The 18th annual Ride For Roswell is Upstate NY’s largest community wide cycling fundraising event that realizes nearly $4 million dollars for our critical cancer research and patient care at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. At this time, with only 4 days until Ride day, we are short volunteers and hoping that we might enlist your support.
Below is a list of CRITICAL VOLUNTEER POSITIONS for Ride Weekend ( Fri. June 21st & Sat. June 22nd). We cannot conduct the event without these two CRITICAL jobs.
• Opening Ceremony Ushers (Fri. June 21st) – over 50 needed for two shifts to direct guests prior to, during and after the conclusion of the event inside the stadium. o Friday, June 21st from 4pm to 7pm o Friday, June 21st from 7pm to 10pm
• Route Guides (Sat. June 22nd) – Over 120 needed for various locations & times. This position gives riders basic directions along the route in four different counties. Perfect for someone who lives along the route or in each township.
Other opportunities are still available however these two positions are urgently needed to provide a safe and enjoyable event that our participants are accustomed to each year. What is more, all Ride Volunteers can attend The Ride Opening Ceremony for free on Friday, June 21st, where country music star, LeAnn Rimes will be performing.
If you are willing to help out with any of these tasks please call The Ride office at 716-THE-RIDE (843-7433) or emailRideForRoswell@roswellpark.org and we will assist you with sign up.
EC HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT HELPS GET “READY FOR THE RIDE”
Crews Cleaning, Sweeping, Addressing Maintenance Issues on “Ride for Roswell” Route
ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Public Works, through the Highway Division, is joining with thousands of Western New Yorkers who are getting ready for the 2013 Ride for Roswell, which takes place on Saturday, June 22. In the days prior to the event, Highway crews will be active on more than 30 county roads that are part of the Ride route sweeping away loose debris, evaluating the shoulders of roads and taking remedial action where necessary, mowing grass and trimming vegetation to improve sightlines and visibility, and performing general light maintenance to improve the Ride experience for the thousands of riders expected to take part. This includes stretches of the Ride route that go through Ellicott, Isleview, Akron Falls, and Black Rock Canal Parks.
“Erie County is proud to help facilitate this great event by paying extra attention to the roads along the Ride route, and doing our part to provide participants with a safe riding experience,” said Erie CountyExecutive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Just like many other area residents, we are also getting ready to help in the fight against cancer. I want to thank the members of our Department of Public Works for the job they are doing in creating a better experience for all riders by enhancing the routes the cyclists will take on ‘Ride Day.’ ”
The Ride for Roswell features River Routes (of 20, 30, or 45 miles); Family Routes (of 3 or 8 miles); and Country Routes (of 33, 44, 62.5, or 104 miles). Start times on Saturday begin at 6:30 AM and run through 10:30 AM, depending on route selection. All routes begin and end at Baird Point on the North Campus of the University at Buffalo in Amherst.
“The safety of our riders and volunteers is top of mind, and we are so thankful to Erie County for the great work they do to keep Ride participants out of harm’s way,” said Marcus Stanfill, director of operationsand administration for the Ride for Roswell. “Our commitment to safety is met with Erie County’s help and through safety planning, training, education and the establishment of policies and procedures.”
As a tool set, tikkun olam offers a lot of options – there might be as many ways to repair the world as there are things on the universe’s “honey-do list.” But what makes a charity bike ride a good choice is that it also offers its participants the benefit of self-repair. I say this as a former pack-a-day smoker who kicked the habit by biking and who has since seen many others use biking as a vehicle for healing and health, notably in the context of dealing with and fighting cancer through The Ride For Roswell.
An annual fundraiser for Roswell Park Cancer Institute, The Ride started in 1996, so this is its chai –18th – year. To date, it’s raised more than $20 million for research and patient care –no small thanks to individuals in the Western New York Jewish community.
The Ride’s all-time top fundraiser is Gordy Gross. He rides in memory of his brother, Alan, in support of a research study led by Roswell’s Dr. Youcef Rustum. The premise of the study is that non-toxic doses of selenium can protect normal tissue from the toxic effects of chemotherapy and radiation while enhancing antitumor responses in cancerous tissue – something Gordy believes might have benefited his brother had it been available at the time. (As a side note, researchers and Roswell staff apply for the funds raised by The Ride; awards are made in a competitive process and go to the most promising proposals for cancer research and quality of life programs.) Always with a flair, Gordy dramatized his fundraising appeal several years ago by completing a 300+ mile bike trek to Buffalo from an Ann Arbor, Michigan lab participating in the selenium study.
The late Irv Shuman, Gordy’s law partner at Gross Shuman, was one of the event’s Top 10 cumulative fundraisers. His wife, Marilyn, daughters Cathy Shuman Miller and Leslie Kramer, and their husbands David Miller and Jim Kramer have done The Ride for many years. Cathy and Leslie, with help from Marilyn, and siblings Diane Harkavy and Jim Shuman, are among the Ride’s top fundraisers for 2013, so in cycling terms, they are “drafting” behind their dad’s good example. (For you non-Tour de France fans reading this, drafting is when a following rider saves energy by tucking into the slipstream created by the rider ahead.)
Dr. Irwin Gellman is chair of cancer genetics at Roswell and a Cantor at Congregation Beth Abraham, as well as a rider and captain of The Ride team “The Gene Machine.” His group is conducting a Ride-funded study on the genetic links between Barrett’s Esophagus and esophageal cancer – a nasty and rapidly growing disease.
The Ride’s also a family affair for many. Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein, wife, Ashirah, and their 3- year old daughter Jarah ride and fundraise, as do Michael Weisman and his cousin Ken Rogers. City Honors senior Zoey Binder earmarked a portion of her Bat Mitzvah money to The Ride several years ago. Rob Goldberg, a national Hillel VP, rides with his wife Shira, daughter Elana, son-in-law Seth Schrank, and sister and brother-in-law Susan and Steve Schwartz. They’re all members of The Ride’s “Extra Mile Club” for $1,000 and up fundraisers. There’s also Jerry Carrel and Dr. Jeffrey Carrel, who participate in the area’s other major charity ride, The Tour de Cure, which benefits diabetes care and research, and whose success was a model that The Ride For Roswell built on.
If one of the core benefits of The Ride is that it just gives people hope and “something to do,” there aren’t many things easier to do –or better for you – than riding a bike.
And so, about 8,000 riders and 2,000 volunteers will come together on June 22 for the 2013 edition of The Ride. Collectively, they will raise upwards of $4 million – a lot of gelt for getting on a bike to help repair themselves, their friends, and their families in the name of unique and novel research and compassionate patient care at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Mitch Flynn is the founder of The Ride For Roswell. He’s married to Ellen Goldstein, and is President of Flynn & Friends Advertising. Article appeared inJewish Journal of WNY, June 2013.