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Bahamia Rental Partners With Ride for Hope for the 11th Consecutive Year (19-February-2018)

 

Bahamia Rental is pleased to partner once again with Ride for Hope as a Yellow Jersey Sponsor in support of the fight against cancer in The Bahamas. The Ride for Hope organization is committed to aid in providing treatment for and bringing awareness for such a prevalent disease in our community and Bahamia Rental is proud to help them achieve this goal. Since the event’s inception, Bahamia Rental has participated in the event site build-out for participants and volunteers as they navigate throughout the beautiful islands of The Bahamas for a worthy cause.

 

About Us

Bahamia Rental has been a pioneer in the equipment rental industry for special events in The Bahamas for more than 35 years and is committed to providing the highest level event experience and utmost excellence in service. Bahamia Rental’s event offerings include tenting, furnishings, tableware rentals, tradeshows and much more.

For additional information please contact 242-322-1380 or info@bahamiarental.com.

Bahamia Rental

Madeira Street, Palmdale

www.bahamiarental.com

Odyssey Aviation Supports Ride For Hope (01-February-2018)

For Immediate Release

Nassau, The Bahamas (February 1st, 2018) – Odyssey Aviation is one of the founding Corporate Sponsors of the Ride for Hope event. Odyssey Aviation has supported the Ride for Hope at every event since inception and the 2018 ride will be the tenth year showing their commitment.

The Ride for Hope is a fund-raising bike-a-thon held on the beautiful island of Eleuthera in The Bahamas. Participants have called the Ride for Hope “A truly inspiring weekend.” Where the whole community on Eleuthera encourage their friends and family to participate and support the event, this enthusiasm generates a wonderfully festive atmosphere throughout the small island settlements.

 

Steven Kelly, principal of Odyssey Aviation said, “Through our support and that of other good corporate citizens, we are pleased to know that every single penny raised by the participants of the Ride for Hope goes to cancer care, prevention and support. We’re proud to participate to such a worthy fundraising effort.”

 

To learn more about R4H visit: www.rideforhopebahamas.com

 

Contact: Julie Silberman           
Executive Director of Marketing and Branding

Phone: (239) 202-0254 Cell: (561) 312-0953

Email: jsilberman@odysseyaviation.com

About Odyssey Aviation:

Odyssey Aviation Bahamas is the most trusted provider of aviation services in The Bahamas. Odyssey Aviation has three full service Rubis branded FBOs at Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport (MYNN), Exuma International Airport (MYEF) and San Salvador International Airport (MYSM) in addition to two ground handling stations at Governors Harbour Airport (MYEM) and Rock Sound Airport (MYER). Odyssey Aviation is the only service provider in the Bahamas where all representatives are trained and certified at Odyssey Aviation Nassau, Headquarters. Odyssey Aviation Nassau and Odyssey Aviation Exuma are both a part of the Paragon Aviation Group which is an exclusive membership of independent FBOs that provide an elite experience to general aviation travelers. Odyssey Aviation Nassau is consistently recognized among the top aviation service companies in the Caribbean.

Odyssey Aviation United States has two full service FBOs at Detroit’s Willow Run Airport (KYIP) and Orlando’s Kissimmee Gateway Airport (KISM). Both airports offer general aviation services, hangar accommodations and World Fuel branded fuel. Odyssey Aviation Kissimmee also has aircraft maintenance.

More info. www.odysseyaviation.com

Templeton Global Advisors proud to participate in the Ride for Hope as a Yellow Jersey Corporate Sponsor. (03-February-2018)

Templeton Global Advisors is proud to once again participate in the Ride for Hope as a yellow jersey corporate sponsor.  Over the years, we have been inspired by Ride for Hope’s mission and advocacy, and are honored to partner with an organization that does so much to help fight cancer in The Bahamas.  Not only are the organization’s initiatives effective and dynamic – sponsoring programs from prevention to early detection to ongoing care – but the event itself is well-executed, extremely challenging and tons of fun.

