MIAMI, March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Next week, Denny's restaurants in Florida will proudly support hundreds of riders as they hit the road for the 20th annual Tour de Force, a five-day, 270-mile charity bicycle ride that raises money for the surviving family members of Florida law enforcement personnel lost in the line of duty. This year's ride will take place from Monday, April 3 through Friday, April 7 and will stretch from North Miami Beach to Daytona Beach, with periodic stops along the route.
The Florida Tour de Force ride began in 1997 with ten riders who set out to honor Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Robert Smith, who was killed in the line of duty by a drunk driver. Since its inception, the annual event has raised more than $450,000 for the families of fallen officers, law enforcement and related organizations. In 2016, over 800 people, including law enforcement personnel and civilians from across the state of Florida and beyond, participated in the ride with over 100 riders completing the entire 270-mile route.
The ride will help to honor law enforcement personnel who were killed in the line of duty in 2016 and raise funds for their surviving family members. This year's honorees include:
- Deputy Sheriff John Robert Kotfila, Jr., Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
- Police Officer Henry Malcolm McAleenan, Jr., Miami-Dade Police Department
- Special Agent Jeremy "Scott" McGuire, Department of Homeland Security
- Deputy Sheriff Eric James Oliver, Nassau County Sheriff's Office
- Sergeant Jorge Ramos, Florida Dept. of Corrections
- Police Motor Officer Jorge Sanchez, Miami City Police Department
- Deputy Sheriff Scott Williams, Taylor County Sheriff's Office
The ride will begin at the Denny's located at 1450 NE Miami Gardens Drive in North Miami Beach and will travel north along the East Coast of Florida through dozens of law enforcement jurisdictions over the course of five days. Denny's restaurants will also serve as the starting points for Day Three and Day Five, with riders taking off from the restaurants located at 10111 South US 1 in Port St. Lucie and 2500 Cheney Highway in Titusville, respectively.
This year will mark the sixth consecutive year that Denny's has served as Tour de Force's title sponsor. To kick off this year's event, the Denny's restaurant in North Miami Beach and a Denny's location in Tampa teamed up to host a one-day fundraiser in March with a portion of all sales going to Tour de Force.
"Denny's is privileged to once again have the opportunity to be a part of Florida Tour de Force and help honor the incredible servicemen and women who have sacrificed so much," said Denise Gaines, senior manager of field marketing for Denny's. "Like our guests, we are a part of these local communities throughout Florida and each year Tour de Force provides us with a great way to show our appreciation for our local heroes."
"For over two decades, Tour de Force has served to bring awareness and support to the families of Florida Law Enforcement Officers who have been lost in the line of duty," said Tour de Force President, Detective Rafael Florencio of the North Miami Beach Police Department. "Those efforts would not be possible without the support of partners like Denny's. Thanks to the hard work and generosity of Denny's, its team members and customers, we have been successful in bringing these local communities together to help honor our fallen Florida law enforcement officers and their families and we look forward to another ride."
Those interested in participating in this year's ride or supporting Tour de Force through an online donation can visit www.FloridaTourdeForce.org. For more information and directions to participating Denny's restaurants, please visit www.dennys.com.
About Denny's Corp.
Denny's is one of America's largest full-service family restaurant chains, currently operating over 1,700 franchised, licensed and company-owned restaurants across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guam, the United Arab Emirates, Chile, Curaçao, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Philippines. For further information on Denny's, including news releases, please visit the Denny's website at www.dennys.com or the brand's social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram or YouTube.
About Tour de Force
The Florida Tour De Force was established as and still is a "grassroots" organization, which was formed by a group of police officers who wanted to bring awareness and support to the surviving family members of Florida law enforcement officers who have been lost in the line of duty. The non-profit charity organization has grown in size each year since it was established in 1997 and has raised more than $450,000 for families of fallen officers and law enforcement related organizations. For more information on Tour de Force, visit www.FloridaTourdeForce.org.
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SOURCE Denny's Corp.