April 2015 Volunteer of the Month
Len and Susan Lodish
They call it fun: pedaling uphill on a tandem bicycle, battling 118-degree temperatures and 98-percent humidity, chased by tornadoes, drenched by rainstorms, pelted by hail. They push on. For thousands of miles, despite scores of flat tires, when you're fulfilling a lifelong dream, it’s all good.
So say Susan and Leonard Lodish of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. For Leonard, a consultant and the Samuel R. Harrell Professor Emeritus of Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Susan, a freelance theatrical director, it’s been a wonderful journey. Their tandem bike trips across the US, from coast to coast and through about 35 countries turned a passion for cycling to purpose. This year, the two are celebrating two milestones – their 50th wedding anniversary and their 20th Annual Bike Ride for ALS.
High-school sweethearts, Leonard and Susan have been biking since they were youngsters in Cleveland, when he used to ride her around on his handlebars. They have been riding tandem for 20 years to raise money in memory of Len’s cousin, Dr. Jules Lodish, who lost his life to ALS in 2008. Jules certainly made the most out of his 15 years with ALS. An accomplished hematologist and oncologist, Jules even wrote a manual on how to care for a person living with ALS. Thanks to the support from friends, family and colleagues, Len and Susan’s journeys have raised more than $1.5 million for The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
Their 20th anniversary ride is 450 miles along the Ohio River Valley from Wheeling, WV to Louisville, KY on May 26. When someone gives, they receive the Lodishes’ Notes and Photos from the Road and a special edition 20th anniversary patch. The couple pay for all of their travel expenses, thus every dollar donated toward their $100,000 goal goes directly to The Chapter. And, they personally match every dollar donated in excess of that goal.
In addition to their annual Bike Ride, Len and Susan have both served on the Chapter Board and attend numerous Chapter events. While they may no longer ride the 3,238 miles from California to Delaware, they will continue their commitment to the ALS cause. From China…to Israel…to Turkey, Len and Susan Lodish are truly volunteers on a mission.