 

Templeton believes strongly in investing in programs that give back to The Bahamas, a country we have been honored to call home for seven decades.  We are grateful for the extraordinary opportunities that The Bahamas has afforded our people and our organization, and are proud to contribute to the growth and development of this beautiful country.  While we are active in numerous charitable initiatives in the country, Ride for Hope is among the most eagerly anticipated events on our calendar.  We look forward to spending another fun weekend in Eleuthera supporting this very worthy cause, and, as in years past, expect to field a strong and enthusiastic team of riders and supporters!

Powerade to Power Cyclists for the 2018 Ride for Hope (26-January-2018)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 26, 2018

 

Powerade to Power Cyclists for the 2018 Ride for Hope

 

Powerade and Dasani will hydrate cyclists as they ride for a cause in Eleuthera this March in the 2018 Ride for Hope

 

NASSAU, NP – Ride for Hope, a long distance cycling charity event, will return to mainland Eleuthera for the 11th year. The charity has raised millions to aid in cancer research, care and treatment in The Bahamas. A scenic yet strenuous course will push participants to their personal limit. Powerade, the official sports drink for the event, and Dasani water will be by their side every mile of the way to keep cyclists and volunteers hydrated and refreshed.

 

Caribbean Bottling Company (CBC) will sponsor the Ride for Hope Bike-A-Thon for the third year in a row and provide Powerade and Dasani water.

 

“We are thrilled to participate as a Yellow Jersey sponsor for the third year in a row”, said Gabriella Suighi – Marketing Manager for Caribbean Bottling Company (CBC). “Ride for Hope is making a valiant effort toward battling cancer here in The Bahamas and we, at CBC fully support the event.”

 

The Ride for Hope will be taking place in Eleuthera on March 10th, for more information on the bike-a-thon and about the Ride for Hope Foundation please visit their website: www.rideforhopebahamas.com.

 

 

Photo One: Course ft. Powerade

 

Photo Two: Cyclist stopping for fuel at Powerade hydration station

 

 

About Caribbean Bottling Company (Bahamas) Ltd.

Caribbean Bottling Company (Bahamas) Ltd. (CBC) and its predecessor companies have serviced the Bahamas with Coca-Cola products for over 75 years. With the acquisition of T&C Refreshments in 2013, CBC is now also the distributor for Coca-Cola products in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

In addition to the distribution of the Coca-Cola product line, CBC also offers Schweppes, Fanta, Sprite, Barq’s Root Beer, Dr. Pepper, Goombay Punch, Barritt’s Ginger Beer, Canada Dry, Vitamin Water, Dasani, Powerade, Minute Maid, Flavorful Juices and Monster Energy Drinks.

 

###

 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gabriella Suighi

Marketing Manager – Activations

T: (242) 397-4268

E: gsuighi@cbcbahamas.com

Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty is Top-Tier Sponsor of Ride for Hope for Sixth Straight Year (26-January-2018)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Keeping Hope Alive. Lana Rademaker, co-owner and Vice President of Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty, participated in the 2017 Ride for Hope in Eleuthera marking the 10th anniversary of the fundraiser which garnered more than $550,000 to support treatment for cancer patients throughout The Bahamas.

 

Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty is Top-Tier Sponsor of Ride for Hope for Sixth Straight Year

NASSAU, The Bahamas (Jan. 26, 2018) — On Saturday, March 10, 2018, cyclists from around the country will descend upon Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera, to participate in Ride for Hope with one goal in mind: eradicate cancer in The Bahamas.

 

Now in its 11th year, the annual fundraiser offers outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to bike 100 miles around the stunningly beautiful island of Eleuthera, all while raising money to assist Bahamians in the fight against cancer. This year marks the sixth consecutive year that Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty has been a sponsor of Ride for Hope and the third year in a row that the company has contributed $10,000 as a Yellow Jersey Corporate Sponsor.

