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Meridian Capital Raises Nearly $1.1M For Chai Lifeline Charity

Team Meridian

Nearly 500 riders are currently biking the 180-mile stretch between Stamford, CT, and Camp Simcha in Glen Spey, NY. The ride, known as Bike4Chai, is a project of Chai Lifeline, a charity that helps families impacted by childhood cancer and other illnesses.

This year’s ride has already raised $6.7M for Camp Simcha, which allows 400 (if not more) health-challenged children to experience the joys of summer camp.

Meridian Capital Group is responsible for nearly $1.1M of the funds raised. The charity attracted the attention of the firm several years ago and this year’s field includes six Team Meridian riders.

Meridian Capital Group CEO Ralph Herzka tells Bisnow his team does not leave a meeting without mentioning the cause and asking for sponsorship. Senior managing director Abe Hirsch adds the cause is incredibly important to the firm.

“The camp is really about giving kids the time of their lives," Abe says. "Some of them are terminally ill and some of them are still on the road to recovery. There are numerous amazing experiences created for these campers as well as special day trips during their time there. The counselors are dressed in costumes and whatever a child wants, the camp tries to accommodate it.”

Camp Simcha operates in four, two-week shifts. A full medical deployment of doctors and EMTs are on-site to attend to the camper’s needs. While the children certainly enjoy themselves, the program also serves to give parents a well-deserved break.

The bike run emerged from humble beginnings after a single rider, Dovid Egert, trekked the 135 miles from his home in Lakewood, NJ, to the camp grounds in 2009. Alone, Dovid raised $10k for the camp and by 2010, he was joined by 38 other riders.

This is Team Meridian’s fifth year participating. Ralph and Abe tell Bisnow the team’s financial contribution would not be possible without the greater real estate community, which they characterize as “overwhelmingly generous.”

The team currently has 360 donors on its list, with more than 90% of the funds coming from the real estate community.

The ride ends tonight with a festive barbecue at the camp for the campers, counselors, volunteers and bike riders. To follow Team Meridian on this epic journey, please visit this link.