Autumn Glen founders ride 350 miles for Alzheimers

By Angie Hilsman | Jul 08, 2017
Courtesy of: Jennifer Hastings Wendy Nowokunski and Jim Coughlin kicked off their 350-mile bike ride in Maine on July 7.

With 15 senior living facilities that service more than 500 seniors with dementia or memory loss, the two cofounders of Northbridge Companies are undertaking a 350-mile bike ride to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s.

For the second year in a row, Jim Coughlin and Wendy Nowokunski will ride from Maine through Massachusetts and New Hampshire to stop at all 15 of the company’s facilities in one week. The pair will arrive at Dartmouth’s Autumn Glen on Thursday, July 13 around 2 p.m.

"It seemed like such a great idea in the middle of winter," joked Coughlin, who said his practice rides ranged from 30 to 50 miles. "We will absolutely say we have not trained enough. It will be taxing, but we will get through it."

Partnering with the Cure Alzheimer's Fund, the team has raised $33,000 this year for research. The goal is $50,000, Coughlin said. Last year, the duo raised $12,000, but got an earlier start with fundraising this year, he added.

"Cure Alzheimer's is really at the forefront of finding a cure, which is so important to the company and our families," said Coughlin.

He said that many employees, town and state officials, and partners will join them for sections of the trip. At each facility, there will be more fundraising activities, he said.

"We've been impressed with the commitment of the team at Cure Alzheimer's Fund," he said. "The other thing we saw was a lot of the families we serve are looking for a positive thing to do. This establishes community and supports a worthy cause."

Both Coughlin and Nowokunski have participated in other biking fundraisers — including the Pan-Mass Challenge, an annual bike-a-thon focused on raising monies for cancer research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This year's August 5 and 6 event will mark their 11th year participating.

"We as a company firmly believe in supporting worthy causes," said Coughlin, adding that the company has also supported Multiple Sclerosis fundraising efforts.

The two took off from the Avita of Brunswick & Sunnybrook facility in Maine on July 7, around 9:30 a.m. The rest of the week includes a 5 a.m. start time — to "get ahead of the traffic" — along with long days, recovery drinks, and energy goos, Coughlin said. The two will be shadowed by a support vehicle along the way, he added.

Northbridge Companies cares for 850 New England seniors. Autumn Glen is located at 239 Cross Road.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.