June 2018 Volunteers of the Month

Will and Jack Morey

The Ride to Defeat ALS has become an annual tradition, bringing together hundreds of families for a fun and challenging ride to fund ALS care and research. Every year for the past two decades, riders of all abilities come together to be part of one of the best rides in the greater Philadelphia region. The ride would not be the success it is today if not for the support of Will and Jack Morey.

In 1999, the Frank family decided to raise money and awareness for ALS in honor of family matriarch Eileen Frank. That first ride included 16 riders who made their way to the Jersey shore, challenging each other for a good cause.

At the same time, the Morey brothers were looking for more ways to help the ALS cause after seeing their mother Jackye pass away from the disease. Will and Jack are second generation owners of Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Water Parks in Wildwood, New Jersey. They are passionate about the amusement industry, but more importantly, enjoy being able to provide families with countless memories to share together year after year. Family is very important to Will and Jack, so when they saw this family driven event for a cause they cared about so much, they decided to help.

The brothers looked at what was then called the ALS Express and said, “If you’re going to have a bike ride, why not end it here and celebrate at our water park?”

With that, a relationship grew that continues to this day. Morey’s Piers reached out to the ride organizers and offered complimentary day passes to everyone who participated in the bike ride to fight ALS. They also talked with The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter and offered special family passes to people with ALS who came to Wildwood on ride day. This was more than just a donation, this was an incentive to riders and it was a way to give people struggling with ALS a happy day to relax and enjoy at the shore.

In the summer of 1999 for ALS Month, Will, Jack and Jackeye’s brother, Barry,  gave out 700 amusement pier tickets in a partnership with Rita’s Water Ice. They saw this as a great opportunity to give back and provide “The Ride to Defeat ALS” event with an opportunity to attract more riders and donations for the ALS Association in their fight to discover a cure for ALS. 

Starting in 2000, the bike ride finished at Morey’s Piers. The hope from the beginning was that this would make the ride more popular and draw in more riders of all abilities and ages. Their involvement made an immediate impact as people started to sign up to ride 10, 25, 50, or 75 miles and then finish their day at the water park.

Now hundreds of riders take part in the Ride to Defeat ALS each year and many people with ALS take up the offer to have an enjoyable day at Morey’s Piers.

Will and Jack want Morey’s Piers to be a welcoming and accessible place for everyone. Because of this many individuals and groups have special days at the water park knowing that everyone, no matter their physical limitations, can have fun and make their own memories.

In addition to providing tickets, the Morey’s do much more. They help organize logistics and set up the end point for riders. Merideth Fiorucci has worked with the Morey’s since the ride began and helps arrange the lunch and treats for riders when they arrive. Because the finish of the bike ride is exciting and fun, riders immediately start planning for the next year’s event.

For nearly 20 years, thousands of riders have contributed to the ALS cause through the Ride to Defeat ALS. The ride grew because Will and Jack made it both an event and a destination. As a result of their generosity and involvement with planning the ride day, the ride has raised well over $1 million for ALS programs and research. In years past, Will and Jack also participated in “The Ride to Defeat ALS”, to not only honor their mother Jackeye, but to show support for the number of individuals and families affected by this disease.

Today’s Ride to Defeat ALS would not be the success it is today if not for the involvement of Will, Jack, and Barry. They gave the ride credibility and attention and continue to donate and support the event each year because they believe in the excellent work the ALS Association is doing and want the ride to be as successful as possible. The biggest success will come when the ride is no longer needed because a cure for ALS has finally been found. There’s no question that when that day comes, the Morey’s will still be giving back and inviting riders and families to the park, this time for an even greater celebration.


 
 

The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter
321 Norristown Road - Suite 260, Ambler, PA 19002
215-643-5434

The ALS Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.