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California Firefighter Rides His Way Into Freehold

A California firefighter will make a stop in Freehold before completing his cross-country bike ride.

The Freehold Borough Fire Department will be opening its doors for a California firefighter as he rides his bike across the country to raise money for his 22-year-old quadriplegic sister.

John Byrne, 25, is a firefighting engineer in Nipomo, Calif. who has set a goal of raising $50,000 as he rides his bike from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Brooklyn Bridge. The money Bryne is raising during this 3,500 mile ride is for a car that his sister, Lauren, could use to help her regain her independence.

Freehold Firefighter, Mike Crawford has been Bryne’s local contact. Bryne’s mother and Crawford grew up next to one another in Freehold before she relocated to California Bryne’s grandfather was also a firefighter in Freehold for 30 years and Bryne’s inspiration for becoming a firefighter. Although Bryne and Crawford have never met, Crawford has organized Bryne’s stay in Freehold and through his and other firemen’s connections, was able to organize two of Bryne’s stays in Pennsylvania.

“It's these kind of days that really make you proud to be a fireman, with only a phone call we able to raise money, put John and his crew in a hotel for the night, have dinner for John and his crew, and line up accommodations at his two previous stops in Pennsylvania. It doesn’t matter if you are a firemen in the next town or a firemen from California it's a great brotherhood that knows no boundaries,” said Crawford.

In addition to the fire department putting Bryne up, Engine Co. #1, Engine Co. #2, and Monmouth Hose Co. have all donated to Bryne's ride. Rich Gatto from The Downtown Center Partnership and Rob Kash from the Metropolitan Café have also donated to Bryne.

According to Crawford, Bryne will be riding into Freehold on Saturday, Oct. 13 between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. The fire department will be on hand to cheer Bryne in and invites the public to do the same at the Freehold Borough Fire Department. Bryne’s stay in Freehold will be his last overnight stay, he plans to ride over the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday, Oct. 14.

Bryne’s ride can be followed on the Lauren’s Ride website. Donations to Bryne’s ride can also be made on the site. As of Tuesday, Oct. 9 Bryne had surpassed his original goal of $50,000 and currently has raised $51,191 for his sister.

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