The Ride for Roswell weekend began on June 21 at the University at Buffalo (UB) football stadium on North Campus with its 2nd annual Opening Ceremony. The weekend culminated with The Ride on June 22, raising more than $3.8 million, with 8,000 cyclists registered, 2,000 volunteers and more than 700 teams all supporting the 18th annual fundraiser to fight and eradicate cancer.
The funds raised will fund cutting-edge research and patient care programs, and a portion of the funds, $1 million, will be used to advance pediatric cancer care. In collaboration with Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Roswell Park is enhancing its specialized Pediatric Cancer Care Program to provide the very best care for families whose lives are touched by childhood cancer or blood disease.
In 2012, 7,491 riders from 475 teams helped to raise $3.8 million and more than 10,000 people came out to support the annual Roswell Park fundraiser to help advance life-saving cancer programs and research.
The Opening Ceremony kicked off with 200 Peloton riders entering the UB stadium after making the 12-mile journey through Buffalo, beginning at Carlton Street. Activities commenced for the riders, ride volunteers, survivors, VIP guests, and Extra Mile Club members (those who raised $1,000 or more) as they also were able to learn about the work being done at Roswell Park to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Clinicians, staff, and survivors from 12 Roswell Park departments were present.
Motivational speaker, Dave Dravecky, a former MLB professional who battled cancer, gave an inspirational talk to the crowd with his amazing story of hope and perseverance. Dravecky was forced to retire from his professional career as a baseball player, and ultimately, ended up losing his left pitching arm after finding out he had cancer. Grammy award-winning country singer, LeAnn Rimes performed during the concert portion of the celebration.
On Saturday, various routes for The Ride opened, full of riders. Other routes ranging in distance started at 3 miles, going all the way up to 104 miles. Many cancer survivors and patients participated, ranging in ages and abilities, including virtual riders (a fundraiser who enjoys the same perks as riders but do not physically ride a bike).
“The Ride For Roswell supports the quest to find cures and save lives, and the money raised is so important to the funding of vital research and patient care programs that are critical to the thousands of people we treat every year,” said Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, President and CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “But its meaning goes much deeper than that for our patients, survivors, families, employees and volunteers. It’s a chance to honor a loved one, to take action, to make a difference, to bring hope and healing to so many people whose lives have been touched by this terrible disease. We are honored that so many people in our community and beyond have chosen to stand behind Roswell Park Cancer Institute and support the important and pioneering work we do right here in Buffalo.”
For more information about the Ride and the 2013 results, visit www.rideforroswell.org.