This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
In an effort to raise awareness about gun violence in the United States and in remembrance of the Sandy Hook massacre, bicyclists will be stopping in West Chester on their way to the nation’s capital on Sunday.
Team 26, a group of 26 cyclists, will ride from Newtown, Conn., and spend three days traveling south through six states before finishing in Washington, D.C.
After a rally in Philadelphia in the afternoon, the riders will make a short stop at the Holiday Inn Express in West Chester on Sunday around 5 p.m.
“They’re going to Washington to lobby legislators and along the way, they’re stopping in various places to raise awareness and attract attention,” said Tom Buglio, director of the Chester County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.
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The 26-member team represents the 26 innocent lives lost in a school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.
The riders come from all over — South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and even Quebec, Canada — and they all have one thing in common, and that’s to put an end to senseless gun violence.
“They include a couple of people who have been directly affected and lost people — relatives and friends — at the Sandy Hook massacre,” Buglio said. “They do a yearly trek … specifically to raise awareness of the need to do something about the gun violence epidemic in this country and to remind people of Sandy Hook.”
Though the riders will make other stops along the way, this will be the first time they will come to Chester County.
Buglio, who organized the stop with the group, is hoping county residents will come out to the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express with signs, noisemakers and just friendly faces in support of the riders.
“We’re not going to do anything huge, but I’m doing my best to attract a few speakers and hopefully an elected leader or two who care about this issue,” he said. “We hope to have a bunch of people there as they come into the parking lot.”
Buglio is asking for the community to come out between 4 and 6 p.m. in support of Team 26 and their mission. The Holiday Inn Express is located at 1310 Wilmington Pike, just south of West Chester.