Organizers of Pan-Florida Challenge Ride for Hungry Kids to honor race in memory of Robert Sciolino



When Renee Montesanti and the rest of the Robert ‘Sonny’ Sciolino family found out the 2019 Pan-Florida Challenge Ride for Hungry Kids would be done in memory of Sciolino, it provided a measure of comfort.

Sciolino loved bike riding. He may have loved children even more.

He was an outspoken advocate for cyclists and the rights of bicycle riders to assert their legal rights as motor vehicles under Florida law.

“And the thought of hungry kids made him cry,” said Melissa Merson Ellison, the public relations person for the Pan-Florida Challenge Ride.

The fifth edition ride will go from March 30-31. Riders can choose to go 10, 32, 64, 100 or 200 miles and the journey will take them through Naples, Fort Myers, Alva, Clewiston and ending in Lake Placid before turning around.

Organizers of the event announced they’d honor Sciolino, 58, on Dec. 21 — two days after a driver struck and killed him as he rode his bicycle 20 miles from his Cape Coral home to work.

“It wasn’t even a decision,” said Ed Mullen, Pan-Florida Challenge founder and chairman. “It’s like, ‘This is what we’re gonna do…

“You gotta realize. Losing this guy’s voice is a big, big loss. He embodies the passion for feeding hungry kids.” …

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