Nearly 15 years ago, Bernie Cornick sponsored a Wheels of Love cyclist. Five years later, after overhearing a conversation about the ride at his gym, he looked it up on the internet, saw there was an open spot and registered for the 2016 Wheels of Love! He has returned every year since (other than those years in which the ride was cancelled) and, in his words, “What can I say, I’m hooked!”

The first year, Bernie’s wife Milena joined him in Israel (but not on the ride). She has returned often and sometimes she meets him at the hospital to enjoy the festivities at the finish line.

Although he didn’t know anyone back in 2016, from the first bus ride to the starting line, Bernie began creating friendships among the riders, many of whom have also returned year after year. He has added to his Wheels of Love family by recruiting friends who have also become loyal participants.


As for the fundraising, in Bernie’s words, “Fundraising is NOT in my DNA, but somehow I have taken this on and I twist some arms if I have to. It’s a full-court press.” His arm-twisting appears to be a successful strategy as he is often among the top-10 fundraisers for the bike ride! He shares stories and pictures with his donors and invites them to feel as if they are a part of his journey, even if they are not in Israel riding with him.  This year, he will not only be celebrating his 8th ride, but he will encourage friends and family to help him celebrate his milestone 80th birthday with donations to the hospital!

What has brought Bernie back year after year?

Cornick 2019

“It has been one of the most fantastic experiences for me, emotionally and physically. There’s really nothing like the closing ceremony when the kids put the finishing medal around your neck. There is not a dry eye in the place! I feel very strong about helping those kids.

Being in Israel is the icing on the cake. I get very emotional when I’m there. I feel like I’m a part of the culture and the religion. It’s a great feeling.

The combination of supporting the kids and being in Israel has made ALYN one of the top charities to which we give. It’s really my way of giving back to something meaningful.”

We thank Bernie for his many years of commitment to Wheels of Love and the children of ALYN Hospital. Todah rabah!

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