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7th Annual "Bike to Build Ride" Received Very Wide Support

Diane Gaidon of Christ Church, Babylon, and  leader of "Bike to Build Ride," reports the recent biking pilgrimage was a success and shared impressive comments about the event, formally known as the "7th Annual Episcopalian Bike to Build Ride for Habitat for Humanity."

“I was really touched when a parishioner came over to me at coffee hour to thank me for helping to raise money for Habitat. It turns out that he lives in a Habitat house.  Just reinforces the importance of the rides."

Here are some highlights from the event: 

60 bikers, including 12 youth, participated. We rode 21 miles. 125 people attended the BBQ. 

14 parishes participated: St. Thomas of Canterbury Smithtown, Church of the Messiah Central Islip, Christ Church Brentwood, St. Patrick's Deer Park, Christ Church Babylon, Christ Church Bellport, St. Mark’s Islip, Emmanuel Great River,  St. Boniface Lindenhurst, Cathedral of the Incarnation, Church of the Ascension Rockville Center,  St. Francis North Bellmore,  Grace Massapequa, and St.John’s Huntington. 

The bikers saw the beginning of the community garden at Christ Church in Brentwood;  were greeted warmly with posters and snacks by the youth of the Church of the Messiah;  received enthusiastic support from the team at St. Thomas of Canterbury; and shared a healthy feast with all our guests.

Ms. Gaidon added, "I am exceedingly grateful to all who helped out in myriad ways." 

The Church hospitality teams:

- St. Thomas of Canterbury Smithtown: Fr. John Jeffrey Purchal, Debbie Jordan, and Debbie Fifer

- Church of the Messiah Central Islip: Fr. Juan Pastor Reyes, Sandra Townsend, La Verne Combs, Sybil Jenkins, Bridgette Smith, Dominique Wilson, and the Youth Group: Zaynah Garcia, Luvensky Labonte, and Kawensky Labonte,

- Christ Church Brentwood: Fr. Juan Pastor Reyes, Fernando, Helen & Scott Fricke, and Wilma Matthews

- St. Patrick’s Deer Park: James Clavin, Edna, Erith Davis, and Cruz Tolley.

- The Christ Church Babylon BBQ team.

- Our BBQ sponsor: Frank O’Brien, Dan Tohill, and Gena Gilbertson of Thrivent Financial

- Our team leaders and menu planners: Bob Norman and Jackie Barnes

- Our food preparers and servers: Bob Norman, Jackie Barnes, Nora Seplavy, Barbara Wilson, Dave Cunningham, Fred Reuther, Blosome Whyte, Karen Drummond, Genie Scharf,  the Boning family (Vikki, Nathaniel, Hannah and Joshua), Lynn Simmons, Joe Church, David Dean, Steve Markham,Penelope Scharf, Erin Yankowski, and Joanna Grande

- Our BBQ helpers (set up and clean up): Genie and Jack Scharf, Blosome and Shani Whyte, John Foley, the Boning family (Vikki, Nathaniel, Hannah and Joshua), Jackie Barnes, Pete Palmieri, Vince Verni, Desmond and Suzanne Reid, Helen and Scott Fricke, Fred Reuther, Dave Cunningham, Jennifer Henning, Kathy Butler, Erin Yankowsky, Penelope Scharf, Vera Langstone, Karen Drummond, and Jimmy Lowe.

- Grill rental donation: Bob and Rose Norman

- The Bike Ride team.

- Town permits and Insurance: Mo. Clare Nesmith and Fr. Terrence Buckley 

- Liaison to SCPD: Fr. Terrence Buckley

- Support And Gear (special shout-out here for their finely orchestrated safe escort!): Doug Williamson andthe Babylon Bike Shop, Bob Mehm, Anne Bammann, John and Denise Scharf, and SCPD Officer John Kurklen

- Bike route planning and testing: Ginny Everitt

- T-Shirt ordering, pickup, and distribution: Kathy Hannan, Jennifer Henning, Kathy Butler, and Debbie Jordan

- Balloon finish line creation: Blosome and Shani Whyte

- Bike transport/storage in Smithtown and Deer Park: Jim Slack, Fr. John Jeffrey Purchal, Debbie Jordan,Debbie Draddy, and James Clavin

- Biker mini-bus transport to Smithtown: Barbara and Pat Guy

- Photography: Vincent Pisciotta and Debbie Fifer

- Bikers: Ginny Everitt, Rita Tempel, Tutch Shirane, Early Shirane, Barbara Guy, Pat Guy, Nancy Lanzilotta, Kristin Ochtera, Mother Clare Nesmith, Debbie Szala, Kathy Hannan, Keith Hannan, Kaeden Hannan, Kiara Hannan, Hannah Boning, Josiah Reid, Elijah Reid, Liam Heaton, Mia Heaton, John Heaton, Zoraida Santiago, Diane Gaidon, Megan Scharf, Becky Scharf, John Scharf, Talia Taormina, Kim Spelman, Greg, Mike, Lisa Khavlin, Isaac Khavkin, Lee LeGuyader, Susan Ellinghaus, Deb Ruggirello,Karen Lessing, Theresa Mehm, Glenn Bammann, Janet Hubiak, Bill Single, Carol Purdy, William Purdy, Monica Purdy, Roy Rowsell, Eileen Murphy, Denise Hernandez, Renie Cargonja, Pat Reynolds, Vince Reynolds, Monica Damm, Kevin Damm, Connie Conley, Lynne Barnett, Diana Cioffi, Karen Rivera, Elizabeth Squires, Dakota Filigenzi, Vincent Filigenzi, Gina, and Danny McDaniels

The Pre and Post Event Assistants, for all of their help with advertising, sign-ups/registrations, communications, money collection, counting and logistics:

- Christ Church Babylon: Mo. Clare Nesmith, Nora Seplavy, and Helen Fricke

- St. Thomas of Canterbury: Fr. John Jeffrey Purchal and Jill Asti

- Church of the Messiah Central Islip: Fr. Juan Pastor Reyes and Sandra Townsend

- Christ Church Brentwood: Fr. Juan Pastor Reyes

- St. Patrick’s Deer Park: James Clavin

- Dean of the Atlantic Deanery, St. Mark’s Islip: Fr. Rick Simpson

- Christ Church Bellport: Fr. Terrence Buckley and Ginny Everitt

- St. Boniface Lindenhurst: Mo. Diane DeBlasio and Anne Bammann

- Diocesan communication: Canon Kris Lee and Ivette Fernandez

- Money counting: Kim Young

Very Important Others: All who attended the BBQ.  All who sought sponsors and/or provided sponsorship for Habitat for Humanity. And all who supported this event in one way or another

Mother Clare Nesmith, rector of Christ Church, Babylon, said, "All I can say is “WOW!” Being part of this day is a blessing in itself, and to know that our fun and efforts can do such good! Our small part in doing something positive for affordable options for housing on Long Island. I thank God for all of you!"


As of May 29, $6885 is in hand, with more collections forthcoming.

You may add to the donations by sending checks payable to Christ Church, with "Habitat" in the memo line.  Mail to Christ Church, 12 Prospect Street, Babylon 11702.

For more information, Diane Gaidon:

Other photos from the day have been posted on our website: and our Facebook Page (Christ Episcopal Church, Babylon NY).