From the left: Co-Chairman of Empire State Ride Long Island Steve Mars, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Dr. Bhoomi Mehrotra, Carol Silva, Donna Marano, Town Clerk Richard LaMarca and Tax Receiver Jeff Pravato (Photo from the Town of Oyster Bay)

Oyster Bay To Host Fourth Annual Empire State Ride Long Island To End Cancer

Empire State Ride Long Island is partnering with the Town of Oyster Bay to host Long Island’s largest charitable cycling fundraiser to benefit cancer research on Saturday, June 8. The fundraiser will benefit patients at six Catholic Health Hospitals on Long Island and Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo.

This year, Empire State Ride Long Island is honoring retired News12 anchor and Oyster Bay resident Carol Silva with the first annual Empire State Ride Long Island Courage Award. The award recognizes Silva’s extraordinary bravery in her battle against cancer and her spirited efforts to educate our community about early diagnosis and treatment.

To announce this year’s event, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Town Clerk Richard LaMarca,and Receiver of Taxes Jeff Pravato were joined by Silva, Co-Chairman of Empire State Ride Long Island Steve Mars, Chair of Cancer Services for Catholic Health and Director of The Cancer Institute at St. Francis Hospital Dr. Bhoomi Mehrotra and cancer survivor Donna Marano, who was treated at Good Samaritan University Hospital funded by events like the Empire State Ride Long Island.

“We are thrilled to once again partner with Catholic Health on Long Island and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to raise this important funding to support cancer research and clinical trials,” said Supervisor Saladino. “Ride to better health while cycling through beautiful beaches, woodlands, and historic destinations–in and around the Town of Oyster Bay’s exquisite north shore. With two wheels on the ground, you can help change the world.”

The funds raised through this event for Catholic Health Hospitals and Roswell Park Cancer Center play a crucial role in advancing cancer care. They are instrumental in funding cutting-edge clinical trials, which are at the forefront of medical research and allow doctors like Dr. Mehrotra to improve every aspect of cancer care.

“Cancer care is not just limited to chemotherapy or radiation therapy; It starts with prevention. It starts with screening. It starts from that first preventative visit with your local primary care physician, who looks at the risk stratification, the family history, and the genetics of that individual and their family,” said Dr. Mehrotra. “To then, if there is a diagnosis of cancer, understanding the interplay of the genes that we are born with and the genes of the tumor itself. So that we can individualize and tailor the therapies to improve not just the quality of life but also the quantity of life.”

Over the past three years, the Town’s partnership with Empire State Ride Long Island has helped raise over $300,000 to support cancer research and clinical trials at Catholic Health and Roswell Park Cancer Center.

“I implore you all to help participate in this ride, which raises funds so that we can expand our access to clinical trials for everyone in our communities, whether they are directed at prevention, treatment, or survivorship,” said Dr. Mehrotra. “We have an expanding number of community members who have survived cancer. And now they’re returning to the mainstay of society and being valuable members of society for their families, themselves, and all of us at large. We want to support them so that they can have a life as normal as possible.”

Catholic Health Team at Empire State Ride Long Island (Photo from Empire State Ride Long Island)

People like Silva are battling and beating cancer with the advancements made through clinical trials supported by the cycling fundraiser.

In 2019, Silva went to the doctor for a persistent cough. She learned that she had a golf ball-sized tumor in her lungs and 12 more tumors in her brain.

“My life has been saved by cancer research,” said Silva. “I have faith in modern medicine, not just because my dad was a 20-year Marine Corps medic, but I have faith in modern medicine because of what I’ve seen it do.”

Silva shared that annual reports on the status of cancer from the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. National Cancer Institute report that the U.S. cancer death rate has fallen 33 percent since 1991.

“That’s about 3. 8 million of us survivors out there, and that’s incredible,” said Silva. “There are better diagnostic tools, better treatment and better drugs. Our medical community is working together to share the best solutions. So what can you do? You can register. You can get on a bike on June 8th. Raise the money for more trials and more treatment. And so I want to thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. And frankly, from the top of my brain and the bottom of my lungs.”

The Empire State Ride Long Island event features three-course lengths designed to accommodate riders of all ages and abilities. All routes will begin on Audrey Avenue in Oyster Bay by the historic Oyster Bay Post Office.

“From local bike clubs to Oyster Bay High School and Chamber of Commerce, I proudly affirm community is the essence of the Empire State Ride Long Island. On Saturday, June 8th, we will all rally together to celebrate life and spread hope,” said Mars. “Riders participating in Empire State Ride Long Island are helping us change lives. Because of each person that rides, cancer patients here on Long Island can receive brand new therapies from clinical trials.”

For those who can’t cycle but wish to attend and support the event, downtown Oyster Bay will also host a street fair, hosted in partnership with the Oyster Bay Main Street Association and Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce–as local businesses will line the streets with food, live music and fun activities for families.

Registration is now open for this fundraising event, and each participant will pay a $25 fee. Riders will commit to a fundraising minimum of $100 for adults and $75 for riders under 18 for all routes. To kick start each rider’s efforts, their $25 registration fee will be credited to their fundraising page. Those interested in learning more or signing up to ride and raise funds for the event should visit

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