A ride aboard the historic Cyclone at Brooklyn's Coney Island is sure to be a treasured memory and perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime thrill. Riding it more than once, as I did a few years ago by taking advantage of an immediate re-ride special offer, exposes the rough-and-tumble moments of the classic ride, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year. Anything beyond two rides, I would imagine, could test the mettle of even the most hardened coaster fan. That's why I'm impressed by the participants of last weekend's Cyclone Charity Coasterthon, many of whom endured the ride for a daylong session that lasted nearly 12 hours.
To help celebrate the coaster's anniversary, Luna Park, the ride's operator, offered a $24,000 grand prize to charitable organizations that participated in the marathon event. Of the nine teams that entered, eight toughed it out to the very end and will each receive $3,000 for their charity. The recipients are: Alzheimer's Association, American Cancer Society, Give Kids The World, Sean Casey Animal Rescue, New York Aquarium, You Gotta Believe, New York Cares, and Youth Services Opportunity Project.
Now in its third season, Luna Park is helping to transform New York City's ramshackle amusement area. Read more about Coney Island.
Photo: ©Arthur Levine, 2007. Licensed to About.com.