On August 15, 2019, The Roswell Park Alliance named BIKEternity the winner of a Herd of Hope Hero Award at the Empire State Ride (ESR). The award recognizes BIKEternity for their outstanding leadership in the success of the ESR. The ESR is a seven-day, 500+ mile cycling adventure across New York State to support cutting-edge cancer research and has raised over one million dollars in the past four years. “We are honored to have had the opportunity to design and facilitate a one-of-a-kind experience that has a profound impact on the progress of cancer research and providing a transformative experience for participants.” says Shawn Decareaux, owner of BIKEternity.
This year, 178 riders began their ride from Staten Island to Niagra Falls. Daily rides ranged from 74 to 92 miles through some of New York State’s most beautiful landscapes. The ESR began in 2014 with a one-person vision to create a signature annual event that would draw people from all over New York to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. “BIKEternity has been turn-key on the logistical side of the event,” shares Terry Bourgeois, Founder of the Empire State Ride. “The network that BIKEternity is connected to is impressive. BIKEternity’s staff is very professional and provides a positive experience for all the ESR participants.” Bourgeois continues, “Shawn is flexible, adaptable, and willing to work through our ideas. Our partnership with BIKEternity is extremely important as we continue to grow and expand this event.”
Terry Bourgeois, a 20-year volunteer with Rosewell Park, has created a revenue stream with ESR to help fund projects like clinical trials. “Clinical trials are important,” according to the Rosewell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, “Clinical trials help doctors find new ways to prevent and detect cancer and improve the quality of life for people during and after treatment.” At Roswell Park, up to 50% of their patients are eligible to enter clinical trials. However, fewer than 5% of adults (less than 1 in 20) with cancer will take part in a clinical trial. The Empire State Ride organizers hope to change that. “One in three women and one in two men will be impacted with this disease in their lifetime,” says Terry Bourgeois. “All donations from the Empire State Ride go directly from donation to work helping offset patient’s costs related to participation in clinical trials that are not covered by insurance.”
BIKEternity is changing lives by helping orchestrate meaningful experiences that give back. “Going into it and doing the training, I thought this is one and done. By the end, I was thinking I want to do it again.” says Anne Gioia, co-founder of the Roswell Park Alliance. “I was just astounded that the event ran so smoothly. It’s a massive number of people to keep happy. The staff was so obliging and always there to help. They put their whole heart and soul into the event, and it shows. This was a real bonding experience. I encourage everyone to take part in it—you’ll understand, this is an extraordinary event.”
About BIKEternity: BIKEternity is a bicycle tour company based in Missoula, Montana. BIKEternity tours provide authentic local adventures abroad and in the lower 48 states for every fitness level, even if you are a just-beginning-to-get-back-in-shape-rider. For more information go to BIKEternity.com and EmpireStateRide.com
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