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Bicycle group donates to Patchogue AIDS charity

From l., Greg Noone, program manager for Thursday's

From l., Greg Noone, program manager for Thursday's Child, receives a $1,500 donation from Raul Cotilla and Tom Monks, co-founders of Ride to Heal, at the Thursday's Child office in Patchogue. Photo Credit: Erin Geismar

Thursday’s Child of Long Island, a Patchogue-based organization that provides services for Long Islanders with HIV/AIDS, received a $1,500 donation Wednesday from the charity bicycle group Ride to Heal.

Tom Monks and Raul Cotilla, co-founders of Ride to Heal, started the organization in 2008 in memory of Monks’ brother, Jim, who died of AIDS in 1991. The group organizes long- and short-distance rides along the East Coast throughout the year.

“We just wish we could give more,” Monks said Wednesday at Thursday’s Child headquarters.

Gregory Noone, program manager for Thursday’s Child, said donations are crucial for the organization, which has helped families and individuals maintain and manage their care since 1989.

Noone said Thursday’s Child lost millions of dollars in federal funding three years ago and survives on the charity of organizations like Ride to Heal.

“It’s the only way we've survived,” he said. “Because of people like Raul and Tom.”

Noone said the donation will help Thursday’s Child provide food, transportation and housing for its clients.

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