Local to Bike 100 Miles  for Charity

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 Belle Harbor resident Nicholas Compagnone, 23, is gearing up for huge bike ride. He’ll be riding 100 miles in support of a good cause.

Compagnone, a real estate agent for Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Brooklyn, will be joining 60 other Elliman employees on The Ride to Reinvent on October 23. The 100-mile ride kicks off in Atlantic Highlands, NJ and ends at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City where the riders will congregate for Elliman’s annual sales meeting. The riders will be making the trek to raise funds and awareness for a charity called God’s Love We Deliver. The organization started in 1985 as an HIV/AIDS service organization, with one woman delivering meals by bicycle, but today they provide meals for people living with more than 200 diagnoses including those suffering from different cancers. The charity cooks meals based on the patient’s dietary needs and provides home delivery of meals to those who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves, at no cost to the client. God’s Love We Deliver has provided more than 12 million meals to those around New York and New Jersey.

“Elliman chose this charity because they’re central to New York and when you look at the 80s when there was the AIDS outbreak, people were nervous and afraid and there was a lot of stigma, and here you had this charity that was willing to say, let’s not stigmatize it, let's help them and have this organization that’s focused on not dividing people, but bringing people together,” Compagnone said.

When Compagnone found out his new company did this annual 100-mile ride, he was right on board. “During my first week with Elliman, they were telling me about this ride and I try to bike 20 miles a day and I like charity, so it was the best of both worlds,” he said. He’s never done 100 miles but once did a 75-mile ride and has been training daily for the upcoming trek. “As long as the wind is with me and it’s a flat road, I think I’ll be okay. It should be fun,” he said.

Compagnone has a personal fundraising goal of $3,000, but the team as a whole is hoping to surpass a quarter-of-a-million dollars. Last year, more than $100,000 was raised. By the time we went to press, Compagnone had raised more than $1,500. His fundraising campaign can be found at www.crowdrise.com/nicholascompagnone. A $10 donation can help feed one person. So far, most of the donations have come from family and friends. “People are chipping in what they can but a lot of them just graduated college, so when I see a $50 donation, I just think it’s incredible that someone has the kindness to donate that much when their careers aren’t established yet,” he said.

This isn’t Compagnone’s first fundraising effort. He has also helped the neighborhood when in need. After Sandy, he and Matt Petronis of Breezy Point led a successful fundraising campaign to raise money for their hometowns while away at college. “We were out in Washington DC for school and we felt we needed to do something,” he said. Through both an online fundraiser and going door to door in neighborhoods that weren’t impacted by the storm, they were able to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars for their Sandy Relief fund. “We consolidated with the Graybeards and worked with them and by the end of the day we raised close to half-a-million,” Compagnone said.

He has also participated in the St. Baldrick’s event three times, growing out and cutting his hair to donate to those with cancer, and raising $20,000 in the process. Compagnone also worked for the Guild for Exceptional Children, helping adults with developmental disabilities gain employment, and he’s also a trainer for Fitness Without Limits, where he assists adults with developmental disabilities with their workouts.

Why does he like to give back? “The end goal in life is to find happiness and the best way to do that is to work with others. When you think bout survival of the fittest, we didn’t conquer the world by fighting each other. We conquer the world by working together. For me it’s only natural when you help others and take care of each other and they help you back. That’s how you find happiness,” he said.

To help Compagnone reach his fundraising goal for The Ride to Reinvent, check out his campaign at www.crowdrise.com/nicholascompagnone.

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