The Cyclone, the iconic, almost 85-year-old roller coaster in Coney Island, celebrated its upcoming birthday with its first ever “Coasterthon.” In honor of the anniversary, which will officially fall on June 26th, nine charities were given a chance to win the grand prize of $24,000 by having representatives riding the Cyclone the most number of times during the course of the day. In addition, each of the charities, which reserved one car on the ride, were given a set amount of money, donated by sponsors, every time they completed one circuit on the coaster.
In addition to the grand prize awarded by Central Amusement International, the US subsidiary of Zamperla, the company that has been rebuilding Coney Island’s Luna Park over the past few years, the winners also won free passes for a full day in the park for their organization.
Built in 1927, the Cyclone has been a model for many other roller coasters which came after, including six exact copies, four of which are still in use. Richard Rodriquez holds the record for amount of time spent riding the Cyclone, chalking up 104 hours on the coaster. On the 70th anniversary of the Cyclone’s opening in 1997 tight-rope walker Tino Wallenda walked between the two peaks of the ride.
The Cyclone has appeared in many films, including The Sting II and Shakedown, and of course it inspired the name of the baseball team, the Brooklyn Cyclones.
The president of CAI, Valerio Ferrari said,
“We are thrilled to commemorate the incredible 85 years of the Cyclone with all of these wonderful charities who give back to the community every day.”
The nine charities which participated were: You Gotta believe, Alzheimer Association, Special Olympics NYC, New York Cares, Sean Casey Animal Rescue, American Cancer Society, Give Kids the World, Wildlife Conservation Society and Youth Service Opportunities Project