Organizers to Host Memorial Ride to Honor
Late Executive Director Ralph Pontillo in July
ERIE – Following significant research, analysis and discussion, the Roar on the Shore Board of Directors today announced that it has officially suspended plans to host the Roar on the Shore® Bike Week in 2020. Organizers plan to hold a memorial ride in July to honor the memory of Ralph Pontillo, a great leader and the charitable event’s executive director who passed away unexpectedly in September 2019 at his home in Florida. Details of the memorial ride will be released at a later time.
“The Roar on the Shore Board of Directors would like to thank the thousands of volunteers, partners, sponsors, vendors, citizens of Erie, participants from around country and the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA), as the founding sponsor, for their role in making Roar on the Shore® one of the biggest charitable events our community has ever seen, while simultaneously injecting millions annually into our local economy,” the Board stated. “We appreciate all of their support over the past 13 years and encourage them to join us for the charitable memorial ride this summer.”
In 2007, the MBA created the Roar on the Shore® to raise funds for a worthy charity each year. Recognizing early on the potential of the event, it was decided to create Roar on the Shore® Bike Week as a stand-alone 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity.
Since its inception, Roar® has raised and donated nearly $1 million to charitable organizations. Past recipients include: John Kanzius Research, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie, local veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, SafeNet’s Big Backyard Children’s Garden, the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pa., the Perry 200 Commemoration, Boys & Girls Club of Erie, Saint Patrick’s Haven, Erie Homes for Children & Adults’ Project First Step, St. Martin Center Playground, Mercy Center for Women and the Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center. In 2019, Allstate Roar on the Shore® Bike Week donated $25,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Erie County’s (NAMI) Homefront program.