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Ron Gallo - Riding for Gold (and Polka Dots) in 2019
Riding with and being a co-captain for Wheelin' Warriors of the North has been a humbling experience. Seeing so many people from all capacities and abilities join, ride and fundraise through the years is simply impressive and motivating. The team is approaching the million dollar mark for funds raised.
These numbers are massive and have changed how funds are distributed by the BC Cancer Foundation with a significant amount now being directed to Prince George. Here at the BC Cancer Centre for the North, we are seeing leading research being conducted with clinical trials and the Precision Radiation Therapy Program along with the best care and treatments for patients in the North.
If you are looking for just how significant of an impact that this ride and the fundraising is, look no further than the number of riders on the team that work at the Centre. There are also cancer survivors on the team as well as those that ride for family or friends diagnosed with cancer. Cancer does touch us all, but it doesn't have to be that way! With your help, we can change outcomes for those affected by cancer and prevent it from happening to others.
Recently I was able to talk to Elissa Morrissette. Senior Director, Leadership Giving at BC Cancer Foundation. The video for that interview can be found at https://youtu.be/0dq8NPtN0WA
August 1, 2019
January 30, 2019
In the cycling world, a polka dot jersey is given to the rider that gains the most points for reaching mountain summits first, earning the title of "King of the Mountain" or "Queen" for women's events. In the Ride to Conquer Cancer, the Polka Dot jersey becomes the identifier of those that have achieved the summit of significant fundraising.
This year's ride was a wet one, maybe not as wet and certainly not as windy as my first ride back in 2015 was. The interesting thing is that the ride in the hurricane like conditions is the most memorable of the four ride and this one is likely to be a close second.
In the previous three years was mostly worried about completing the ride and in years two and three the goal was to be faster than I was the year before it. It took me three years for the mantra that "this is a ride and not a race" to finally sink in and I'm quite happy that it did!
The first person I want to acknowledge and thank is Kevin Creamore. This man has quickly become one of my best friends. We have been on some wild adventures including a week long hike along the West Coast Trail. It was shortly after that hike that Kevin said hey there's this bike ride and suggested that it could be our next big adventure.
As it turns out that was a turning point for me as I seemingly found my passion and have since spent money and time pursuing the activity as a sport. That pursuit has come at the expense of being able to hike with Kevin who pointed out that by introducing me to cycling he lost his hiking buddy.
Kevin has been there with me on all four rides, the difference is this is the first time that we actually rode together! We started out on Day 1 and rode together to the first pit stop approximately 25 kms in. From there I went along the Challenge Route while he opted for the Classic Route. On Day 2 we rode together for 75 of the 92 kilometer course. A fluke with the rain and other riders on the road ended up separating us.
The second person I want to recognize is my wife. Jennifer Gallo was also introduced to cycling when I start riding and has been there for me throughout the four years and many different events. I'm not sure how she does it, but she will sit in our truck acting as support for myself and those I ride with. She follows along at painfully slow speeds for exceptionally long periods of time.
When I'm on my bike, 100 kms in three to four hours goes by so quickly. The same can't be said for when you are in a vehicle putting along at an average speed that is slower than a school zone ... for hours on end. Jennifer does it with a smile and has learned how to change a flat and provide assistance to riders on the road.
Jennifer has also found a way to turn my cycling events into short holidays. That isn't always easy to do when you are traveling on the road for an all day event and then having to wait around for extended hours to try and catch a glimpse of me flying by. Then afterwards there is the down time from the event and having to deal with the bike(s) in tow.
Along with Kevin and Jennifer comes Anita Amaral Creamore. The four of us are basically a package deal especially when it comes to The British Columbia Ride to Conquer Cancer. From the fundraising, to the training rides and of course the ride itself, Anita and Jennifer are a pair working tirelessly in the background while supporting their husbands while they ride on.
Joining the Wheelin' Warriors of the North has allowed me to progress along the learning curve of cycling, for that I have to thank Karin Piche. After my first year, Karin asked me to join her as a co-captain of the team. This past year I used that designation to help others prepare for the ride with planned group rides. I also used those group rides to teach myself how to enjoy the ride and not just get on the bike to see how fast I could ride.
Being entrusted with this job was a honour knowing that Karin had a vision for the team she founded six years ago when a friend was taken by cancer. It is her vision to see this team grow and become one of the largest teams participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Six years in and I can say that it is for sure one of the biggest.
This year alone saw the team credited with reaching a fundraising total in excess of $180,000 and is less than two years away from raising a combined total of $1 Million. Those monies go to fund cancer treatment and research through the BC Cancer Agency. With the efforts of the team based in Prince George, fundraising dollars are now being specifically earmarked for our area through the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North.
With the fundraising, there are two groups of people that I need to mention. One is the riders and support crew that make up the Wheelin' Warriors of the North team and work to raise a minimum of $2,500 each. The other is those that open their wallets and help us surpass our fundraising goals each year. From family, friends and local businesses, the generosity shown is far and above any simple thank you can provide ... but thank you!
With the support I have received, both financially and the morale boosting, I have already committed to riding again in August 2019. It will be my fifth ride and as such will be recognized with a gold helmet to commemorate five years of fundraising and riding. I have also raised my fundraising goal this year to match my four year total which is $16,623.
Please take a moment to make a tax deductible donation today at my new fundraising page ...
August 31, 2018
Support My Ride to Conquer Cancer®
Welcome to my personal fundraising page for the British Columbia Ride to Conquer Cancer. Presented by Silver Wheaton and benefiting BC Cancer Foundation, the British Columbia Ride to Conquer Cancer is a two-day cycling journey through the beautiful Fraser Valley region of our Province, taking place in late August 2019.
This will be my fifth ride and will be highlighted with a "golden helmet" to commerate five years of fundraising and riding in The Ride. I am also going to be looking to achieve the highest fundraising total of these five years. In fact I will be looking to surpass my four previous totals and raise over $15,000. In four years, with the generosity of so many people, I have been credited with raising $16,723 (2015 - $2890, 2016 - $3841, 2017 - $4524, 2018 - $5468). This year the Wheelin' Warriors of the North raised $182,587 and was part of the larger amount of $10.6 Million raised by over 2500 riders in the 2018 Ride.
This money goes to help fund treatment and new research through the BC Cancer Agency and right here in Prince George at the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North. Every year I get to hear heart wretching stories and learn of the advancements that are being made where people are alive today because of the fundraising that is being done. It is with the passion and dedication of people like you and I that we now believe it is possible to conquer cancer in our lifetime!
I ask you to please contribute to this powerful movement with a tax deductible donation through my fundraising page. For more information about this Ride or the fundraising, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Thank you in advance for your generosity.
August 28, 2018
My Participant ID: 330210-7
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