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Cycle Across Maryland tour stops in Williamsport

July 29, 1999

Bicyclist Ralph CappielloBy GREG SIMMONS / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




WILLIAMSPORT - The CAM Corp. could have paid for food, transportation and lodging for the 700 cyclists it brought to Williamsport Wednesday.

Instead it gave Teri Leiter a check for $8,000 to take care of the cyclists' needs, and promised her a second check for the same amount once the bicyclists left town after a two-night stay.

Leiter, owner of Leiter's Fine Catering in Williamsport, said that after expenses, she expects to raise $10,000 for the Williamsport High School Blue Band through CAM's Carrollton Bank Cycle Across Maryland Tour.

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The annual cycling event started last weekend at Rocky Gap State Park and will end Friday at Greenbrier State Park in western Washington County.

Leiter's most daunting task Wednesday afternoon was trying to herd hundreds of cyclists who had pitched tents on the grounds of Williamsport High School to go inside the school because of an approaching thunderstorm.

Leiter plans to make the contribution to the Blue Band despite not belonging to its booster club. Last year, she was the vice president of the booster club, but is no longer in the club now that her daughter graduated.

Leiter said the band, which represented Washington County at the governor's inaugural parade in Annapolis, is successful because "you have a band director who cares, parents who support and students who are willing to put forth the effort."

Leiter said the band will use the money to buy new instruments and concession equipment, and help pay for a band trip in the spring. The instruments they need, like saxophones and sousaphones can cost thousands of dollars, she said.

The Blue Band Booster Club received a $2,000 donation from Prime Retail, the parent company of Prime Outlets.

Six vendors selling such things as popcorn, hotdogs, water and peanuts arrived Wednesday. Leiter said two more are expected to arrive today. All vendors pay a small fee to the Blue Band to sell wares at the high school. Nonprofit organizations pay $25 a day, and for-profit businesses pay $50 a day.

The Williamsport pool opened its doors to the cyclists and provided lifeguards free of charge. The band collected $1 from each cyclist who swam in the pool.

Members of the 180-member band had to volunteer some of their time to the event, said Jennifer Brown, who will be in 10th grade this fall at Williamsport. She and Tara Crist, who also is in the 10th grade, helped run the main information tent at the high school.

Crist said she wasn't thinking much about the money. "I think it's fun to see all the different people," she said.

The cyclists rode from Hancock to Williamsport Wednesday.

Michelle Attai, a 15-year-old cyclist from Anne Arundel County, Md., was holding ice packs on her knees at her tent. "It's hard. You know how many tears I've shed on this CAM Tour?"

But, she said, "It's a good life experience."

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