 

“Helping fight cancer is important to me because my mother and sister both died of cancer at a young age,” said George Damianos, President of Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty. “I respect the energy and time all of the volunteers pour into the event, and appreciate every effort put forth by the Holowesko family to make this such a successful fundraiser. Without exception, every dollar raised by participants is applied to the program.”

 

A primary goal of this year’s ride will be to increase the Treatment Assistance Fund which supports cancer patients with their treatment costs through financial grants.

 

“The sheer cost of living with cancer is debilitating, if not completely devastating, to nearly every Bahamian family that cancer touches,” Damianos said. “Every single cent that is raised through Ride for Hope will directly benefit someone you know, whether it’s a family member, friend or colleague.”

 

About Sotheby’s International Realty

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has approximately 21,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 900 offices in 68 countries and territories worldwide.  Each office is independently owned and operated.

 About Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty

 Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty has 11 offices located throughout the islands of the Bahamas, providing unsurpassed market knowledge of Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma, Nassau, Paradise Island, Ocean Club Estates, Lyford Cay, Old Fort Bay and Private Islands. Head office 75 Shirley Street, Nassau. For additional information, please contact 242-322-2305 or info.Bahamas@SIR.com.

RIDE FOR HOPE PARTICIPANT DONATES ONCOLOGY DRUGS TO PMH (12-December-2017)

Ride for Hope first-time participant Philip Haas was so moved by the 2017 event held earlier this year that he’s donated more than $30,000 worth of oncology drugs to the Princess Margaret Hospital Oncology Center. Mr.Haas, Chairman of Deva Holding A.S., joined the Ride for Hope’s 10th Anniversary gran fondo not really knowing what to expect. As Haas reports, he was quickly impressed. Shortly after he completed his 100-mile ride, Haas pledged to make the incredibly generous donation.

 

The drugs recently arrived in Nassau and, in presenting them this week to Dr. The Hon. Duane Sands,  Minister of Health, Haas said: “We are very proud to be able to partner with Ride for Hope, which we view as a great initiative, to help support cancer patients in The Bahamas. And we are very pleased to donate some of our highest quality oncology products for cancer sufferers who otherwise might not be able to afford these medications.” The drugs will be made available at no charge to qualifying patients.

 

Acknowledging the value of partnerships with NGOs and the private sector, Minister Sands said, “On behalf of the patients and people of The Bahamas, it is with a sense of gratitude that I extend our thanks to Ride for Hope and Mr. Philip Haas for the generous donation of oncology pharmaceuticals. I believe they will impact the lives of many persons in a real way.”

 

Across the nation, the number of persons battling cancer is at an all-time high. Many families struggle terribly to finance costly treatment regimes. One of Ride for Hope’s flagship programs is the Medical Assistance Fund, the first of its kind in the country. Each year, Ride for Hope has earmarked $100,000 to this fund alone. While the organization is very proud to have established the fund, the national need far outweighs the available cash. Karen Eldon, Ride for Hope’s Administrator, remarked, “The availability of free medicines creates additional positive leverage for families.” Eldon also cautioned cancer patients and their families to remember that every type of cancer requires very specific drugs and protocols, and emphasized it will be up to PMH Oncology doctors to determine the appropriate recipients of the donated medicines.

 

Ride for Hope co-founder Stephen Holowesko extended profound thanks and gratitude to Mr. Haas for his wonderful generosity. “Deva Holdings A.S. has helped remove some of the barriers to cancer treatment for many Bahamians,” Holowesko said. “ We are deeply, deeply grateful.”

 

The 2018 Ride for Hope Gran Fondo, will again take place in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera on March 10th. One of its major goals will be to substantially increase the Medical Assistance Fund coffers and be better able to help more Bahamians with their fight against cancer. Mr. Holowesko stated that registration is now open for next year’s ride.  “Given the number of persons who’ve already registered, we’re, once again, expecting a great turn-out in Eleuthera,” said Holowesko. Eldon noted that participants can sign up online at www.rideforhopebahamas.com, and that gift certificates are also available for those who wish to give registration as Christmas presents.

