In 2010, 4,047 riders rode more than 328,000 miles to raise money for cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James). On November 27, Pelotonia presented a check for $7,846,705 to the OSUCCC-James, nearly double the $4.5 million raised by the inaugural Pelotonia in 2009. The funds raised by the riders in 2010 bring Pelotonia’s two-year total to over $12.3 million.
This year’s excursion – held Aug. 20-22 on assorted bike routes between Columbus and Athens – also attracted nearly twice as many riders, registering 4,047 compared with 2,265 last year. Several hundred of this year’s riders constituted Ohio State’s contingent as faculty, staff, students and friends.
“Now that we’ve had time to reflect on the second annual Pelotonia, I’d like to once again thank all who participated in this amazing event as riders, volunteers or donors,” OSUCCC Director and James CEO Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, wrote in a memo to participants. “Your dedication to our quest to end cancer is of incalculable value.”
This year’s Pelotonia was touched by tragedy with the death of rider Michelle “Shelli” Kazlausky, 57, of Reynoldsburg, a devoted and compassionate staff member who was killed in a collision with a pickup truck at a rural intersection in Hocking County (see tributes, below). Kazlausky was a medical technologist in the oncology lab at University Hospital East.
“Our thoughts remain with Shelli’s family and friends in this time of deep sorrow,” Caligiuri said. “Let us always remember her as a strong symbol of the caring spirit we all share in our united stand against a disease that we hope to one day eradicate.”
She had hoped through her participation to raise a few hundred dollars for the cause, but according to local news accounts her Pelotonia fund has surpassed $28,000 thanks to an influx of donations on her behalf.
Caligiuri noted that, thanks to Pelotonia’s generous sponsors, “Every cent raised by riders and donors will support cancer research here at Ohio State, and we will put the money to good use. Another Pelotonia tour is over, but our journey toward living in a cancer-free world continues.”
The opening night ceremony for Pelotonia, hosted once again by Chemical Abstract Services at 2540 Olentangy River Road, included the OSUCCC-James’ annual observation of Cancer Survivors Day. Approximately 2,000 cancer survivors and their guests joined the Pelotonia riders, their guests and event volunteers for an evening of food, live musical entertainment and remarks from Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee, Medical Center CEO Steven Gabbe, MD, Caligiuri, and former Ohio State and professional football standout Chris Spielman, who served as honorary chair for Pelotonia ’10.
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