Pequannock resident Derek DeRosa, a senior airman in the Air Force Reserves, is setting out on an courageous individual journey to raise money for military families.

Tell us what's so great about the Garden State by using the form at the end of this story.

After he watched a documentary on the history of the Jersey Shore, DeRosa's brain began rattling with ideas of a way to honor the beautiful stretch of land down the coast. He wanted to pay homage to the land that only seems to get headlines from the the show on MTV. DeRosa also learned more about the Folds of Honor Foundation, which is run by fellow airman Major Dan Rooney, and gives back to families of servicemen that are killed or disabled in service.

The idea clicked from there.

"So many of my fellow airmen, soldiers, marines, coast guardsmen, and sailors have been affected by the recent wars, and even more so, their innocent families," Derosa explained.

He formulated "The Shore Tour," which is an individual, one-day bike ride, taking place this Saturday, down the entire Jersey coastline, from Sandy Hook to Cape May Point. DeRosa began training in May, and set up a social media fund-raising page to take in donations for Folds of Honor. He has been giving regular updates on his training, with pictures and miles cycled.

DeRosa says he set out on this mission "in hopes of inspiring and encouraging others in the local community to support and raise awareness for our nation's heroes and their families."

As for the actual day?

DeRosa plans to be dropped off at Sandy Hook at 5AM to begin the ride down to Cape May, which he estimates will take north of fourteen hours. He plans to give regular updates on Twitter throughout the ride.

"If I have to crawl there I will because I really want to hit this goal of cycling the entire length of the shore."

While the goal is to make this ride an annual event, DeRosa decided to embark on the first one solo. So far, over one thousand dollars has been raised for Folds of Honor.

"I'm tremendously honored and grateful to know that so many kind and compassionate people would have helped support me on this journey," he said.

Check out Derek's fundraising page, as well as his Twitter feed, for regular updates before and during the Saturday ride.



Austim Family Services of New Jersey

Get ready for one last day at the beach. Autism Family Services of New Jersey is holding its annual Beach Bash in Belmar on September 9th. In past years, over 5,000 families, friends and supporters of individuals living with austim in the Garden State have gathered for the event. Autism Family Serivces of New Jersey is dedicated to ensuring a better quality of life for individuals and their families affected by autism.  Learn more by visiting their website.

Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run/Walk in Wayne

This year's 2nd annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run/Walk in Wayne will suport Army SPC Derek McConnell, a double amputee Afghanistan war veteran from Parsippany. The Tunnel to Towers Run/Walk is scheduled for September 9th. Similar races will take place in 70 cities around the world. The Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation was created to honor the legacy of New York City fireman Stephen Siller who lost his life trying to save people on 9/11. The Foundation has established "In the Line of Duty" programs for firefighters, first responders, and military. For more information, visit

The Better Education Institute

The Better Education Institute is joining hands with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Jersey and Passaic Housing Authority to provide a big surprise for school children. Together they will be providing 4,500 backpacks filled with school supplies for needy students in Passaic City. A non-profit arm of Better Education for Kids, Inc., The Better Education Institute's mission is to deploy research-based programs in five key areas in an effort to create sustainable educational change for low-income and at-risk children. To learn more, go to