AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB)- Music, sunshine, and thousands of western New Yorkers coming together for a great cause made for another successful “Ride for Roswell.”
“Cancer touches all of us,” said Roswell President and CEO Dr. Candace Johnson.
The “Ride for Roswell” started 22 years ago; the annual cycling event takes riders up to 102 miles around western New York and even Canada.
Since the event started, more than 40 million dollars has been raised to help fight cancer. This year the event raised $4.6 million.
“The first ride was a very small, sort of little bike ride to raise a few dollars for cancer research. And look what’s happened,” Johnson said.
More than 8,000 riders hit the pavement Saturday.
Arron Brown rode with a group of around 40 from Pembroke.
“It’s a bunch of teachers from Pembroke Central School District, family, students, it’s the whole community coming together for this great cause.”
They came from all over the region, and were just about every age.
Most groups had some personal connection to the cause, or rode in honor of someone they lost.
A group of cheerleaders with Elly’s Angels volunteered for the day.
“Elly’s Angels has been volunteering at the Ride for Roswell for nine years. We started this organization in 2009. Elly Kausner was a passenger on Flight 3407 and she was my little sister,” explained the group’s founder, Laura Voigt.
Voigt explained “Living Elly,” the group’s mantra, is all about love and giving.
Most riders and spectators agreed Saturday’s forecast was nothing short of perfect.
“Well because we’ve been doing the ride for nine years, we’ve kind of experienced all of it, like 90 degrees and pouring rain, so this is the most perfect weather we could have had today,” said Voigt.
Johnson is hopeful funds could top last year’s collection of 4.6 million dollars.
No matter how much money is raised. every penny goes towards saving lives.
“The money that’s generated here goes directly to research. And research on innovative trials, innovative therapies, ways to make patients do better in their disease. Without those dollars, these are funds you really couldn’t get anywhere else,” she said.