Port Washington resident and Port Rowing volunteer Michael Small, along with his brother Johnathan Small, will be biking from Montauk to Boston, MA, while their sister Deborah Augi follows closely in a chaser car, to raise awareness for prostate cancer in honor of their father, Martin Small, who passed away from a five-year battle with prostate cancer in June. The sibling trio have raised more than $3,000 for Zero —The End of Prostate Cancer, a national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer, with the help of social media to spread the word of the long-distance bike ride.
While the siblings had grown up watching their parents charitable actions and have learned to do the same over the years, tying biking to fundraising began as a dare from Michael’s wife. As Michael and his wife were driving out to their home in East Hampton, they were stuck in weekend traffic and Michael told his wife that he could probably bike out there faster. Although the ride ended up taking about 10 hours, Johnathan soon joined him on the ride.
“If were riding 100 miles, we figured we might as well do it for a cause,” said Johnathan. “We decided to use Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center. Every year from that point we raised money for the shelter. We did it for eight years.”
Five years ago the siblings’ father, Martin Small, was diagnosed with prostate cancer that was already at an inoperable state. Martin went through multiple therapies, radiation, chemotherapy and experimental treatments until he lost the battle to cancer this past June. After their father passed, Michael began researching different nonprofit organizations that he could fundraise for when he landed on Zero —The End of Prostate Cancer, where 97 percent of the funds go toward cure and prevention research, education, patient support and patient advocacy.
“I posted the fund website online, we set a $2,000 goal and within 48 hours we had all of the money raised,” said Michael. “It was shared on social media. It was like rapid fire the way it was shared and it all came together, so we increased the goal to $4,000.”
While the usual trip begins in Port Washington and runs to East Hampton, this year Michael and Johnathan will leave from the Port Washington train station on Friday, Sept. 8, bike to Montauk, take a ferry to Block Island, take a second ferry to Point Judith in Rhode Island, ride to Patucket, RI, and then finish at Fenway Park in Boston. Deborah will train alongside her brothers throughout the first leg of their more than 200-mile bike ride that will take three days, ending on Sunday, Sept. 10. Deborah, along with Michael and Johnathan’s wives, will drive chase cars, following the two brothers in case of an emergency.
“This will be a challenge, but it isn’t anything worse than anything our father went through,” said Deborah.
The siblings were humbled by the generosity that their friends and family extended to them as soon as they posted the fundraiser page to their social media. The new $4,000 goal was soon surpassed once again and the siblings increased the goal to $5,000.
“Humbled—that’s what immediately comes to mind,” said Michael, explaining how it feels to have the community help him surpass two fundraising goals. “It’s amazing how much support we have from our friends, co-workers, family and the community. The response has been so great. I’ve been talking with so many people, some with immediate family with this disease—some with friends they know. They all thought this is a great cause and that we should up our goal.”
For more information or to donate to the cause, visit support.zerocancer.org/goto/bikeNY2boston .