Community News

Ride for Roswell

Submitted by Kortney Keyes, Wheel Strong Team Captain

Above: Photo of Kortney Keyes

On Saturday June 25th -7,788 riders participated in the 2022 Ride for Roswell, raising $5,603,901 (and counting). Of those riders, Team Wheel Strong had over 60 participants this year and raised $25,000 towards cancer research. What started out as a small family fun team in 2021 has quickly evolved into so much more. This year we gained the support of SNI elected officials. On the team includes SNI President Matthew Pagels & councilors Eliot Jimerson (team captain), Tina Abrams and Josh Becker. In addition, Wheel Strong officially became an international team having gained members from Ontario, Canada.

As a team captain it was an honor to be nominated to participate in the Ride for Roswell Peloton. This was a separate ride that took place on Friday June 24th as part of the Celebration of Hope. To be eligible for the Peloton a rider must commit to raising $2,500 as an individual. The police escorted ride is a 12-mile distance starting at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and finishing at University at Buffalo. As a first time Peloton rider, I was overwhelmed with how emotional it can be. Each rider is given a card with a patient name on it, we raise these cards towards Roswell and patients inside can see the riders that support them through their cancer journey. We sit in a moment of silence to honor those who have lost their battle with cancer. The ride is an Olympic style ceremonial ride, a torch is lit at Roswell and leads the way as riders follow in a two-by-two formation. Once at UB, the Roswell torch is then used to light the UB torch which solidifies the connection between the two locations. This process is always done by a cancer survivor and their story is told and highlighted at the Celebration of Hope.

Whether it be through a donation, sponsorship, participation of fundraisers or just a simple social media share; we are so grateful for the assistance from our friends, family and community. We look forward to next year’s Ride for Roswell and beyond. Wheel Strong is only getting bigger and better, we hope you can join our team and help make a difference for those fighting cancer.