Friends and family of former Westhampton Beach Village Trustee Mark Raynor, who died in 2012 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, will take part in the third annual “Tour de Pour” bar crawl on Sunday, July 28, to raise money for cancer research and to honor his memory.
Jim Raynor, Mark’s oldest son, said he first pitched the idea to his friends while lifeguarding a few years ago. After his father’s diagnosis, Jim Raynor wanted to find a way to raise awareness of the disease and collect money for additional research. His father, whom Mr. Raynor described as a humble man, had refused any sort of fundraiser for his own personal benefit.
About 20 people raised money during the first event in 2011 and rode their bikes from bar to bar. “The first year was a lot of fun,” Mr. Raynor said. “It was my dad’s favorite day of the summer.”
Last year, the 75 participants on bikes raised close to $5,000, and this year they hope to surpass that total.
Mark Raynor, a lifelong Westhampton Beach resident, worked as a Southampton Town Police officer, and dedicated many years to the Westhampton Beach Fire Department. From 1989 to 1992, he serve as chief. He also served on the Westhampton Beach Village Board for a dozen years. He was 58 when he died.
Those who knew Mr. Raynor the best described him as a selfless man. On one memorable occasion in 1992 during his time as a police officer, he entered a Flanders home that was engulfed in flames and crawled—without any firefighting gear—through the heavy smoke to a crib to rescue an infant. Though the baby did not survive, Suffolk County awarded Mr. Raynor with the Medal of Valor and he was named New York State Police Officer of the Year.
“He was just an all-around great guy,” Mr. Raynor said, of his father. “He was always helping other people. He would put anybody else before himself, so that’s why it means a lot to us.”
Mr. Raynor’s wife, Caroline, his younger brothers, Justin and Connor, and his mother, Terry, will all be on bikes, sporting black jerseys that say, “Until we meet again,” the event’s slogan, on the back.
The pub crawl will begin at 4 p.m. at Jonesey’s on Montauk Highway in Westhampton Beach. The attendees, who are encouraged to bring their bicycles so they are not tempted to drive, as well as cash to cover their bar tabs, will then head over to Agave’s Tequila and Rum Bar on Mill Road and then pedal their way to the Margarita Grille on Main Street. Next, they will head to the Saltwater Grill on Dune Road before finishing their crawl at John Scott’s Surf Shack, also on Dune Road.
Anyone over age 21 who is interested in participating is asked to donate a minimum of $20, which ensures a spot, a jersey and a koozie through the event’s website, www.lustgarten.org/tourdepour. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Lustgarten Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Mr. Raynor said his father was touched by how many people came out to support the cause in the past, and he hopes the event will continue to grow in the years to come.
“I’m going to keep it going as long as I can,” he said. “I just see it getting bigger and bigger and bigger.”