The Ride For Roswell Pedals Past $5 Million at 23rd Annual Event
A rainy forecast didn’t deter the thousands of riders who rolled up to The Ride For Roswell start lines at the University at Buffalo (UB) and Roswell Park this morning. Sponsored by the West Herr Automotive Group, the 23rd annual event welcomed 7,740 riders and an additional 2,000 volunteers who are now celebrating a significant fundraising milestone that will impact the lives of patients fighting cancer.
From the mainstage in front of an excited crowd of riders, volunteers, sponsors and supporters, Ride Founder Mitch Flynn announced that this year’s event not only surpassed its fundraising record but “shattered it,” with a grand fundraising total of $5.2 million. This is the first time in its 23-year history that the event has surpassed the $5 million mark. To date The Ride has raised more than $48 million for cancer research and patient care at Roswell Park.
After months of fundraising, riders of all ages and cycling experience embarked on 11 routes ranging from 3 to 102 miles – including two international routes that crossed the border into Canada and a leisurely paced RosRoll led by volunteers from Slow Roll Buffalo.
Roswell Park’s President and CEO, Candace Johnson, PhD, was inspired by the efforts and commitment shown by everyone who came out to support the institute on their bikes today.
“I’m in awe. Simply in awe. The rainy forecast could not stop these riders from coming out this morning. They were here and ready to ride, despite the looming clouds overhead. And for our riders to break the $5 million mark today is outstanding and inspiring,” said Dr. Johnson. “Those dollars come through donations of all sizes and from the efforts of this wonderful Ride community – from our youth riders hosting lemonade stands to teams and sponsors running their own fundraising events. It’s a testament to how giving and caring the people of Western New York are of others, and it’s advancing such a powerful mission: to end cancer once and for all.”
Ride Weekend began on Friday with the Peloton, a 12-mile route from Roswell Park to UB that is reserved for top fundraisers. The 200 Peloton riders each raised more than $1,000 and passed a qualifying ride in order to participate. Before departing, the riders stood outside of Roswell Park with personal notes to current patients in their hands while reaching up toward the hospital windows in a salute to cancer patients who were looking out. The Peloton riders then rode in two-by-two formation while carrying a contained flame from Roswell Park through the City of Buffalo and into the Celebration of Hope event at UB.
The Celebration of Hope, a community-wide rally against cancer, included family-friendly activities and live entertainment, opportunities to learn how funds raised by The Ride help fuel cancer research at Roswell Park and an inspirational and emotional stage program featuring the arrival of the Peloton, an Olympics-style procession of cancer advocates, researchers and survivors and the lighting of The Ride For Roswell Ceremonial Torch.
The 24th annual Ride For Roswell will take place on Saturday, June 22, 2019.
Amy Biber Collson, Director, Development Marketing & Communications