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‘Tons’ of Pelotonia riders short of fundraising goal

Pelotonia riders stand with their bikes at the starting in anticipation of the ride ahead of them. More than 6,000 riders were registered for the Aug. 11 event. Credit: Kristen Mitchell / campus editor

Pelotonia riders stand with their bikes at the starting in anticipation of the ride ahead of them. More than 6,000 riders were registered for the Aug. 11 event.
Credit: Kristen Mitchell / campus editor

The calories have been burnt and the sweat has been shed. The ride is finished, but some Pelotonia riders have yet to meet their minimum fundraising requirements.

The roughly 6,000 riders have until Oct. 12 to meet their required donation totals, more than two months after the Aug. 11 ride.

The amount participants are required to donate fluctuates based on what distance they registered to ride. The shortest distance riders rode was 25 miles in a one-day trip, and were required to raise $1,200. Riders who rode the longest 180-mile distance in a two-day ride committed to raise at least $2,200.

“Tons of people have not met their fundraising goals yet,” said Jessica Wheeler, a fourth-year student in animal sciences and first-timePelotonia participant who has not yet reached her donation goal.

More than $11 million has been raised in the fight against cancer so far and Dr. Michael Caligiuri, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of The James, said this year’s goal is to reach $15 million for cancer research.

Wheeler said the only way to see how many people haven’t reached their goal is by manually going through all participants online, and representatives from Pelotonia did not immediately return requests for comment.

All donations go directly to support various aspects of cancer research, as well as students and faculty recruitment.

“Without Pelotonia dollars, we would not have been able to recruit over 40 faculty and fund over 40 new ‘breakthrough’ ideas from our scientists,” Caligiuri said.

Caligiuri said money has been awarded to eight different colleges and 23 different departments across the university.

“We have a very rigorous peer review process,” Caligiuri said. “Proposals are presented and reviewed by people not competing for money, allowing the best science to be funded regardless of which disease.”

Over the past four years of Pelotonia, Caligiuri said a total of $2 million has been awarded to OSU students, “to do research and keep them inspired,” Caligiuri said. “Tomorrow’s cures will come from today’s students.”

Hannah Scott, a third-year student in human development and family science, was a first-time participant this summer.

“After attending some events regarding Pelotonia and realizing it really connected to my life, it was an easy decision to take part in it,” Scott said.

Scott rode in memory of her mother, who passed away in 2010 from a rare form of cancer.

“To know that you are standing there with 6,211 other people all riding for someone they lost to cancer or someone that’s still fighting, riding for the exact same goal you are, it’s indescribable,” Scott said.

The weekend-long bike tour encompassed six different routes ranging from 25 miles to 180 miles. Riders have the option of participating individually, or as part of a team, called Pelotons.

Wheeler and Scott both rode as members of the Greek Strong Peloton, a part of super-Peloton Team Buckeye, which has raised the third most money.

Scott said she did not find the fundraising process to be difficult, however she has not yet reached her goal amount.

“After making my Pelotonia Web page,­­ I posted a link on my Facebook and the response I got was amazing. You would be surprised how many people are willing to donate even just one dollar to benefit a cause like Pelotonia,” Scott said.

Both Wheeler and Scott said the sense of hope that Pelotonia provides brings people together for a common goal: ending cancer.

“If you have seen what cancer does, then you understand the hopeless feeling you have, and you honestly want to fight back any way you can. Pelotonia gives you that opportunity,” Wheeler said.

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