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Attorney Michael Blanchard Leads Team Suisman Shapiro In The 2013 Angel Ride To Support Kids With Life Threatening Diseases

Attorney Michael Blanchard will bike 50 miles on Memorial Day weekend to support children with life threatening diseases. Over 600 riders and volunteers are coming together for the annual Angel Ride, making a 135 mile trek across Connecticut to raise money in support of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp’s Hospital Outreach Program.

This is a two-day ride from the Northwest corner of Connecticut through 85 miles of scenic countryside to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut. On the second day, the ride proceeds 50 miles to a celebratory finish in historic Mystic. This is the only event that allows participants to stay the night at and experience the magic of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

In a heartfelt message to all Suisman Shapiro employees, Attorney Blanchard writes:

On May 26th of this year, I am participating in the Angel Ride, a 50 mile bike ride to raise funds for the Hole in the Wall Gang in Ashford, Ct. For those of you not familiar with this camp, it was founded by Paul Newman for seriously ill children. Each week during the summer a different group of campers comes in and gets to be a regular kid again, something some of them have never had the chance to do in their entire lives. The Hole in the Wall Gang houses over 20,000 campers each summer. Furthermore, the camp is run financially independent from the Paul Newman financial empire, receiving less than ten percent of its yearly operating capital from Newman companies. So fundraising is extremely important to its mission.

I was fortunate enough to visit the camp this past summer during the week the camp sponsors for the well siblings of the sick children, the goal being to give them some one-on-one time they may not receive due to their parents caring for the vast needs of their sick sibling. The atmosphere of the camp is awe inspiring. Every camp counselor I met had a smile on their face. The grounds are impressive, with its own hospital and full time medical staff, huge mess hall, cinema, bunk houses, biking, hiking and running trails, pond for fishing and canoeing, pool for swimming, and campfire and outdoor “auditorium” where the campers put on plays. But most of all the place is encompassed with love.

At the end of our tour, we were brought to the small climbing tower, where the campers maneuver hand holds to get to the top of a 30 foot tower and get attached to a zip line for a 900 foot ride back to the earth below. It was here that our guides told us how one bunkhouse had a blind bunkmate who wanted to climb the tower to experience the ride down. They went on to describe how the entire house shouted guidance to the blind camper so that he could get to the top, and then, in a show of unity, each went up blindfolded so that they could experience what their blind friend had just accomplished. After the goose bumps subsided, I was hooked and signed up for the ride.

So if you see me at work on May 27th walking funny and needing a pillow to sit down, wouldn’t it be more fun if you helped contribute to my pain?

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