Gear up for the 2nd Annual VeloSano Bike Ride for Cancer Research July 17th – 19th, 2015!
Words from our Event Chairman, Stewart Kohl:
Year one was only the beginning.
I am still enjoying the high of VeloSano’s inaugural year. The dream my wife, Donna, and I had of bringing a proven model to the town we love became a reality. Over 800 riders, 700 volunteers and nearly 12,000 philanthropic supporters from every state and 20 countries came together to generate a net profit of nearly $2 million to put an end to cancer. This was why Donna and I provided the seed funding for this effort – to enlist the help of many to help even more. We loved the name VeloSano, Latin for “swift cure,” but unfortunately, the reality is that there is nothing swift about the cure as we know it today.
Science is expensive. Discoveries can be so huge, yet so small in the grand scheme of cancer. It takes so much to move the needle just a little bit. But you have to start somewhere…and that we did. VeloSano brought together some of the most selfless corporate partners, tireless volunteers, generous donors, fearless riders, and courageous examples of Living Proof (VeloSano speak for “survivors”). It also introduced us to those that participated as a tribute to those lost. To those who, no matter how far we’ve come, remind us that we still have far to go.
VeloSano to us is the opportunity to raise critical funds through a sport that we love. It provides challenges at all levels. For some, the challenge is in asking friends and family for the support. For others, it’s getting on a bike for the first time in many years and yet for others, it’s completing a two-day challenge that pushes the body to its limits. After riding the 100+ miles out on day one last year, Donna and I rode back on a tandem bike on day two. It was the perfect metaphor. Together, we struggled on the hills, pushing each other to make to it. Together, we questioned whether or not we needed to get off the bike and walk or fight our way riding. Most importantly though, is that together, we realized that no matter how difficult our ride was, it could not pale in comparison to what cancer patients experience. The struggle…as well as the joy at the end…was the perfect metaphor.
Our sophomore year will incorporate many new improvements and I am confident that the momentum that has been generated will carry us beyond our first year accomplishments. Until there is an end, we will keep fighting. We will keep riding. We will keep asking people to join us. I realize our fundraising minimums are higher than the average charity event. There is a reason for that. We need to get past the beginning and get closer to the end. Unfortunately, riding a bike alone won’t do that.
One of the big improvements in our sophomore year is that I’m joined by Paul Dolan, CEO of the Cleveland Indians, as event Co-Chair. Paul personally and the Indians organizationally were amazing partners in our inaugural year. His commitment to this cause – forged by a strong sense of community and civic responsibility and his family's own battles with cancer – inspire the entire VeloSano team to pedal harder towards a cure.
I hope that I see the day when there is no need for VeloSano, but until that day comes, we will continue to write the chapters in the book about ending cancer.
Join me. Please.
For more information visithttp://www.velosano.org/home.aspx