Ben Novack, Congregation Shaare Emeth

Ben Novack, Congregation Shaare Emeth

Ben Novack wanted to honor the members of his family who have been affected by cancer.  Son of Debbie and Brian Novack of Westwood, Ben rode in Pedal the Cause, a fundraiser whose mission is to provide funding for cancer research and cancer discovery grants.

Here’s how Ben described the experience: “To prepare, my mom and I went on bike rides after I came home from camp, working up to around 12 miles to pace ourselves. On the day of the race, we rode 15 miles, from Soldier’s Memorial in downtown to the Wash U Medical School, and then to Wash U’s main campus and back.  It was a beautiful sunny day, a bit chilly at the start.  Near the end, I was almost a block ahead of my mom, but she tried to catch up.  Of course, I kept my lead.”

By including notes in his bar mitzvah invitations with follow-up e-mails to encourage support and sponsorship, Ben raised over $1,000. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised for the organization stay in St. Louis to fund cancer research through the Children’s Discovery Institute at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Cancer Frontier Fund, an initiative of Barnes-Jewish Hospital that benefits the Siteman Cancer Center.

“Afterwards, mom had the free massage and we both chowed down,” said Ben, a student at Ladue Middle School.  Small villages were set up at beginning and end of course where food and drinks were provided, as well as a “massage rub down” at the end.

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“It was fun, and it felt good to raise money for a good cause. Thank you to everyone who sponsored Team Novack,” Ben said.

Pedal the Cause is a city and community-wide fundraising bike challenge. This year’s ride, on October 7, 2012, is open to riders of all ages and abilities. Rider registration is currently open.  For more information and to register, visit