Debby and Jim Sharpe have been riding bikes since they were kids. Jim had a paper route; Debby’s first big purchase was a 10-speed bike. The two met in Ohio while working at GE, where Debby was an engineer and Jim a manager. They have lived on the South Shore of Massachusetts since 1984 and raised three kids; they now tote twin grandchildren on errands in a bike trailer for two.
A college friend of Jim’s first told him about the East Coast Greenway Alliance some 20 years ago. The Sharpes have been donors to the organization and active participants ever since, joining donor rides to the Czech Republic and the Netherlands over the years as well as the Greenway’s Week A Year Tour. Beginning in Maine nine years ago, a few dozen cyclists have been making their way south, biking a week-long section of the Greenway each year and forming strong friendships. The group finishes in November 2019 when they’ll bike from Titusville, Florida, to Key West.
“The WAY Tour has been wonderful,” says Jim. “It’s a great community of people.”
The Greenway mission resonates with the Sharpes on several fronts. They like the idea of getting people out of their cars more, helping local economies and the environment, and keeping people safe. “Off-road paths and trails are really important,” Debby says. “We’re comfortable riding on roads, but a lot of people aren’t.”
“Dedicated and generous donors like the Sharpes are the bedrock foundation for our thriving organization over the past decade and beyond,” says Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano. “Jim and Debby are a pleasure to learn from and partner with to move this visionary project forward.”
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