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Bike team based on North Shore rides to fight MS

Team Gourmet Garden after the 2008 Cape Cod Getaway. The team has grown to more than 30 riders from the area. Team Gourmet Garden after the 2008 Cape Cod Getaway. The team has grown to more than 30 riders from the area.
By Wendy Killeen
May 7, 2009
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BIKING FOR MS: The Beach Bluff Cycling Club is gearing up for its third annual 150-mile ride to raise money in the fight against multiple sclerosis.

Originally made up of a handful of cycling enthusiasts, the Swampscott-based team has grown to more than 30 riders from throughout the region. Its participation in the race is sponsored by Gourmet Garden Restaurant in Swampscott, which recently presented the club with a $3,000 check during its annual fund-raiser at the restaurant.

As Team Gourmet Garden, the riders will participate in the two-day ride from Quincy to Provincetown June 27-28.

"The team and event gets bigger every year," said Phillip O'Sullivan, team cocaptain. He said the team raised more than $23,000 last year and has a goal of $40,000 this year. Proceeds benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

"We've been very fortunate to have so many members of our community come forward to join us in fighting this debilitating disease," said Myles Brown, team cocaptain.

"This is especially true because so many of our teammates have friends and family members who are living with MS and are familiar with the daily struggles they face."

At the fund-raiser, Caroline Vangrieken of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society presented Ricky Huang, co-owner of Gourmet Garden, with an award recognizing his commitment to the cause.

Brown accepted the annual Team Spirit Award on behalf of the team.

Those interested in supporting the team's ride can visit bikemam.nationalmssociety.org.

GRIN AND SHARE IT: For five years, comedian Don Gavin and friends have presented a night of laughs called "Grin and Share It!" to benefit local charitable organizations.

This year's event, scheduled for May 17 in Stoneham, benefits the Lynn Shelter Association's Bridgehouse, a homeless shelter for families in Lynn.

The mission of the association is to provide people with a warm bed and hot meal, as well as with the tools they need to begin rebuilding their lives.

"Making little kids happy is huge," said Gavin, who will be joined by comedians Lenny Clarke, Steve Sweeney, Larry Lee Lewis, Jim Dunn, Patty Ross, Dave Russo, and surprise guests.

The evening includes an Italian buffet.

"Grin and Share It!" takes place at Montvale Plaza from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person or $500 for a table of 10.

For reservations, call 781-581-0739 or pay online at www.lsahome.org.

WHO'S WHAT WHERE: Clifford A. Lawrence of Andover, founder of the interpreter training program at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, was recently honored for his years of service to the college and the deaf community. A scholarship in his name has been created to support a student in the college's deaf studies program. Lawrence, a teacher of American Sign Language, interpreter, and advocate for the deaf, began teaching at the college full time in 1972. He left in 1980 to join Deafness Resources, which provides services to the deaf throughout New England. . . . Mark Thompson of Topsfield, president and CEO of Boston Private Bank & Trust, has received a 2009 Distinguished Citizen Award from The Arc of Massachusetts. He was recognized for his leadership in fostering the business community's support of Arc, an advocacy organization for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities and their families. Thompson has been active with North Shore Arc for more than 15 years. . . . The Rev. Michael J. Duda of Rockport, senior pastor at the First Church Wenham, is being honored today with a Champion for Children Award from Children's Friend and Family Services in Salem. Duda is being recognized for more than 30 years of making a difference in the lives of children and families. . . . Donald and Linda Comb of Manchester-by-the-Sea are the honorary cochairs of Artrageous!23, a benefit auction for the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly. The auction is at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at 75 Sylvan St., Danvers. Proceeds support the college's financial aid program. Donald Comb is founder of New England Biolabs, Inc., in Ipswich, a patron of the arts, and a longtime friend of Montserrat.

Items can be sent to wdkilleen@gmail.com.