Saturday, 2,000 Western New Yorkers made their way throughout  Buffalo, Grand Island, and Niagara County on bicycles to end cancer.

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According to WIVB-TV the Ride for Roswell one of the nation’s largest cycling events has been described as a life-changing experience for riders, volunteers, and the cancer patients who benefit from the funds raised.

This charity bike ride celebrates survivors, pays tribute to those we’ve lost, and provides a venue to share in the passion that connects us all: finding a cure for cancer.

Normally, the event sees 6,000 riders, but pandemic restrictions, rather than a lack of interest capped this year’s capacity.

While the number of participants was lower this year, the funds raised during this year’s ride barely took a hit. Before the pandemic Ride for Roswell raised around $5 million.

“Last year during the pandemic…we raised $3 million,” said Dr. Candace Johnson, President, and CEO of Roswell Park. “Today, we’ve raised $4.8 million.”

This money will go towards new treatment and research in the fight against cancer.

The inaugural Ride for Roswell was on June 29, 1996.  Founder of the event, Mitch Flynn, who owns the ad agency Flynn & Friends, was inspired by four-year-old Katherine Gioia who was part of a video shoot for Roswell Park. This little girl was battling a rare form of cancer and, sadly, passed away within a year of her diagnosis.

Flynn, Inspired by the little girl and the passion behind the  Alliance (founded by the young girl's mother and aunt), volunteered...An avid cycler, Mitch believed a charity bike ride could serve as a powerful fundraising event.

According to the Ride for Roswell website:

In 1995, Mitch created the blueprint for the Ride for Roswell and pitched it to the Alliance...The idea was met with enthusiasm, and the date of the first ride was set for June 29, 1996.

The rest is history.

 

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