'Ben to the Shore Bike Tour' kicked off 33rd annual event Sunday

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The opening ceremony for the 33rd annual "Ben to the Shore Bike Tour" took place Sunday.

The fundraiser supports families of first responders and local children's charities.

Like many other events, the organizers at Families Behind the Badge had to adapt this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: Thousands ride in The Ben to the Shore Bike Tour to benefit children of fallen first responders

Some riders took off from police headquarters Sunday morning. Others are riding on their own or using stationary bikes.

They have 30 days to complete the 60-mile ride instead of a few hours.

Organizers say they will do whatever it takes to keep everyone as safe as possible and raise as much money as possible.

"This is an all-volunteer board. The money that you donate goes to children in need," said Joseph Sullivan of Families Behind the Badge Children's Foundation. "We need your support. We need your assistance this year, more now than ever."

Among those at the sendoff was Terri O'Connor, widow of Philadelphia Police Corporal Jimmy O'Connor. He died in the line of duty in March.

She said support from charities like Families Behind the Badge makes things a bit easier in her time of need.
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