An Ambler teen honors his grandfather by taking part in a 65-mile bike ride to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Mitzvah Hero: Ambler’s Ryan Levinson, 13, went above and beyond to raise money for the annual MS: City to Shore Ride held last fall. The young cyclist says he completed the 65-mile ride to honor his grandfather, William Miller, who has a degenerative neurological disease.
What It’s All About: This event — starting in Cherry Hill, N.J., and ending in Ocean City — was not for easy riders. But the long trek was nothing new for the seventh-grade student at Sandy Run Middle School. The son of Jodie and Marc Levinson is, as his mother calls him, “an avid cyclist,” and biking is “his second favorite thing next to baseball.”
Not a One-Time Thing: The teen, who just weeks ago celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at Congregation Beth Or in Maple Glen, is also active in at least one other major charitable way: helping with the Jewish Relief Agency's food deliveries.
“I do JRA as often as I can. Sometimes it’s hard because I have to miss Sunday school to do it,” he says.
Still, he's made time for JRA ever since he was 4 years old.
“I like helping pack up the boxes and delivering food to the people.”
Good for Him: As part of the bike ride, Levinson raised about $2,500 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Collectively, his Jersey-based team, captained by Andrea Rosenthal, raised $121,000. Levinson was named the top fundraiser for participants ages 12 to 17 and was honored at a subsequent awards banquet dinner.
The MS benefit “taught me that even though I am only 13, I can help make a difference in people’s lives,” says Levinson. “My grandpa said he was very proud of me. He said he was proud because I was able to make it the entire ride” and because “I raised so much money.”
And grandpa was there to greet him at the finish line.