The Ride For Roswell Names 2014 Event Chairs

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Ride For Roswell has named Mitch Flynn, Terry Bourgeois, Christine Eberle, John Hannon, Christopher McNamara, Lettia Milito, Jonathan Olson, James Reger, Sally Russell, and William Wallace as co-chairs of The Ride For Roswell 2014.


The Ride For Roswell chairs have been named to assist in developing and executing the largest single-day cycling fundraiser in the country (in terms of participation). With 12 routes spanning four counties, The Ride For Roswell is a complex logistical undertaking and its success dependent on the ten dedicated and influential volunteers who serve as its chairs. Each chair is responsible for a specific area of The Ride:


Mitch Flynn of Buffalo, is the Founder and Fundraising Chair of The Ride For Roswell. Flynn is President of Flynn & Friends Advertising in Buffalo.


Terry Bourgeois of Lockport, is Chair of Campus Planning. Bourgeois is Knowledge Management Program Manager for Praxair.


Christine Eberle of Buffalo, is Marketing Chair. Eberle is Partner/Owner of Eberle-Sciandra Communications.


John Hannon of Williamsville, is Co-Chair of the Routes Committee. Hannon is a Partner of Triad Recycling and Energy.


Christopher McNamara of Williamsville, is Volunteers Chair. McNamara is an Examiner for Tower Group Companies.


Lettia Milito of Tonawanda, was named Information Technology Advisor.  Milito is the former Senior IT Project Manager at Praxair.


Jonathan Olsen of Amherst, is Co-Chair of the Routes Committee. Olsen is a Senior Finance Manager at FedEx TradeNetworks.


James Reger of Warsaw, was named Event Safety Chair.  Reger is the Emergency Manager at the University at Buffalo.


Sally Russell of Buffalo, is Extra Mile Club Chair. Russell is the former Senior Ride Staff Coordinator.


William Wallace of Buffalo, is Teams Chair. Wallace is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for ASHDAN Screw Machine Products, Inc.


The Ride For Roswell weekend begins with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, June 27, with the Ride taking place on Saturday, June 28 at the University at Buffalo’s Amherst campus.

Since its inception in 1996, The Ride For Roswell chairs have developed the event into Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s largest fundraiser, and the largest single-day cycling fundraiser in the country in terms of participation.  Over the past 18 years, The Ride has raised nearly $25 million for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. In 2014, more than 10,000 riders, volunteers and supporters are expected to raise more than $4 million.




Where the Donations Go
Funds raised through The Ride For Roswell directly benefit research and patient care programs at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Roswell Park serves 31,000 patients each year, and funds raised allow Roswell Park to accelerate the start of new research needed to help save lives, and also supports programs that assist patients through their cancer journey.


About Roswell Park

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email




Posted January 23, 2014 by rideconnect in News from The Ride

Hacking Away at Cancer

Courtesy of

By Cathy Donnelly

On Monday, Oct. 7, over 75 web professionals came together for HigherEdWeb’s first Hackathon. Their goal was to create a new website for the Ride for Roswell and to be able to connect the site with their fundraising systems.

The redesigned website will make The Ride site mobile-friendly and simpler for users to navigate.  ”An improved website design will not only enhance the Ride experience for our participants and supporters, but will hopefully increase our fundraising capability so that we can continue to support Roswell Park’s mission to find cures and save lives,” said Ride Director Bryan Sidorowicz.

The Hackathon started at 7 pm with an overview of the project from Dr. Donald L. Trump, president and CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute with an in depth overview of the current two sites that will be merged together, and an intro of the RPCI team at the event. After the intro, the participants sorted themselves into working groups (developers, designers, content strategy etc.) and began a series of sprints to achieve tasks in a coordinated manner.  By midnight a basic IA and content review was complete, a CSS framework was proposed and the developers settled in to draft the site in WordPress and connect to the fundraising data sources. Fueled by Red Bull, Beef on Weck and Buffalo chicken wings, several volunteers worked until 4am.

