Hi….! I hope you are doing well! I am reaching out to you on behalf of Friendship Circle and Tour De Friendship. As many of you know, a year ago during the summer of 2022 I completed the Bike4Friendship bike ride across the United States. Those 6 weeks were some of the greatest weeks of my life. Not only was I able to accomplish this immense challenge, but along the way I had the unique opportunity to also inspire, inform, and spread the word about Friendship Circle and their amazing work. This inspiration was incredibly uplifting and truly addictive that I had to find a way to do it all again, so I pitched a wild idea to Friendship Circle: let’s bike across France! And just like that I will be riding across France this summer in memory of my maternal great uncle, Irving “Lyzie” Engel (1950-2013), on the year of his 10th Yartzeit. Lyzie’s commitment to Judaism and love for his family surpassed most mainstream adults that I know. He did not ever let his Down Syndrome diagnosis lead his life; instead he created a life where the community learned from him, loved him for his abilities, and he left an indelible mark on anyone that had ever met him. His soul was pure. His energy was humble. His love was genuine. Lyzie was a direct student of Etta Israel. He attended Hillel Hebrew Dayschool, and worked with his father and brother at Aviv Glass Company crafting screens. He walked to shul every Shabbat -rain or shine - he wore tefillin daily regardless of how sick he felt, and he absolutely never missed a Dodger game! With his parents guidance and his determination to be treated equally to his peers he led a rich and meaningful life for over 60 years as a member of the special needs communities of Etta Israel, Yachad, and Friendship Circle.