Celebrating our 10th Anniversary- 2017 Highlights ()

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 10. 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 10. 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.

RIDE FOR HOPE 10th ANNIVERSARY GRAN FONDO EVENT ()

In celebration of ten years of raising hope and resources to aid cancer research, care and survivorship across The Bahamas, Ride for Hope is excited to announce details about next year’s 10th Anniversary event: a Gran Fondo.

 

The Ride for Hope Gran Fondo, a long-distance road cycling event in which participants ride a marked route, will be held on Saturday, February 18th, 2017 in Eleuthera. The Ride will be staged at Coco di Mama resort in Governor’s Harbour. Rider participation levels will be linked directly to the amount of funds each rider raises, and each rider’s promotional package and recognition will also be based on the funds they raise.

 

Susan Larson, co-founder of The Ride for Hope, said, “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 in 2017.”

 

After a successful event in Nassau, RFH is returning to its roots – organizationally and geographically. Larson explained that “returning to its roots” means focusing solely on the Ride’s main goals. “Those goals,’ said Larson, “ are, firstly, planning a safe event for all participants, while ensuring funds are raised for an extremely important cause in The Bahamas. And, secondly, hosting the event in Eleuthera, one of the most beautiful and accessible cycling venues in the country.”

 

Larson continued that the burdens of cancer care and treatment are great and demand a partnership between all public and private stakeholders. She stated that cancer treatments are extremely expensive, and frequently beyond the ability of families across the nation to pay, and that cancer treatment regimes often create deep and lasting financial stress for families involved, at the very least.

 

Considered one of the most successful fundraising events in The Bahamas, the Ride for Hope has raised close to $3,000,000 since its inception. Given meaningful corporate sponsorship, every dollar raised by participants goes to fund programmes created and supported by Ride for Hope to assist Bahamians in the fight against cancer, through education, testing, early-screening, research and direct financial assistance.

 

Ride for Hope has used those funds to assist the Cancer Society in paying off the mortgage incurred building the acclaimed Cancer Care Centre on Collins Avenue in Nassau, and complete their headquarters in Eleuthera; and to create and maintain the Treatment Assistance Fund, the first of its kind in the country, which supports cancer patients with their treatment costs through financial grants.  Ride for Hope funds 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) is another ongoing Ride For Hope programme, which brings women from family islands to New Providence for free mammogram screening.  Ride for Hope also made a major contribution to the purchase of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation’s digital mammography machine. “We are grateful for our riders, sponsors and volunteers who have made all of this possible”, said Larson.

 

However, Stephen Holowesko, co-founder with his sister, explained that while the number of riders participating in Ride for Hope has increased steadily over the years, the dollars raised per rider has decreased dramatically. “Since inception, the rider count has increased an astonishing 450 percent, yet funds raised per rider have gone down 71 percent,” said Holowesko. “This reality has made the Ride’s organizers take pause and strategically consider the best way to fulfill our pledge both to our riders for a safe ride, and to our commitment to raising funds.”

 

“To help achieve our goals, fundraising will be linked to the experience and will need to be raised, and submitted, in advance,” explained Karen Eldon, Ride for Hope Administrator. “For all participation levels, the Registration Fee of $50.00 is required at the time of registration. Registration closes on Friday, January 13th, 2017. All fundraising money must be submitted no later than Friday, January 20th, 2017,” said Eldon.

 

Larson also shared news of various prizes being offered at next year’s event. “We also are excited to announce that the top four fundraisers will be recognized. Prizes include round trip transportation to and from Eleuthera, a new bicycle, a spa package, or dinner for two at one of Nassau’s finest restaurants.” Eldon stated that to qualify for award levels, fundraising totals must be submitted by the January 20th deadline and winners will be announced at the High Carb dinner in Eleuthera.

