By Ron Matz

COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ)—It’s almost time for one of the biggest events of the spring in Maryland. It’s Dick Gelfman’s Ride Across Maryland.

Ron Matz reports hundreds of motorcycle riders are ready to head to Ocean City this weekend to raise money to fight breast cancer.

It’s riders up from Columbia to Ocean City, time for Dick Gelfman’s Ride Across Maryland, raising money to fight breast cancer for the 12th consecutive year.

“We’ve raised over $2 million, and it’s just terrific because we see the difference it makes. It makes a difference for people’s families. It makes it all worthwhile. Two million bucks is a lot of money, but it does a lot of good work,” said Gelfman, founder.

Those good works have expanded. The ride now awards grants and a big check was presented live Thursday morning on the Eyewitness News Morning Edition.

“We’ve always given away a lot of money, but it’s been much more singular. Now we reach out from the Allegheny Mountains to the Eastern Shore. Organizations have applied to us from all across the state. We make grants in rounds. Our latest round was $150,000, and we gave that to six or seven organizations. Today the Red Devils received $30,000. They do such tremendous work for breast cancer,” Gelfman said.

“This grant will help us improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients in Maryland,” said Jan Wilson, executive director of the Red Devils. “It means a tremendous amount. It’s been a difficult time for nonprofits. It’s especially been a difficult time for us because we’re small, so this check will enable us to help a hundred patients or so this year.”

Howard County General Hospital in Columbia has been a sponsor of the ride since it started.

“We’ve been involved with the ride almost from the beginning. Dick came to us and asked for some support and we were glad to help out. One of the things we do and we’re proud of is our involvement in so many community organizations,” said Victor Broccolino, president & CEO Howard County General Hospital.

The Gelfman community comes together this weekend, making a difference for thousands of people.

“We have the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center here at Howard County General Hospital. It’s the only one of its type in the Baltimore-Washington region. The scope of services it offers is second to none,” Broccolino said.

The riders will leave Columbia Mall at 9 a.m. Saturday.

“The main departure place is the Mall in Columbia. You don’t have to be on a motorcycle. You can be in a car or a baby carriage. We don’t care. Just show up on Saturday morning and ride with us to Ocean City. And you can still donate online,” Gelfman said.

WJZ is a proud sponsor of the Ride Across Maryland.

For more information about how you can register or donate, click here.


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