2005 Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope™ Riders Public Debut
|Trail Segment Opening Celebration
The ribbon cutting ceremony included activities for both kids and adults, as well as bikers and walkers alike, including:
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope™ is a week-long journey across America to help educate the public about cancer research. The 20 cyclists on the Tour of Hope team, selected from almost 1100 applicants, have all been touched by cancer and are joining Lance Armstrong this fall in the Tour to share their personal stories. The team made its first public appearance of 2005 at Lawrence Hopewell Trail Day.
HOPEWELL, New Jersey (JUNE 11, 2005) – Dignitaries, biking and walking enthusiasts gathered here today to officially open part of the Hopewell Township leg of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, a multipurpose, recreational path running through public and private lands in Lawrence and Hopewell townships. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Hopewell campus on Pennington-Rocky Hill Road in Hopewell Township.
“We are very pleased to be part of the effort to create a biking and walking path through Lawrence and Hopewell Townships, anchored by three Bristol-Myers Squibb properties and the Educational Testing Service campus,” said Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer and president, Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We consider this an important gift to the community that does so much for us every day. We are committed to giving back to the community that hosts our R&D facility here in Hopewell.”
Segments are already completed through the Educational Testing Service’s campus on Rosedale Road, a span of 1.2 miles, and another contiguous connection of approximately 2 miles beginning at the entrance to the Lawrenceville School from Lewisville Road and ending in Village Park in Lawrenceville on Yeager Road.
The idea for the Lawrence Hopewell Trail grew out of a grass-roots commitment to improve the quality of life for all who live or work in the Lawrence and Hopewell areas and was originally proposed by Bristol-Myers Squibb. When completed, the 20-plus miles of connected and accessible trails will help provide active and livable communities with more opportunities for recreation, health and fitness, transportation, and outdoor education.
“Many of us in Hopewell have eagerly awaited this moment,” Hopewell Township Mayor Arlene Kemp told the spectators who watched the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Lawrence Township opened a key segment along its Main Street last year, and this newly completed section sends a clear message that the Trail will one day tie our two communities together.”
Kemp also noted that plans to loop in parts of the Mercer County Park Northwest and the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed property will allow even more access for residents of Hopewell Township.
Lawrence Hopewell Trail Co-Chair Eleanor Horne, who also serves as vice president and corporate secretary for the Educational Testing Service, said the Trail’s progress is a tribute to the community volunteers and public officials who have worked diligently to expand recreational opportunities in the region.
“Our partners and volunteers have made this day possible,” said Horne. “We started with a dream to construct a loop that serves as both a connector for local recreation activities and a less stressful alternative for commuters. By working in collaboration with Lawrence and Hopewell Townships, Mercer County, private land owners and citizens, we are seeing that dream become a reality.”
“Our vision is that the Trail, winding through scenic corporate campuses, parks, school grounds, historic villages, fields, woodlands and neighborhoods, will be perfect for bike riding, family outings, exercise, and commuters seeking a safer, more environmentally friendly and healthy alternative to traffic headaches,” Horne said.
“The importance of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail is not simply for exercise and recreation; it helps to tie these communities together,” said U.S. Rep. Rush Holt. “I can hardly wait to bike the full circuit.”
“This path represents an important partnership between the public and private sectors,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “I credit Bristol-Myers Squibb for its outstanding participation in this project. Upon its completion this trail will provide County residents with a new comprehensive source of recreation, transportation, and insight about the precious natural resources our region has to offer.”
In addition to today’s public dedication, supporters of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail sponsored Trail Day festivities that featured the 2005 Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope™ Bicycle Team; the mascots of the Trenton Thunder and Titans; a bike decorating contest and a bike parade; facepainting; music; and free nutritional snacks and giveaways.
Today’s event is the first time the 2005 Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope team appeared together in public. The team, comprised of 24 cyclists who have been touched by cancer, conducted relay rides around the Bristol-Myers Squibb loop road inside the campus off Pennington-Rocky Hill Road as a highlight of the community event. The cycling enthusiasts, who have been selected from nearly 1100 applicants, will spend the next four months preparing for a cross country ride with six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong in the fall to increase awareness of the vital importance of cancer research and clinical trials.
This year’s Tour of Hope will begin in San Diego on Thursday, September 29, and conclude in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 8, with a grand finale celebration and public fundraising ride.
Lou Fedele, vice president of Facilities at Bristol-Myers Squibb, acted as master of ceremonies for the ribbon cutting.
Fedele said the Lawrence Hopewell Trail strives to enhance our neighborhoods by planning, designing, implementing and maintaining a safe public system of biking and pedestrian trails, using the Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Educational Testing Service corporate sites as anchors.
Partners of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail include Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Educational Testing Service, Central Jersey Bicycle Club, D&R Greenway Land Trust, Greater Mercer TMA, Hopewell Township, Lawrence Township, Lawrenceville Main Street, Mercer County, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, NJ Department of Transportation, Princeton FreeWheelers, St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, and The Lawrenceville School.