As many as 6,000 bikers are zooming through Connecticut today in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook School shooting.
"To hear that so many people are supporting Newtown and Sandy Hook, how could we not come out and support them?" says Lisa Sheridan, a Sandy Hook resident and Newtown High School teacher who came to cheer on riders.
"All the outpouring of love from everybody, especially when it comes from other towns, shows that [they're] still supporting us — that everybody's still thinking about us, and they want us to be strong. You know, I think that makes us all pull together and say, 'You know what? It's going to be okay. We'll keep moving on.'"
Supporters like Sheridan cheered and snapped photos as waves of riders rumbled through Newtown toward nearby Trumbull, while others who couldn't be there posted words of thanks on the Green Ribbon Ride Facebook page:
"From a Sandy Hook Parent: My heartfelt thank you, and humble gratitude. May God be at your side with the wind in your hair. You honor our SHS family. Remember: life is about the journey, the ride. Love wins."
Riders donned green helmets or streamed green bandanas from their handlebars.
The Green Ribbon Ride is directed by Fred Garrity, executive director of The CT United Ride, CT’s largest 9/11 tribute and the largest single charity ride in New England. It is also sponsored by the five Newtown Fire Departments — Sandy Hook, Botsford, Hawleyville, Dodgingtown, Hook and Ladder.
Beginning in Shelton this morning, the ride ran through southwestern Connecticut. It was set to end with an outdoor concert, food and vendors at the Westfield Trumbull Mall. Once riders have safely arrived, it will be open to the public as well to support the cause.
All money raised will be paid out directly to Newtown funds and local children’s charities, directly to the 26 families, Sandy Hook Family Healing Fund, Newtown Police Union, Newtown EMS, the five Newtown Fire Departments, local children’s charities, the Center for Women & Families and Al’s Angels.
For more information, visit www.greenribbonride.com, and on Facebook, “Sandy Hook Newtown’s Official Green Ribbon Ride.”