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N.Y. Firefighters On "Thank You America" Bike Tour
 
11/11/2001
On Sunday, November 11, exactly two months after the first plane struck the World Trade Center towers, six New York firefighters will leave Ground Zero in Manhattan and bicycle their way across the continental United States to Los Angeles. This ambitious bike tour is a way for these firemen to express their deep gratitude and appreciation for America's support following the terrorist attacks of September 11th. The six firefighters (Danny Rowan, Salvatore Princiotta, Drew Robb, Gerard Dolan, Mac Hornug and Ralph Perricelli) are from Ladder Co. 9, Engine Co. 33, which lost 10 of its members in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Located less than one mile from the former site of the twin towers, Ladder Co. 9 and Engine Co. 33 were among the first on the scene following the attacks.

Said Firemen Danny Rowan, who organized the tour, "The response to our loss has been amazing. The homeless man who insisted upon giving us his last $1.22. The three young girls who donated a coffee can full of change -- the proceeds from an impromptu lemonade stand. The $15,000 in cash from a fund- raising party organized by a neighborhood bar or the $10,000 that came from Hell's Angels. We just want to give something back to the millions of Americans who have supported our efforts here in New York City following the World Trade Center attacks. It is a way for the riders to express their appreciation for the outpouring of support that our stationhouse received from all across the U.S."

The team will pedal first to the Pentagon, site of the second terrorist attack on September 11th, and then bike through the southern U.S. to arrive in Los Angeles, the original destination for one of the flights that crashed into the World Trade Center. Upon arrival into Los Angeles, the firemen will pedal to Pasadena's historic Old Firehouse, home of new media and music company Disc Marketing, who will greet the firefighters with a 30-member Voices of Hope choir singing "America The Beautiful." The choir is featured on the upcoming E-CD "Voices of Hope."

Rowan recounted the many cards and letters that arrived at the station each day, and the tremendous support from other fire departments. "I was at a memorial service for one of our guys when I realized that none of the firefighters standing beside me were actually from New York. With so many memorials, the city's fire department can only afford so many men for each memorial service. There were literally hundreds of brothers standing shoulder-to-shoulder with me, and they were from fire departments from all across the country. All of these people have done so much for us," said Rowan. "They're the reason we need to go out and say thank you."

The firemen will be pedaling USA R700 Cannondales with special stars and stripes graphics. Cannondale is adding the new USA color scheme to its 2002 line and will donate a percentage from each sale of the stars-and-stripes R700s to the Uniformed Firefighters Association Scholarship Fund. 100% of all the money raised for the Scholarship Fund will go directly to help pay college tuition for the firefighters' families, including the families of those who died on September 11th.

The "Thank You America" bike tour will pedal through 50 plus key cities and communities through 19 states across the continental U.S. When the tour gets underway, an attempt will be made to publicize "exactly" where the firemen are located from day to day so that communities can be notified ahead of time to the approximate time of arrival into their respective cities. Tracking and times will be made available to the public via the internet. The URL for this tracking effort will be made available at a later date in a follow up news release.

Cities that are in the path of the "Thank You America" tour include, but are not limited to, the following:

Manhattan, New York City, Jersey City, Trenton NJ, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Charlottesville NC, Lynchberg VA, Marion NC, Bristol VA, Knoxville TN, Athens GA, Chattanooga, Huntsville AL, Florence AL, Corinth MS, Memphis, Brinkley AK, Little Rock AK, Russellville AK, Clarksville TN, Ft. Smith OK, Withers Falls, Henrietta OK, Oklahoma City, Elk City OK, Shamrock TX, Amarillo TX, Achenne, Glen Rio NM, Tucumcari NM, Santa Rosa NM, Cline's Corner NM, Albuquerque NM, Grants NM, San Rafael NM, Zoni Indian Reservation, ST. John AZ, ClayPool AR, Mesa AZ, Tempe AZ, Buckeye AZ, Tonopah NV, Blythe CA, Indio CA, Palm Springs, San Bernardino and then into Los Angeles and Pasadena.

For further information please contact: Warren Betts, warrenx3@gte.net, or Steven Rollner, steve@zoomwerks.com, both of Warren Betts Communications, Inc., A ZoomWerks Media Company, Los Angeles, +1-626-836-2080, or Fax, +1-626-836-3040, for the Fire Department of New York.

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