Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the tag “Krewe du Kroey”

Bike MS: City to Shore, September 29, 2012

How many miles can you ride your bike? 25? 45? 76? 100? 150?

Participants in the 2012 Bike MS City to Shore had their choice of routes and miles, but whichever route they chose, they rode with enthusiasm. After pedaling on local back roads through the beautiful countryside of Southern New Jersey with its charming small towns, woodsy areas, Pine Barrens, blueberry fields, bird-filled marshes, the riders finally reached the last two daunting, muscle-challenging hills: the Delores Cooper Bridge and the Ocean City-Longport Bridge. After that, it was an easy ride to the finish line at Fifth Street in Ocean City, NJ.

The final hill, the Ocean City-Longport Bridge

Over 7000 riders (hearsay says 7,700), took on the MS challenge and raised a whopping $4,632,383.29 towards the event goal of $5,200,000.00. Funds will continue to come in over the next few weeks.

Many corporations (Merck, Pfizer, Teva, Novacare, Bank of America, Johnson and Johnson, Campbells V-8, UPHS/PENN, and others), places of worship, organizations, cycling clubs, schools, and individuals participated in this bike-a-thon.

An enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Fifth Street finish line to welcome the tired bikers and make noise with their bam-bams.

Campbell’s V-8 bikers walked their bikes to the staging area after completing the race.

I must admit that I did not ride 75 miles or even 10 miles, but I did volunteer in the VIP Chicken Tent all day along with other Krewe du Kroey family members. A team of volunteers prepped 1300 bbq chicken dinners for VIP riders (riders who have raised over $1000 each). The highest individual fundraiser, rider Phillip Cooper, reportedly raised $23,041, with Andrea Rosenthal following close behind with $20.003.  Virtual participants joined in, too.  Jack Beiter raised $14,760 and Beth Malikowski raised $3,490.

The Krewe du Kroey volunteers for this event every year. Some family members have volunteered for this event for more than ten years. Younger members of the family join right in and work along side the adults.

Maddie (10), MiMi (7), and friend separated and repackaged dinner rolls in preparation for the food line. Mom supervised. Maddie was our most enthusiastic supporter of the bikers. Later, as she placed cups of cole slaw on the chicken platters, she offered continuous encouragement to riders. “Great job riders.” “Thanks for riding.” “Congratulations, riders, you finished a great race.” What a treat to work with her.

The King of Chicken BBQ and his faithful friend, Wallace the Chicken    www.javelincaterers.com

The chef’s assistants cut chickens.

Volunteers plated up the chicken dinners for the hungry VIP riders.

Riders enjoyed their chicken dinners in the VIP dining room under threatening skies. (The rain held off!)

Our friend and neighbor, Roy, rested a few minutes before eating his dinner. Roy rides every year in this even for his wife, Sue, who has MS. Most riders have a very personal attachment to a person with MS and ride in their honor.

The youngest members of the Kroey Krewe (Maddie, MiMi, and Brianna) blew their horns to support the fight for a cure for MS. They worked hard for many hours but took a little time for fun. They loved the MS Bam-Bams! (Of course, the Bams-Bams caused a few headaches for adults. Oh, well.)

Brianna enthusiastically marched around the VIP dining area carrying a sign with the positive news that a cure for MS is in sight. Children can learn the value and positive benefits of volunteering at an early age.

Brianna’s sign says it all, “A cure for MS is in sight.”

Thanks to the 7,700 riders, 1000+ volunteers, vendors, and donors who supported this worthy cause. With such commitment and promise, MS doesn’t have a chance.

Check this out: Eiko, an 85-year-old Asian woman wearing a dress and heels and carrying a purse, rides in the MS Bike City to Shore!


Volunteers and riders all have fun in this event.



What’s been your greatest physical challenge?

Do you know anyone who has MS? What’s their story?

K is for Krewe du Kroey

It all started as a joke.

It was a rare reunion when all of my siblings and their spouses boarded the Holland America Lines’ (HAL) MS Zuiderdam for a Caribbean cruise ten years ago. This cruise brought together long-separated family members from New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, California, and Oregon.

Of course, we joined all the silly onboard games and entertainment activities on the Big Z.