 

Registration will open on Thursday, September 29, when Ride for Hope’s new website is launched. When registering online, Ride for Hope accepts MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards. A registered charity in The Bahamas, Bahamian dollar cheques, payable to Ride for Hope, and cash, may be delivered to the Ride for Hope office at the Templeton Building in Lyford Cay, or at Cycles Unlimited on Mackey Street, Nassau. US dollar cheques may be made payable to the Bahamas Hope Foundation (a 501(c)(3) organization) and also delivered to our office or Cycles Unlimited.

 

All of the details of the Gran Fondo event, for participants, sponsors and volunteers, is available on Ride for Hope’s new website: www.rideforhopebahamas.com.

How to train for your ride (20-November-2014)

No matter if you are a confident cyclist and go out on rides frequently, or if you are returning to your bike after many months, or even years of not riding, you should prepare for Ride For Hope in the same way –  by considering safety, doing equipment checks and training.

Safety

Safety is extremely important as the ride takes place on the open roads of Nassau. Obeying the laws and always wearing a helmet are simple steps to a safe day out! The helmet, such a simple piece of equipment, has saved so many people from suffering a more serious injury.

Here are some fantastic top tips for safer cycling:

  • Be aware of the driver’s blind spot when passing trucks and buses. It’s often safer to hang back
  • Pay attention to what is going on around you and be aware of what other road users might do
  • Try to make eye contact with drivers so that you know they have seen you
  • Ride assertively, away from the gutter or edge of the road. If the road is too narrow for vehicles to pass you safely, it may be better to ride in the middle of the lane to prevent dangerous overtaking
  • Ride in a straight line past parked cars, rather than dodge between them
  • Wait in front of other vehicles at traffic lights, if possible.
  • Don’t ride through red lights.
  • Use appropriate hand signals when making a left or right turn
  • Wear bright clothing in the day and reflective clothing or accessories at night
  • Use lights after dark; white at front and red at rear.
  • Always wear a helmet!

Equipment

Cycles Unlimited is proud to once again support the Ride For Hope. If you don’t know where to begin when it comes to cycling, browse our site or the internet for tips, or visit Cycles Unlimited store on Mackey Street for some personal, one-to-one advice.

It’s also important to ensure your bike is in good working order PRIOR to the event.

Ride For Hope will offer a complimentary safety check on your bike on Friday, Feb. 6th, and Saturday, Feb. 7th, (before the ride on Sunday, Feb. 8th).  Due to the large volume of participants’ bikes to be checked, RFH is unable to offer any repairs.

So, if you have any concerns at all about your equipment, it’s best to have Cycles Unlimited tune-it-up before the event.

Training

Note:  This is not a race, and it doesn’t matter how far you ride.

That being said, no matter what distance you are cycling, it’s always best to prepare beforehand. Make sure you go out on your bike regularly before the event to build up your stamina. Ensure you stretch extensively before every ride, and then try to increase the distance you are cycling week on week. A little extra effort goes a long way on the day!

 

Where the Money Goes (18-August-2013)

Since inception of the Ride for Hope in 2006, a combined 2,315 riders have peddled over 50,000 miles and raised over $2.1 million. Last year saw 620 riders, almost 200 volunteers, and hundreds of spectators come out for a spectacular day, which raised a record $426,748.

Ride for Hope is a healthy event, a family event, and a community event. We are blessed with tremendous corporate support that has completely underwritten the cost of the Ride each year. This has allowed us to ensure that every single dollar raised by our riders goes directly to the programmes created and supported by the Ride For Hope.

Our goals for the Ride are simple: 1) We wish to have a safe, quality event, one that inspires the respect and loyalty of our riders and corporate sponsors; 2) We seek to deploy those funds raised by our riders in the most direct, cost-effective way possible to benefit Bahamians in their fight against cancer.

