Never one to procrastinate, Karl Koon began recruiting riders for Team Buckeye during his new-employee orientation at The James in March 2011. &ldquo;The woman running the orientation knew about my position and asked me to say a few words,&rdquo; said Koon, who was about to begin work as Director of Rider Recruitment for the newly created Team Buckeye, Ohio State&rsquo;s Pelotonia super peloton. &ldquo;The light bulb went off and I thought, &lsquo;this should be a regular thing,&rsquo;&rdquo; said Koon, who now attends all the new-employee orientation meetings of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC &ndash; James) to tell attendees about Pelotonia and how they can become involved as riders, virtual riders, volunteers and donors on Team Buckeye. There&rsquo;s a role for everyone, Koon emphasizes. &ldquo;At a university as large as Ohio State, it&rsquo;s &lsquo;how do you build alliances?&rsquo; and &lsquo;who are these bridges, these people who will help you open even more doors and build this network of people who share the passion for what we&rsquo;re doing?&rdquo; said Koon, whose outgoing personality and passion for Pelotonia and the cancer research it funds has helped him become a bridge builder extraordinaire across campus. Team Buckeye had 1,358 riders, 383 virtual riders and 207 volunteers in 2016. They raised $2.9 million, which helped Pelotonia raise a record total of $24.1 million. The six-year Team Buckeye total is now $14.9 million, while the eight-year Pelotonia total climbed to nearly $130.2 million. Every dollar raised by Pelotonia goes to cancer research at the OSUCCC &ndash; James. One of Koon&rsquo;s first challenges was spreading the word that there was a Team Buckeye, and it would be Ohio State's Super Peloton. Scores of Ohio State faculty, staff and students rode in Pelotonia in 2009 and 2010, before there was a Team Buckeye, and hundreds of Ohio State alumni continue to ride every year on other, non-Team Buckeye pelotons. There are Buckeyes everywhere and on almost every peloton of Pelotonia. &ldquo;I literally got on the agenda of every dean of every college to meet with them to talk about Pelotonia and to ask to attend their regular meeting with their senior leadership,&rdquo; Koon said. &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t remember anyone saying, &lsquo;sorry, not interested.&rsquo;&rdquo; Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC &ndash; James), attended many of these meetings to explain how the money they helped raise would fund research that would save lives. The dynamic duo of Koon and Dr. Caligiuri led to a lot of Team Buckeye riders, virtual riders and volunteers. &ldquo;David Manderscheid (Vice Provost and Executive Dean, College of Arts and Sciences) has been such a strong supporter of Pelotonia and Terry Bradley (Systems Manager, Department of Physics) has ridden every year, is the team captain and is such a passionate supporter of Pelotonia.&rdquo; The College of Arts and Sciences&rsquo; sub-peloton, Team Buckeye &ndash; Team ASC, has 29 members and has raised $38,000. There are countless other examples of campus leaders becoming passionate supporters of Pelotonia. &ldquo;Gene Smith (Vice President/Director of Athletics) and the support from the entire Athletics Department have been amazing,&rdquo; said Koon, adding that the Athletics Department sponsors an annual Movie Night at the 'Shoe fundraiser for Team Buckeye. Javaune Adams-Gaston, PhD, Senior Vice President for Student Life &ldquo;has been a great ally since day one,&rdquo; Koon said. &ldquo;She&rsquo;s been wonderful in terms of engaging students in philanthropy and being more impactful.&rdquo; In other words: There are now a lot of Team Buckeye bridges all over campus, and beyond. &ldquo;Bill MacDonald (Dean and Director, The Ohio State University at Newark, Executive Dean of the Regional Campuses) and his wife, Ann, have participated every year and the Newark campus has a faculty/staff peloton (Team Buckeye &ndash; Rolling For A Cure) and a very committed student peloton, BSR &ndash; Team Buckeye: Newark.&rdquo; Team Buckeye also utilizes social media and a monthly newsletter to spread the word and fill team members in on everything they need to know about riding and fundraising. &ldquo;And The OSUCCC &ndash; James marketing team has been so amazing in helping us to develop our brand, team jerseys, posters and banners,&rdquo; Koon said. The Team Buckeye super-peloton (the L Brands Peloton and Team Huntington are the two other super-pelotons) included 80 sub-pelotons in 2016 that represent a variety of Ohio State departments, campuses and groups. What unites all the many members of Team Buckeye is a connection to cancer and a desire to help end this terrible disease. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve met so many people in this job who have forever been changed by the cancer diagnosis of a loved one or from their own cancer diagnosis,&rdquo; Koon said. &ldquo;And when we come together and channel that passion into something positive like Pelotonia, it&rsquo;s an amazing thing to behold.&rdquo; For more information on joining Team Buckeye, visit our website.