Cincinnati’s premier cancer fundraiser, relegated to virtual status in 2020, is ready to roll again this September.
Ride Cincinnati has opened registration for its 14th annual fundraising event, taking place over two days in 2021: Sept. 17-18. The ride departs from Yeatman’s Cove, crosses the Ohio River, and heads east on Kentucky Route 8 along four route options: 15, 25, 50 and 100 miles, the latter extending almost to Maysville, if one is so inclined. The ride, itself, is bookended by what has become a popular kick-off celebration and an after party.
As in previous years, every rider-raised dollar goes directly to support cancer research here in Cincinnati.
Last year’s virtual ride, even in the midst of the pandemic, brought in approximately $250,000. The move from June to September – and the addition of the longer, 100-mile distance – is intended to attract the more serious rider, and to make this a signature event for which riders train all summer.
But there is no requirement to ride in order to contribute; one may donate directly or support other riders.
Since 2007, Ride Cincinnati has attracted more than 10,000 riders and raised more than $4.4 million for local cancer research, leading to 44 research grants (typically $50,000), pilot projects that often lead to larger sources of funding to support viable further inquiry.
According to Dr. William Barrett, director of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute, the funding provided through Ride Cincinnati is a critical component of the ongoing initiative to bring our city a coveted National Cancer Institute designation as a Center of Excellence, something Barrett and his brother John Barrett – chairman, president and chief executive officer of Western & Southern Financial Group – have been working towards over the past several years. Their efforts to bring top-level cancer researchers and services to Cincinnati have brought the region to within “hopefully, five years” of achieving that goal.
While any health care system in the region may apply for pilot project funding, UC and the Barrett Cancer Institute – because of its academic research orientation – reportedly maintains what William Barrett refers to as a “unique” position for carrying this effort forward.
“We welcome everyone’s participation because our competition is not each other,” Dr. Barrett said. “Our competition is cancer.”