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Beth Branvain, Bill Graham, DeDe and Warren Robinson and Warren Tessler
at the end of the ALYN ride in Jerusalem.
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Cycling For A Cause
"come 6-pczknce SAW gellit
(9ez• gio re"
Detroiters pedal through Israel to help
young Israelis in need of medical therapy.
Robert A. Sklar
10-member delegation from
Michigan spent five days travers-
ing 240 miles through the Golan
Heights and down the Mediterranean
coast to raise money for ALYN Hospital in
Wheels of Love — Israel's largest annu-
al, multi-day charity sports event — saw
325 riders raise S2 million in November
for Israel's only therapeutic rehabilitation
center for infants, children and young
adults. Riders from the United States,
Germany, Sweden, Brazil, Australia and
Israel each raised 52,000 or more and cov-
ered their plane fare.
ALYN treats Jews and Arabs who
require therapy for disabilities arising
from congenital conditions, accidents, ill-
ness and terror attacks.
Michigan-based Team Alex raised
$48,520. It cycles in memory of Alex
Graham of West Bloomfield. The daughter
of Susie and Bill Graham, Alex died of
pediatric bone cancer in 1999 at age 19.
In addition to Bill Graham, Team Alex
representatives cycling in Israel ranged
from Jacob Dunn, 15, of Bloomfield Hills
to Marc Konvisser, 64, of West Bloomfield.
Others were Jacob's dad, Steven; tandem
riders DeDe and Warren Robinson of
Franklin; Warren Tessler of West Bloom-
field: Beth Brandvain and Alan Lovinger,
both of Farmington Hills; and Bill
Graham's friend, Gary Kleeman of
"It never ceases to amaze me how these
people take up a cause and actually throw
their whole hearts into it:' said Alex's
mother, Susie. "There is just no way that
Bill and I will ever be able to let them
know how much it means to us that they
honor our daughter in this way"
Warren Robinson, a second-year Wheels
of Love rider, said that even though ALYN
is often tied to the bicycle ride, "ALYN is
not about the hike."
"It is about doing a mitzvah, in this
c se, helping the hospital raise the neces-
sary funds," said Robinson, who works
with ALYN supporter Joel Jacobs, presi-
dent of the Bottle Crew, a West
Bloomfield-based supplier of bottles, clo-
sures, sprayers and related consumer
Robinson views himself and the Detroit
contingent as serving as a conduit for
friends, relatives and business associates
to perform this mitzvah.
"The bike ride provides an opportunity
to meet others from Israel and around the
world, too, who share in this mitzvah:' he
"For DeDe and myself," he added, "we
are able to visit ALYN Hospital and see the
results. If that weren't enough, then we
have a special opportunity to experience
Israel from a very special perspective: the
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February 2 • 2006