“Together we can beat diabetes!” Those are the words that Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District physical therapist Daniel Pone said as he high-fived each first grade student in the district’s elementary school during a celebration to honor the students for their participation in a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association.
Four weeks ago Pone talked to the elementary school’s five first grade classes about the disease known as diabetes and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise.
He also talked to students about his passion for cycling and his plan to ride in an upcoming event that generates donations to support research to find a cure for diabetes.
Pone is part of a service-minded racing team known as Maxpower Cycling, the team rides with a mission to “race it forward.” Similar to the “pay it forward” mantra, the Maxpower team is committed to cycling with a purpose to help others.
Pone and the team will be riding in the CNY Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association on June 8 at Verona Beach State Park.
The students jumped at the opportunity to “pay-it-forward” and support Pone and his Maxpower team in their mission to find a cure for diabetes and joined a “Dimes and Dollars for Diabetes” coin drive.
The students from Kristina Dann’s, Amy Healy’s, Maria Hendrix’s, Erin Nestico’s and Jeanne Revette’s class each collected spare change and made weekly monetary contributions to Pone over the course of four Fridays.
Pone rewarded the top donating class each Friday with an ice cream party.
The coin drive culminated on May 2 with a Tour de APW Elementary School celebration.
Pone, on his bicycle, led the five first grade classes for a lap around the school’s track to celebrate the more than $784 that was raised to support the American Diabetes Association and its mission to find a cure for diabetes.
Humbled by the students’ overwhelming support and generosity, Pone said to the students during the celebration, “…$783.99 and counting because more students just handed me donations. It’s amazing what you did in just four weeks. You certainly are an inspiration.”
Each first grade student was rewarded with a popsicle during the culminating celebration and was presented with a certificate of appreciation for their support of “Dimes and Dollars for Diabetes.”