10,000.00 he is almost half way there, let's make it happen!!!!

You know, times like this, events like this, make me proud to live in Catasauqua.  The Morning Call tomorrow will have an article from Bill White on Tour de Fence.  Tour de Fence has been on WFMZ
and in the Catty Press.  Each time I pass the fence now  I get a little choked up, I lost my grandfather to lung cancer, and friend of mine to breast cancer.  It is time to start celebrating victories instead of mourning loss.

So DONATE, or just COME ON OUT Saturday to TOUR DE FENCE and celebrate and I can promises you it won't be just ......Another day in Catasauqua, it will be special.