Columbus, OH. Former NFL player and Team Draft co-founder, Chris Draft, will be the keynote speaker at Pelotonia 16. Pelotonia, a grassroots organization that raises money to fund cancer research, is hosting nearly 8,000 riders and 3,000 volunteers this year from more than 40 states and 10 countries. Draft is riding the 50-mile route on Saturday to honor his wife, Keasha Rutledge Draft, who passed away from lung cancer.
Based on ridership, Pelotonia continues to be the largest single-event cycling fundraiser benefitting cancer research in the United States. Depending on their route choice, riders make a commitment to raise a minimum of $1,250 to $2,500 for cancer research, with high rollers raising more than $5,000 each.
Pelotonia donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center– Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. These donations are used to support cancer research in the form of Idea Grants to investigate new and innovative basic, clinical, translational and population-based science and clinical trials; provide fellowships for undergraduate, graduate, medical and postdoctoral students; acquire state-of-the-art equipment and technologies; and to fund the research of the best and brightest physician scientists who are coming to Columbus, Ohio to further their passion for treating patients and pursuing scientific solutions. Major funding partners of Pelotonia include Huntington Bank, L Brands Foundation, Peggy and Richard Santulli, American Electric Power Foundation and Nationwide. Other notable partners include Harold C. Schott Foundation and Cardinal Health Foundation.
“We are so grateful for the support of the entire Pelotonia community over the last eight years,” says Doug Ulman, Pelotonia president and CEO. “Their dedication to the Pelotonia movement continues to have an enormous impact on ground-breaking cancer research that is changing people’s lives in dramatic ways.”
“We are all united in our mission to create a cancer-free world and we are closer today with the amazing support of our community and Pelotonia,” says Michael Caligiuri, MD, director of The OSUCCC and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. “Pelotonia funds allow us to support high-impact, high reward research that would otherwise never get funded through traditional mechanisms. Some of this research has already translated into changing the landscape of cancer prevention and care for patients in Ohio and across the world.”
Funds raised by Pelotonia impact cutting-edge cancer research, including:
Pelotonia’s opening ceremony program will begin at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, August 5, at Columbus Commons and will include brief remarks from the MD, director of The OSUCCC and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, The Ohio State University, President Dr. Michael Drake, Kenyon College President Sean Decatur, cancer survivor Susan Davenport, and Pelotonia President and Chief Executive Officer Doug Ulman.
To better serve riders and grow the impact of their movement, Pelotonia has made some changes to the 2016 routes. New this year, a second 50-mile route was created to replace the 75-mile route, and a 130-mile route was established in place of the 155-mile route. The original 25-, 50-, 100- and 180-mile routes remain the same. In order to alleviate route congestion and maintain rider safety, the weekend-long ride will have three starting locations on Saturday morning. The Columbus Commons will serve as the starting point for cyclists tackling the 100- and 180-mile rides, 25- and 50-mile riders will take off from McFerson Commons in the Arena District, and the new 50- and 130-mile riders will start from the Bob Evans Headquarters.
Along the 180-mile route, 3,000 volunteers will support riders by providing snacks, beverages, first aid assistance, and bike maintenance services alongside thousands of supporters cheering on riders throughout the route.
For more information on Pelotonia and ride weekend activities, please visit pelotonia.org.
Founded in 2008, Pelotonia was established with the objective to fund life-saving cancer research. As a centerpiece of its year-round fundraising efforts, Pelotonia hosts a three-day experience that includes a weekend of cycling, entertainment and volunteerism. In its seven years, Pelotonia raised over $106 million for cancer research. Thanks to its generous funding partners, Huntington Bank, L Brands Foundation, Peggy and Richard Santulli, American Electric Power Foundation, Nationwide, Cardinal Health Foundation, and Harold C. Schott Foundation, Pelotonia is able to direct 100 percent of every dollar raised by its participants to cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.
About the OSUCCC – James