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Spin-For-Life event organized to help cancer patients, families

2/7/2008 - West Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

FAIRLAWN — Supporters will be spinning their wheels, literally, to help families affected by cancer at the Spin-For-Life event to take place March 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the ballroom at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn, 3180 W. Market St.

During the inaugural fund-raiser, teams of riders will take a seat on stationary bikes to burn calories and raise funds for the Stephen A. Comunale Jr. Family Foundation, a newly created organization dedicated to easing the financial burdens of local cancer victims and their families as they cope with medical bills, absence from work and other issues.

“The money raised at the event will support the work of the foundation, which aims to help cancer patients and their families with ancillary needs such as making a mortgage payment and other financial burdens associated with cancer,” said Rennick Andreoli, president of the Hilton and RDA Hotel Management Co., and a founding board member of the Stephen A. Comunale Foundation. “This money is not used to fund research, but instead goes directly to the families.”

The foundation will rely on partnerships with organizations and resource providers to suggest individuals in need of assistance. The aid aims to enhance the quality of life of the individual and their families affected by cancer, according to Andreoli.

Spin-For-Life has been organized to honor the life of Stephen A. Comunale Jr., a local man who died of stomach cancer at age 28 in February 2006.

“We hope to keep Stephen’s name alive and help families pay day-to-day bills with an annual event,” said Kim Hurray, Spin-For-Life coordinator.

Stephen is one of two sons of the owner of S.A. Comunale Inc., a fire protection and mechanical services company with branches in Akron and other communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The company became a subsidiary of EMCOR Group Inc. in October 2006.

The foundation’s goal is to raise $100,000 through sponsorships and donations for Spin-For-Life.

Individuals or teams are invited to participate in “spinning” by riding a stationary bicycle for one to six hours. Spinning aims to achieve maximum energy output and is designed for people of all ages and levels of fitness. During the exercise, an instructor takes participants through various levels of difficulty while riders listen to music and visualize a ride through the foothills of a mountain or along the coast of an ocean.

The fund-raising spinning event will be led by certified spinning instructor Jackie Banayan, of Jacob Superior Kinetics, who is a certified personal trainer with a master’s degree in cardiac rehabilitation and exercise physiology from The University of Akron.

Two free training sessions will be offered to the event’s participants at Jacob Superior Kinetics, 300 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road. For details, contact Hurray at (330) 867-5024, ext. 643.

Registration fees are $200 for each adult rider and $100 for student riders per hour. Participants may form their own teams and register at a cost of $1,200 for the six hours of spinning, or register as individuals, who will then be placed on a team. Registration fees may be paid by collecting pledges, corporate sponsorships or by the participating rider.

Each rider will receive a Nike Dri-Fit jersey, a goodie bag and two tickets to the “Open Your Heart” cocktail reception scheduled to take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at Beau’s Grill, 3180 W. Market St. Additional tickets for the reception are available for $25 each.

To register for the event, or for more information, visit www.stephencomunale.org.

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