SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Cyclists and walkers returned to the streets of Saratoga Sunday morning for the Team Billy Ride and Walk for Research.
“It’s great just to see people come together again and the responses we had, everything filled up,” said Ken Grey, Billy’s father.
Sunday’s event kept what’s become a yearly tradition going, even if there were some changes to what participants have experienced in years past.
“Well it’s going to be mellow this year. Usually there are hundreds and hundreds of people out and there’s three different bike routes, hundreds of people on each one. This year there’s just one bike route and then the walkers,” said Carter Yepsen, the event’s safety coordinator.
Team Billy has happened each year since 2004. The event raises money and awareness for brain tumor research in memory of Billy Grey, who passed away in 2001 at 12-years-old.
“Billy was the best. Even when he was sick he would just always turn the conversation around and ask how the other person was, and people were just in amazement. So I always learned from him every day just how he handled his trials,” his dad said.
Billy’s father says he’s thankful for the continued support, especially as the event has continued to grow over the years.
“It means a ton. For Billy, he’s there with us. He had so many friends and we know he’s here today,” he says.
Despite being held virtually last year, that support was still evident, as participants helped raise around $69,000 for the National Brain Tumor Society.
This year, the event followed a hybrid model, with both in-person and virtual participation. Attendance was limited to 50 people for both the cycling and walking events, with participants having to pre-register.
And while the normal hundreds of people couldn’t be out on the streets of Saratoga Sunday, the mission stays the same.
“Let’s just keep on trucking and keep on fighting and eventually we’re going to beat this thing,” Grey said.