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 July 7th, 2011  
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Deputy Sooner Means will ride for third time in Tour de Force Memorial Bike Ride to raise money for 9/11/2001 survivors and families, according to Sheriff Mascara
St. Lucie County Deputy Sooner Means will honor fallen law enforcement officers as well as 9/11 victims, survivors, and their families in the 2011 Tour de Force Memorial Bike Ride, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

Detention Deputy Means, an 11-year veteran of the Saint Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, has made her name synonymous with riding for good causes since 2005.  She has ridden in the MS 150, a fundraiser for those suffering from multiple sclerosis, and has logged thousands of miles on her bike for charity.

"2011 will be the third consecutive year in which Deputy Means is participating in the Tour de Force," said Sheriff Mascara. "Her tenacity and perseverance in support of the 9/11 victims and their families symbolizes what is best at the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office."

The Tour de Force, a 280-mile bicycle ride that will take place on Sept. 8, continues to inspire Deputy Means by defining for her the sense of belonging to something bigger than one’s self, a sentiment she brought with her from her service to her country in the U.S. Army, and now shares with her brothers and sisters in the criminal justice profession at the Saint Lucie County jail.

On Sept. 8, 200 participants from across the United States, Canada, and Europe will depart Ground Zero, New York City, and cycle to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, across New Jersey to Atlantic City, down to Annapolis, Md. and finally, through Washington, D.C., to the Pentagon on Sept. 11.

The riders will cover 280 miles from start to finish.  Each individual must submit an application to the Tour de Force organization and undergo a selection process in order to participate. Deputy Means was notified in February that she had been selected as one of the 200 participants from across the nation in the 2011 Tour de Force ride.

Those who wish can participate by contributing to the victims, survivors and families of 9/11 by mailing a check or money order payable to "Tour de Force" and writing "Deputy Sooner Means" in the memo area. The mailing address is: Tour de Force, P.O. Box 395, Washingtonville, NY  10992.

People can also donate over the Internet using the PayPal service by going to tourdeforceny.com, selecting "Make a Donation" and selecting Sooner Means' name from the "Riders Name" dropdown menu.

Each participant is required to raise $1,000 in sponsor funds, provide his or her own transportation, including shipping the rider's bicycle to and from the event, and provide for his or her own meals. Tour de Force provides lodging for three nights during the actual ride.

Tour de Force is a non-profit organization that raised over $300,000 from last year’s ride which was donated to families of officers killed in the line of duty in 2010 and to the New York City Police Department's Widows and Childrens Fund.

Tour de Force uses the "Officer Down" memorial page (odmp.org) to help select families in need, and also considers families that are nominated by agencies and ride participants.

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