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Jim Thorpers honor lost member

Over the 10-plus years the Jim Thorpers Bike Team has been making the 65-mile trek from Philadelphia to Atlantic City for the Ben to the Shore Bike Tour, Jimmy Trainer has been one of its most loyal riders.

While Trainer, who passed one week earlier after a battle with cancer, did not cross the finish line during the 35th annual event July 24, his jersey did thanks to his son Jarratt and Jay McElmoyle, his loyal riding partner.

“One of his latest loves was road biking, sometimes riding his bike to my boys’ sporting events if the weather permitted,” Jarratt wrote on social media before the event. “(The Ben to the Shore Bike Tour) has been the main thing he was fighting for in his last weeks and I know he’ll be there watching us, just like he always did before.”

Another jersey of Jimmy’s, displayed in a shadow box, was presented to his wife, Deborah Trainer, and family by Pam and Jay McElmoyle in an emotional tribute.

Proceeds from the ride benefit the Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation, which helps families of fallen first responders and children’s charities.

The Jim Thorpers had their most successful year to date in 2022, raising over $70,000, with donations still coming in. Since it started over 10 years ago, the team, led by Sgt. Michael Dugan, station commander at the Pocono state police barracks, has raised over $431,000.

Most of the Jim Thorpers braved the 90-degree temperatures during this year’s ride, with about 20 others opting for the new 30-mile ride from Hammonton, New Jersey, to Atlantic City. Another handful of riders chose to participate virtually.

In addition to the ride, the Jim Thorpers have other annual traditions such as yoga on the beach the day after the ride led by teammate Michele Fisher.

The day after the ride also marks the annual Jim Thorpers Wreath Ceremony at the In The Line of Duty Memorial, located at St. James Place on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Teammates who are current or retired first responders are recognized and celebrated. The team also honors those first responders who have given the ultimate sacrifice in their pursuit to serve and protect.

This year, the team placed a picture of Bruce Solomon, of the Diligent Fire Company No. 3 in Jim Thorpe, on the firefighter statue at the memorial.

Lastly, the team headed to The Irish Pub in Atlantic City for camaraderie and a toast to teammates they’ve lost, but will forever be loved and missed.

Jay McElmoyle, left, and Jarratt Trainer carry the jersey of Jimmy Trainer across the finish line on July 24 during the 35th annual Ben to the Shore Bike Tour from Philadelphia to Atlantic City. Jimmy, a devoted member of the Jim Thorpers bike team, passed away a week before the race after a battle with cancer. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Pictures placed at the In The Line of Duty Memorial in Atlantic City by members of the Jim Thorpers bike team include that of Bruce Solomon, of the Diligent Fire Company No. 3.
Members of Jimmy Trainer's family receive a shadow box containing his Jim Thorpers biking jersey following the 35th annual Ben to the Shore Bike Tour from Philadelphia to Atlantic City on July 24. Pictured, from left, are CJ McGinley, Deborah Vanderbeck, Maverick Trainer, Deborah Trainer, David Trainer, Jay McElmoyle, Pam McElmoyle, Jameson Trainer and Jarratt Trainer. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS