Our 2017 10th Anniversary Gran Fondo was a wonderful success, and incredibly fun! As they finished their ride, participant after participant declared it “the best Ride for Hope ever!”
We are now gearing up for our 2018 event, which will be held in Eleuthera on Saturday, March 3. Registration will open on September 1, 2017.
Together we are fighting cancer in The Bahamas, and our supporters participate for many reasons: some because they have survived cancer, others in memory of loved ones, or honoring those in the fight, and truly because they all care. Year after year, we remain inspired and uplifted by our participants. The Ride for Hope is a fundraiser. We garner funds together to meaningfully impact a critical cause, and eradicate cancer from our shores. Our riders’ donations help save lives every day, and we are committed to helping riders do so by putting on a high-caliber event.
Across The Bahamas the burdens of cancer care and treatment are great and demand a sustainable partnership between public and private stakeholders. Cancer treatment is extremely expensive, and frequently beyond the ability of families across the nation to pay. Sadly, cancer treatment often creates deep and lasting financial stress for families involved, at the very least. Against this backdrop, Ride for Hope set out ten years ago to make a significant difference, and to date we’ve raised close to $3,000,000. Our 10th Anniversary Gran Fondo created a philanthropic response of more than $550,000. The fundraising effort per participant skyrocketed by 195% over the last event. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to this achievement!
Many factors contributed to this success, and during a transition year, no less. For the first time, the 10th Anniversary Gran Fondo participants collectively achieved lofty goals by fundraising amounts linked to their participation, and submitting them in advance of the event. There were six different levels of participation, each level with its own fundraising minimum and rider benefits. All rose to the challenge, confirming that we will continue to follow this format.
Further, one of the most compelling reasons behind the best-ever declaration is certainly our new location: Cocodimama Charming Resort. Nestled on a west-facing cove in Governor’s Harbour, Cocodimama provided Ride for Hope (RFH) with its own sense of place. The Staging Area was virtually a stone’s throw from the water’s edge. In the beautiful, serene, sea-side setting participants, volunteers and corporate sponsors rode, relaxed and celebrated the day together. The ambiance we’ve dreamed of having for ten years finally became a reality! RFH is deeply indebted to Cocodimama for their amazing support. We are so keen to build our relationship with them in the years to come.
RFH is very fortunate to have a uniquely-dedicated band of supporters who have stood firmly by our side for a decade. Repeat riders represented 82% of all participants, and most have participated in every event since our inception. They bring energy and spirit to RFH as well as a serious commitment to raising funds for our cause. This year we also welcomed a number of new riders. Most of them had heard about RFH through word of mouth, sought us out, and were incredibly enthusiastic about their participation. We are deeply indebted to our all of our riders – new and returning.
The “best Ride for Hope ever” could never have happened without the extraordinary support of our corporate sponsors: they are truly an amazing group! We are particularly grateful for the immense generosity of Odyssey Aviation. For ten years, in cash and in-kind, Odyssey Aviation’s support has been pace-setting. Fittingly, they were the Presenting Sponsor for our 10th Anniversary Gran Fondo. Thank you Odyssey Aviation!
Many other corporate sponsors rally to support RFH each year. Collectively and significantly, year-after-year, they provide the infrastructure and resources to underwrite the entire cost of the event. Their level of generosity enables 100% of the funds raised by participants to be used for RFH-supported programs – the gold standard in charitable fundraising and a signature RFH accomplishment. In fact, in recent years, corporate sponsor benevolence created surplus funding that has been channeled into program funding as well.
RFH success is also attributed to our volunteer corps. These tireless individuals take on a range of duties, in some cases beginning their efforts months before the event. And on event day, most of them work predawn to after-dark to ensure the event runs smoothly from start to finish. RFH would not be the success that it is if it weren’t for our volunteers. Thank you!
RFH success created and maintains the Treatment Assistance Fund, the first of its kind in the country, which supports cancer patients with their treatment costs through financial grants. We funded the Cancer Society’s nationwide Cancer Education Program, a grassroots outreach effort that sends trained nurses to communities throughout The Bahamas to educate, raise awareness, and teach self-screening and good health choices. The Family Islands Mammogram Screening Program (FIMS), another ongoing RFH programme, brings women from Family Islands to New Providence for free mammogram screenings and follow ups if necessary. RFH also made a major contribution to the purchase of the Princess Margaret Hospital’s digital mammography machine and paid off the debt incurred by the Cancer Society to build its hospice center in New Providence.
We hope to see you at our 2018 event, again, being held on March 3. All details of the event, for participants, sponsors and volunteers, is available on our website: www.rideforhopebahamas.com. Registration will open on September 1, 2017.