Parent-teacher organizations cited for community service

MS bike ride will come through the township this weekend.

Township council cited the school district’s PTO and discussed this year’s Multiple Sclerosis City-to-Shore Bike Tour at its Sept. 14 meeting.

The tour is the largest national charity bike ride in the country and has been held annually for 45 years. Its goal is to raise money for research into a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS),  a disease of the central nervous system that can affect anyone from children to the elderly, but most occurs in young adults. 

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MS can cause lack of movement, blindness and cognitive problems. About four million people nationally and 15,000 in the Delaware Valley are affected by the disease. 

This year’s two-day bike ride will begin Saturday.  Donald Elsas, a volunteer for the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, explained details of the ride and cited township police for always keeping its riders safe and guiding them quickly through the township.

“There will be about 4,000 riders this year,” Elsas noted. “We will start in Cherry Hill and get through Evesham Township pretty quickly on Saturday morning. (The Evesham Township) police department has been wonderful in the past, and I’m sure they’ll continue to be so as far as getting us quickly along the route.” 

Mayor Jaclyn Veasy welcomed School Superintendent Dr. Justin Smith and Lea Ryan, president of the district’s board of education, to speak at the meeting about the importance of the PTOs. Smith cited the organizations’ efforts throughout the year to uplift students and staff. 

“The support of the PTOs is 180 days of the year, plus the in-service days and all the evenings and weekends,” he said. “When our staff comes into school and sees little bags of goodies and messages from the PTOs, it lifts everybody up.”

Ryan explained that the organization plays a crucial part in putting together student programs.

“(The PTOs) were able to help provide programs and (school) assemblies,” she explained. “Without the help of PTOs and PTAs, our kids would be missing out on a lot of life- learning experiences … It is a tireless and sometimes thankless job.”

Veasy also commended parents in the organization.

“I just want to say thank you to all the parents who volunteer on the PTA and PTOs,”  she said. 

Township council presented several  PTO members at the meeting with this month’s Community Impact Award, given to volunteers who make a difference in the community.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

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