In this respect, the growth of the Ride for Hope from 98 riders in 2006 to 620 riders last year is a testament that we continue to achieve our goals. One of our founding sponsors has credited Ride for Hope Bahamas with “doing what we say we’re going to do and following up transparently.” We work hard to ensure the quality of the event and integrity with disbursement of the funds raised.

In our first three years we used the funds raised by Ride For Hope to pay off the mortgage incurred by the Cancer Society in building the acclaimed Cancer Caring Centre on Collins Avenue, in Nassau, a place were people can stay for cancer treatment and also receive the network of support they need from other patients and survivors. Relieving the Cancer Society of the burden of its mortgage also helped free the organization to return to its core activities and the Society has enjoyed significant growth throughout The Bahamas in the years since.

After detailed analysis of the cancer challenges facing Bahamians, Ride for Hope Bahamas created the innovative Family Island Mammogram Screening (FIMS) Programme, which brings at-risk Family Island women to Nassau for mammograms and any needed follow-up. FIMS provides tremendous grassroots leverage. To date, FIMS has helped women from Andros, Exuma, San Salvador, Cat Island, Grand Bahama, and Eleuthera. Over 1,100 under-served Bahamian women have received their first mammogram, helping them take preliminary steps towards continued good health, and bringing back confidence and empowerment to other women in their rural communities. Ten percent of these women have had follow-up biopsies and treatment. FIMS is administered by the Cancer Society, with generous support from the airlines, Doctor’s Hospital, and Dr. Larry Carroll. This programme is in its 4th year, and is a $100,000/year commitment by Ride for Hope. We have ambitions to spread this programme to all Family Islands and New Providence (pilot programme already underway), and one day provide mammograms to all Bahamian women in need.

Ride for Hope Bahamas created the Cancer Treatment Assistance Fund, the first of its kind in the country, which is administered by the Cancer Society. The Fund supports cancer patients with their treatment costs through financial grants and is currently a $100,000/year commitment by Ride for Hope Bahamas. As proud as we are of the current capacity of the Fund, it is painfully obvious that not only do so many people need more assistance than the Fund is able to give them but sadly we cannot currently help everyone in need.

Ride for Hope Bahamas is funding the Cancer Society’s nationwide Cancer Education Program. This is another grassroots programme that sends a trained nurse/educator to rural communities throughout The Bahamas to educate, raise awareness, and teach self-screening and good health choices. In its first 2 years, this programme has directly connected with an estimated 11,595 students and 2,635 adults. This is another $100,000/year commitment by the Ride for Hope, and the programme is having a tremendously positive impact.

Ride for Hope Bahamas made a $150,000 grant to fund genetic testing into the prevalence of the cancer-causing BRCA1 gene mutation in Bahamian women. This study led to the discovery that Bahamian women have the highest-known incidence in the world of this gene mutation that causes breast cancer. Understanding this awful biological legacy will help us make intelligent public health decisions that will save lives, and further help scientists in their quest to find a cure for breast cancer. Too, it has been one of the driving forces for the creation of programmes like FIMS. To date, 535 Bahamian women have been genetically tested for the BRACA1 gene, as part of the Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative program seeded by the Ride for Hope.

Most recently, the Ride for Hope contributed $130,000 to complete the purchase of a new digital mammography machine at Princess Margaret Hospital. This state of the art piece of equipment will help more people get early screening and better imaging to aid detection and diagnosis.

Ride For Hope also provides a significant economic boost to the island of Eleuthera. Close to 1,000 people arrive on island for the Ride, spending their money on air and boat travel, hotels, taxis, home and car rentals, restaurants, and direct sales to vendors on Friday night and the Apres Ride Festival at Bayfront Park on event day. This is tremendous goodwill and powerful publicity.

This extraordinary suite of programmes is being made possible because of you. Whether you are a corporate sponsor helping to underwrite event costs, a volunteer helping to make the day go safely and enjoyably for the cyclists, or a rider putting in 10 or 100 miles you should feel a huge sense of pride for the role you play in the success of the Ride for Hope.