Sister-in-law, Patty, and I donned ridiculous giant raisin costumes and joined a few other foolish spontaneous nerds talented individuals in a wretched an unequaled rendition of the California Raisin’s, “I heard it on the grapevine.”

Not to be left out of the hysteria fun, Brother Bill, wearing only a beach towel wrapped around his middle (okay, so the towel hid his bathing suit),  joined an elderly ravishing group of beauties ladies singing, “I’m gonna wash that man right outta my hair.” Turns out, Bro was the one they wanted to get rid of! At the end of the song, they had had enough of him, so they took their own towels and swatted him off the stage.

Some of this was just too funny for words. Really. You just had to be there.

But the piece de resistance was the build-a-ship contest.

For this contest, each team had to build a ship that would float in the ship’s swimming pool.  We gathered stuff, and I mean stuff, from everywhere on the ship: plastic bags, wire hangers, empty wet-wipes tubs from the hand sanitizing station, and any other floatable items that we could finagle from the HAL crew. The competition was stiff, but we knew we had a winner. After all, we had two ex-Marines, Brother Bob and Brother Bill, to construct our winning entry masterpiece.

The rules specified that you had to name your ship, make up a song, perform a skit, and do other embarrassing funny things to make people laugh and cheer. The teams that got the loudest boos cheers got bonus points in the competition. We were all for that, because we were never known to be a quiet, normal family. Ha, far from it!

We decided to name our ship the Kroey Dam, a shortening of our German-Alsace-Lorraine-Swiss-French family name, Kroelinger. The Kroey Krewe cheer became “Caw, Caw, Caw.” And we sang a song that is way too embarrassing long to print here.

We had it made in the shade. People (well, at least our family members) stomped, cawed, clapped, and yelled, making enough noise to awaken alert the captain at the helm that a winner would soon be chosen.

Here’s the Contest:

Test One. The Float Test. How long will the ship float?

Each team launched its duct-taped mess ship in the pool.  One by one, ships sank. Of course the Kroey Dam passed with flying colors, along with two other lucky abominations contraptions ships.

Test two. The weight test. How many cans of beer soda pop can each ship carry without sinking? Can by can, the weight increased on each ship, until….

There was no joy in Kroey Ville that night. The mighty Kroey Dam sank at three six-packs, out-canned by one solitary beer soda pop can.

At least we did get a consolation prize: a blue coffee mug with a big white Z on it. And people did laugh at us.and cheer.

And that was the end of the Kroey Dam and its infamous Krewe. We retired to the pool for the rest of the trip, cawing quietly to ourselves.

Little did we know that within a few years we would resurrect the Kroey Krewe for less than happy purposes.

When my younger brother Bob, aka Refrigerator Bob or Texas Bob, was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma, we rallied around him and fought back against cancer with him.

The Texas Krewe du Kroey formed to walk in an all-night American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Burleson, TX. In 2009, the NJ Krewe du Kroey formed, and we (well, some of us) walked all night in Ocean City, NJ. The following year, the South Carolina Krewe du Kroey team walked all night in Summerville, South Carolina. Daughter Lisa joined a Relay in Folsom, California.

We relay because we want to see a cure for cancer in our lifetimes. We relay for TX Bob, for 9-year-old great-niece Joanne King, for my late husband Victor Hall, for my brother-in-law Don Millward, for my nephew Darrell Varnam, and for other family members, friends, and associates who have fought bravely but lost their fight with cancer.  We cannot forget them. So we relay each year to show our solidarity as family and friends in fighting against this truly evil disease.

If you have lost family members to cancer, Relay for Life provides a forum for you to remember, celebrate, and fight back. Consider joining a Relay for Life in your area.

  • The Burleson, Tx Relay for Life  April 13-14, 2012 Kerr Middle School 7 pm-7am
  • Summerville, SC Relay for Life  April 13-14  Summerville High School 7 pm-7am
  • Ocean City, NJ Relay for Life  June 22-23 Ocean City High School 7pm-7am

Watch this video to get a sense of what Relay for Life is about.



Have you participated in an ACC Relay for Life? What were some of your impressions?

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