2013 Hackathon

“I was intrigued by the Hackathon, but I’m not a coder, so I wasn’t sure if I could help. But a colleague said they needed all skill sets and talked me into going, I am glad she did because it was such an amazing experience,” said Kristin Greenberg, Director of Web Communications at DeSales University. “At the Hackathon, everyone just came together and got it done. Different approaches and styles were worked out and mashed together in lightning speed. It was almost magical. You looked around the room and saw all these people just dedicating their time and skills for a common cause — I’m so proud to have been a part of this experience and to have had the chance to work with such a tremendous group of professionals.”

2013 Hackathon

“Over 400 man-hours were donated that night,” said Mark Greenfield, HeWeb13 Conference Chair, “And we believe that we created a strong framework for the RPCI team to build upon. It was amazing to see what happened in the Hyatt and to give back to our host city in this way.”

The RPCI web team is currently evaluating the data provided and creating their next steps to launch the new site this winter. “We appreciate what happened at the Hackathon,” said Michael Gonzalez, Director Online Business & Marketing Development, Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “Our team is currently reviewing all of the materials from that night to determine exactly what we have and our next steps.  The API integration with Blackbaud, developed Monday night, was a bonus above and beyond the web site conversion process started by the volunteers.”

Photos courtesy HighEdWeb.

Posted October 28, 2013 by rideconnect in News from The Ride

YNN: Hackathon helps redesign Ride For Roswell website

ImageBUFFALO, N.Y. — Stocked with plenty of coffee and energy drinks, a group of about 50 computer experts hacked into the Ride for Roswell website late Monday night into Tuesday morning. However, their intentions were good.

The web technicians, programmers, and designers embarked on a 12 hour hackathon that aimed to redesign the event’s website. Each expert worked as a team and turned what would be months of planning and work, into an overnight project.

“Being in the same room at the same time instead of all the work that goes into scheduling meetings and trying to follow up and remember what everybody said, by doing this in such a condensed time frame, it’s absolutely amazing what you can get accomplished,” said team leader Mark Greenfield.

The group, from all over the country, was in Buffalo for the 2013 HighEdWeb Annual Conference. It featured different events centered around the computer industry.

Instead of donating money to a charity, the group gave up their time and skills.

“We probably wouldn’t be able to do this on our own without a lot of money,” said Ride for Roswell Director Brian Sidorowicz. “These folks have agreed to make this leap for us with all this talent.”

The Ride for Roswell attracts thousands of bicycle riders to Buffalo each year to raise millions of dollars for cancer research. The 2014 version is scheduled to take place on June 27th and 28th.

Sidorowicz said over the last few years there’s been a noticeable shift in the way people donate, from the computer, now to cell phones. The hackers also worked on making the new website mobile friendly.

“That’s kind of our number one resource for fundraising,” Sidorowicz said. “We need to make it easier for those folks to share information and right to the ability to donate.”

“Giving them a really strong website is an easy way to bring people together and make a noticeable difference for this charity that really does help people going through cancer and their supporters and fans,” said computer technician Alex Hosselet.

The newly designed website won’t be unveiled until winter but for more information go to .

YNN is a proud sponsor of the Ride for Roswell.


Posted October 8, 2013 by rideconnect in News from The Ride

WIVB: Whizzes work overnight for good cause

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Hundreds of tech geeks in Buffalo for a big conference worked throughout the night until about 4 a.m. Tuesday, all for a good cause. It’s being called the Hackathon, and their hard work will help Roswell Park Cancer Institute with an annual event.

In the middle of the night our photographer went to the Hyatt in Buffalo to see if the computer whizzes were still awake or passed out in front of their computers. They were wide awake and making progress.

Event organizer J.D. Ross said, “We have about 700 of them in town so we thought, what a better way to bring them into a room together for one night and give them a mission of building a new website for the Ride for Roswell.”

Computer whiz Alex Hosselet said, “For all of us this is an ideal time to work, despite the fact were working until the wee hours of the morning.”

They’re from different states and countries, all with one common goal, creating a new website for the Ride for Roswell.

Hosselet said, “It’s been really interesting to watch because I’ve never been to a Hackathon before.”

Assistant Director of Web Karen Cincotti said, “They had their content people, their designers, their copywriters, their architecture, their site nav people and their developers, like the real back end people.”

These volunteers will help the organization save and raise money for cancer research.

