America’s Diner gears up for Tour de Force’s charity bicycle ride through Florida honoring fallen police officers.
Denny’s restaurants in Florida are gearing up for their fifth consecutive title sponsorship of Tour de Force, a five-day, 270-mile charity bicycle ride that raises money for the surviving family members of Florida law enforcement personnel lost in the line of duty the previous year. The 2016 tour rides from North Miami Beach to Daytona Beach, beginning Monday, April 11 through Friday, April 15.
The Florida Tour de Force began in 1997 with ten riders honoring Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Robert Smith, who was killed in the line of duty by a drunk driver. Since its inaugural year, the tour has raised more than $400,000 for the families of fallen officers, law enforcement and related organizations, with the race growing to more than 12 times the original size with 250 bikes riding in last year’s race. In the five years Denny’s has served as the title sponsor, Tour De Force has raised $200,000 to benefit 30 families in need.
“We are honored to be sponsoring the Florida Tour de Force for the fifth year,” said Denise Gaines, senior manager of field marketing for Denny’s. “These officers do so much for our community each and every day, and this partnership is our way of thanking them for their service and showing them that Florida stands behind them.”
This year, the race will be raising funds for two Florida officers killed in the line of duty: Police Officer Jared Forsyth of OcalaPolice Department and Deputy Sheriff Bill Myers of Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone can support the cause by participating in the ride or making an online donation at FloridaTourdeForce.org. Participants will ride up Florida’s east coast through 45 law enforcement jurisdictions, stopping at four Denny’s locations including restaurants in North Miami Beach (1450 NE Miami Gardens Dr.), Lake Worth (4541 Hypoluxo Rd.), Port St. Lucie (10111 US-1) and Titusville (3500 Cheney Hwy).
“My goal has always been to raise awareness of the ultimate sacrifice given by police officers. In my past five years as president, we’ve seen the program grow greatly thanks to the help of sponsors and partners like Denny’s,” said Detective Craig Catlin ofNorth Miami Beach Police and president of Tour de Force. “With their help, we have been able to build a strong sense of community in South Florida, supporting our local law enforcement, the families of the fallen and the people and businesses that make these neighborhoods great.”
For more information and directions to participating Denny’s restaurants, please visit www.dennys.com.