VeloSano’s 2020 “Bike to Cure” weekend has evolved into a virtual fundraising experience allowing anyone to get involved no matter where they are around the world. For the seventh year, VeloSano is providing a shared purpose for cancer patients and their families, doctors, researchers, and the community to participate in VeloSano and raise money to fight cancer. Latin for “swift cure”, the year-round fundraising initiative raised more than $21 million for cancer research at Cleveland Clinic since its inception in 2014.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, VeloSano’s highest priority is keeping participants, supporters and the community safe and healthy. Transitioning the traditional annual flagship bike ride to a virtual format will help ensure their safety while continuing the critical mission to raise funds for cancer research, which is particularly important during this unprecedented time.
“Cancer doesn’t stop for COVID-19. It’s more vital than ever that we collaborate to support our patients,” said Brian Bolwell, M.D., chairman of Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center. “While we won’t be physically together this summer, we look forward to virtually engaging with the VeloSano community across the world and are grateful for their generosity. It’s important we continue to work together to fund and ultimately discover new cancer treatments; helping the patients of today and tomorrow.”
VeloSano is excited to expand the celebration and inspiration of “Bike to Cure” weekend, starting with a virtual kick-off party featuring live-streamed interviews with teams/participants, cancer survivors, researchers, physicians and sponsors the evening of Friday, July 17. Virtual VeloSano “Day” on Saturday, July 18, will feature a simulated starting line to kick off the day, virtual group photos, and will engage participants across the globe riding or working toward their activity goals, in part by using #VirtualVeloSano on social media to share their stories.
In addition to providing unique and meaningful ways for everyone to get involved virtually, VeloSano has removed the obligation in 2020 to meet fundraising minimums. Participants can start or join an existing team and register as either a “Rider” or a Virtual Fundraiser. If registering as a “Rider”, participants will select a distance, similar to how they would register for the traditional ride.
If registering as a Virtual Fundraiser, participants can choose their own activity other than biking (for example, running a 5K or walking a certain number of miles a week with their family) and set their own goal to show their involvement in VeloSano. All participants have until October 1 to complete their activity and fundraising. Virtual Volunteer opportunities are also available.
Using the Strava app and by joining the VeloSano Strava Club, participants can track their activity and share their progress to let their donors know how they are supporting cancer research.
“Cancer doesn’t slow down for a pandemic and neither does VeloSano,” said Stewart Kohl, Co-CEO, The Riverside Company and Founder, VeloSano. “A big benefit to going virtual is that VeloSano instantly became more inclusive and accessible. We’re excited to share that anyone can unite around the common goal of ending cancer in fun and meaningful ways. Any activity can be part of the cancer-fighting machine that is VeloSano, so we hope people get creative and use that #VirtualVeloSano hashtag.”
Cleveland Clinic cancer researchers compete for funds raised by VeloSano, with the seed money going to proposals with the greatest promise. Thus far, VeloSano has supported 150 cancer research projects. Those projects often go on to earn research grants from the National Institutes of Health and elsewhere. The total return from additional external funding now surpasses $22 million, making the impact of VeloSano more than $43 million
More information on Virtual VeloSano is available on velosano.org.