This event was the centerpiece of the high-ed web annual conference. The keynote speaker was Apple Co Founder Steve Wozniak. A man who knows how important computer whizzes are in our society.

Wozniak said, “College aged people want to be in the startup things. They want to be entrepreneurs, they want to make a mark and help change life for all of us.”

The tech conference chose Roswell because a committee member from here is a big part of the organization and wanted to help out a place that helps so many people. 

Posted October 8, 2013 by rideconnect in News from The Ride

2013 Ride For Roswell breaks record

2013 Ride For Roswell breaks record

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – This year’s Ride for Roswell was a record breaker.

Donations continued to come in until September 1. The final tally comes to more than $4 million for cancer research and patient care at Roswell Park.

Some 8,000 riders rolled through the streets of Western New York back in June.

Posted September 9, 2013 by rideconnect in News from The Ride

Franco’s Pizza Raises Money for Ride for Roswell

Courtesy of

Western New York staple, Franco’s Pizza has been contributing to the Ride for Roswell for several years. For those who don’t know, Ride for Roswell began in 1996 as a way to raise money for research and patient care at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. To date, riders have contributed more than $20 million to cancer research.

This year, Franco’s is proud to say their loyal customers and employees have helped them to donate the most they have ever donated.

All the donations collected in the months leading up to the Ride for Roswell this year in June were awarded to the Cure de Madeline team. Franco’s would like to extend congratulations to its Kenmore Avenue location for receiving the most donations this year.

Both owners, Franco and Mario Kroese, as well as members of their family, ride for the Cure de Madeline team. Thanks in part to the donations made at all five of Franco’s Western New York locations, the team surpassed their fundraising goal and raised $10,621.

Franco’s would like to thank all those who rode in the event and to those that donated to the Ride for Roswell. Those donations will help everyone to win the fight against Cancer.

About the company: 
Franco’s is all about fresh. Fresh sauce, dough, and veggies, Franco’s has been serving Western New York for over 30 years. They are a locally owned and operated company with five locations in the Buffalo area. Their menu includes the finest pizza, chicken wings, fingers, submarines, sandwiches, salads and more. Franco’s Pizza is committed to excellence. Their quality and service is second to none. They use only the freshest, finest ingredients when making their menu items. It has been said that Franco’s Pizza doesn’t cut any corners. Open seven days a week, find a Franco’s location and contact on their website,

Posted July 18, 2013 by rideconnect in News from The Ride

Rich’s Ride for Roswell Team Raises More Than $11,000

When cancer strikes, families come together to provide support and help in the battle against it. The Rich’s family showed how much it cares by participating in the 18th annual Ride for Roswell on June 22.

The Rich’s team featured 36 associates who participated in the ride, and they collectively raised $11,209. Rich’s associates who didn’t ride also contributed, as 17 volunteers made sandwiches the day before the race and 38 volunteers helped out at the food tent at the event. Rich’s also donated 15 cases of cheese cakes, five cases of cream-style cheese cakes and 50 cases of ultimate breakfast rounds.

The riding team T-shirt was designed by Kelsey Flynn, the daughter of Tammie Flynn, Master Research Technician in Research & Development at Rich’s. The 12-year-old enjoys drawing and wanted to be involved in the Ride for Roswell after her aunt died from brain cancer a few years ago.

After last year’s race, Tammie and Kelsey spoke with Tom Geblein, PC Analyst – VIP Support at Rich’s, and expressed their interest in participating in the event. He suggested she could work on T-shirt design. Kelsey was up for the challenge and came up with five different concepts that portrayed the message of “crushing cancer.”

“The final design ended up featuring a bike, representing the Ride for Roswell, a wavy path because cancer has ups and downs, and a bumpy road ahead because of the good days and bad days,” Kelsey explained.

Tom gave Kelsey’s T-shirt ideas to Michelle Gram, who modified the design and included company logos to make the finished product. The young artist, who is attending an arts camp this summer, was very excited to have her concept selected for the Rich’s T-shirt. Kelsey also volunteered to make sandwiches with associates the day before the event and raised more than $1,000 to become an official member of the Extra Mile Club.


Posted July 17, 2013 by rideconnect in News from The Ride