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 news release--Scranton father and son to bike for Gettysburg monument  preservation


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CONTACT: Jay Purdy (717) 787-7895

HARRISBURG, June 8 - Footsteps were the prime power behind the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project in it's annual 5K Monument Challenge run. This month, a Scranton father and son will bring pedal power to bear for the monuments.

John Conforti and 12-year-old son Chris will bicycle 220 miles beginning at 7 a.m. Friday, June 15 from Brunitti's Supermarket on Main Avenue and arrive at the National Civil War Wax Museum on Steinwehr Avenue in Gettysburg at approximately noon on Sunday, June 17.

State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, leader of the monument preservation effort, said the Conforti's have been planning the trek for several months and have raised nearly $1,000 in pledges from Scranton businesses and supporters. Readshaw said on the first day, the two will pedal down Route 11 to Danville. At 7 a.m. Saturday, they'll hop on their bikes, turn onto Route 34 at Duncannon, and target Carlisle as their next overnight destination. The final leg from Carlisle will likewise begin at 7 a.m.

Readshaw said there will be a police escort from the Gettysburg Borough line and a brief ceremony hosted by the National Civil War Wax Museum on their arrival, including a presentation by noted Civil War sculptor Andrew Chernak.

"It's heartening to see the ways that the Confortis and other supporters of the monument project across the Commonwealth have raised donations to preserve the monuments to the courageous Pennsylvanians who defended their home state and saved the Union," said Readshaw. "These fund raising efforts have not been easy; they take time, such as that time devoted by participants in the schools that have joined in, and they can even be physically demanding, such as the Conforti's bicycle expedition. "They all require a dedication that does honor to the courage and sacrifice of the troops at Gettysburg and all American veterans."

Scranton-area sponsors of the Conforti bicycle effort include:

  • Brunitti's Supermarket
  • Cedar Bike
  • Chapman Supply
  • Gemma's Pizza
  • Mia Products
  • Scranton Times
A bank account has been set up to accept donations: Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project, P.O. Box 197, Scranton, PA 18504. Since completing the drive to raise funds for the immediate repair and maintenance needs of the 146 Pennsylvania regimental monuments at Gettysburg, Readshaw and his supporters, dubbed Readshaw's Raiders, are targeting a new goal of $425,000 to fund perpetual endowment trusts to provide future care.


more information:

Readshaw and the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project may be contacted by e-mail at gettysburg@pahouse.net or by phone, 717-783-0411.

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