Ride with Nicole this Summer

If it weren’t for the Ride, Nicole Cooke says she may not be where she is today. After losing her grandfather, David, to pancreatic cancer, she registered for the Ride for Roswell.

Nine years later, she is still just as committed to the Ride. Not only has she rode hundreds of miles, but she’s also fundraised more than $20,000 for patients at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Today, Nicole can’t imagine her summer without participating in the Ride.

I feel like Roswell was the starting point of my journey into non-profit executive leadership,” Nicole said. “If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would be biking for charity, raising thousands of dollars, and riding hundreds of miles; I would have laughed because I would be like, ‘oh, I could never do that.’ But then I did.”

This year, Nicole is riding the 65-mile route at Niagara County Community College. Even though it’s a new year, the reason she rides remains the same.

“I ride because I lost my grandfather to cancer. I always say I ride for a world where no one else loses their grandpa.”

Nicole’s grandfather was a kind and generous man. When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Nicole and her family knew Roswell Park would offer him the best care. When David passed away, Roswell sent Nicole’s grandmother white roses.

“That’s what makes Roswell Park so special and why so many people feel compelled to do the Ride because you feel like they see you and your family as real people.”

Likewise, Nicole loves participating in the Ride and coming together as a community to change the future.

“For people who participate in the Ride, it’s a moving experience and it changes you as a person. It’s not even just about the money raised, it’s about the experience.”

Her favorite moment of the Ride is the moment of silence at the start line when all the cancer survivors raise their hands.

She loves knowing she’s part of changing the lives of cancer patients by raising funds for research and quality of life programs at Roswell Park.

“The one thing that I love about the Alliance Foundation is that it often pays for things that are more quality of life. It is clinical research, treatment, and cutting-edge science, but at the same time it’s iPads for people who couldn’t get visited during COVID, it a Nintendo for the kid’s lounge, it’s art classes for adults who need a therapeutic outlet.”


Nicole and friend hold up bikes

Today, Nicole cannot imagine her life without the Ride. When Nicole looks back on her past nine years, she hopes that her impact will touch and comfort more families as the Ride community raises more funds that go towards cutting-edge research. 

“Not only did I do it, but thousands of other people showed up for the same cause – we all did it!’ I think there is something to be said about the collective feeling of achievement.”

Maryann Salvadore

Featured Rider:

Maryann Salvadore

Why do you participate in the Ride?

I started riding in gratitude for the treatment I get at Roswell – now I ride for my teammates.  I am alive and still battling my cancer thanks to the amazing people at Roswell.  Team Salvadore has patients, survivors, family of those battling cancer and many who ride in memory of their loved one who died because the right treatment wasn’t available yet. Fathers, mothers, spouses, siblings, children – not with us because cancer robbed them of precious time. Roswell gives all cancer patients the best chance in WNY. Roswell’s research is extending lives and curing some cancers. Research takes money and the Ride for Roswell is the best way to help all cancer patients.

Team Salvadore photo
Team Salvadore poses with banner

What is your favorite part about Ride weekend?

It’s hard to pick one part! The Celebration of Hope is AMAZING and so meaningful.  The torch lighting and the stories of those treated at Roswell brings the purpose of the Ride center stage. Ride Day is phenomenal – to come together as a community to fight cancer is so uplifting. It is so much more than a bike ride or fundraiser. It is healing to be among so many with a common goal – to take away the power cancer has while honoring their loved ones.

What have you been doing to raise funds for the Ride?

My teammates are creative – holding food truck events, their own beer tastings and can collections. As for me- I am just sharing my Roswell story.

Pedal Power Crushing Cancer sign

Everything you need to know about packet pickup

Can you believe it’s almost Ride Weekend?! We cannot wait to gather with our community and ride to end cancer. Whether you’re riding with us on August 7 or riding your own way, come to out to Packet Pickup to collect all the things you need to ride and more, including:

  • Your rider bib: if you are riding with us, you need your bib in order to participate.
  • Rider rewards: please note – rider rewards will not be available at all locations on Saturday. They will only be available for pickup at UB.
  • A tribute card: let us know who you’re riding in honor or memory of this year.

Due to recent changes in local guidelines, masks will be required when possible while on UB’s campus on Thursday and Friday, including Packet Pickup and Celebration of Hope. It may be removed when riding, eating and drinking. Please bring a mask with you or the Ride team will have masks when you arrive.

You will also be able to:

  • Purchase amazing 2021 Ride merchandise
  • Enjoy giveaways, courtesy of our incredible sponsors
  • Snap a photo at our selfie station
  • Get your Extra Mile Club portrait

You can head to the University at Buffalo’s North Campus during these dates and times for Packet Pickup:

  • Thursday, August 5, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday, August 6, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Getting There

When you arrive, park in either the Slee or Baird parking lots off Coventry Road, and then go to the Alumni Arena lobby.

Packet pick up map

Riders are encouraged to continue their fundraising until August 31 to earn as many rewards as possible!

JC Conciardo

Featured Rider:

JC Conciardo

Why do you participate in the Ride?

I have NO choice. Too many people are facing cancer and if I can do anything to help I will, I MUST!

JC Conciardo speaks at Roswell Park podium
JC Conciardo and Bill Loecher

What is your favorite part about Ride weekend?

Riding with the kids!

JC Conciardo
West Herr team photo
West Herr team photo at RFR

Read more about jc's story!

3 reasons why Facebook fundraisers are game changers

Many of us know that living in the digital age has changed nearly everything. We can now connect with friends near and far at the click of a button. Facebook has played a huge part in keeping us connected with the ones we love, from sharing major life updates and photos from our most recent vacations to raising awareness about causes near and dear to our hearts. Fundraising has been positively impacted by the ease of Facebook. 

Anyone who signs up to participate in the Ride for Roswell has the option to connect their online fundraising dashboard with Facebook. And it has quite the impact! So what is it about this integration that helps so much? Here are three benefits.


Not only is setting up the integration easy, but donating on Facebook is also incredibly effortless. People can make a donation to your mission without ever leaving the social media site. 

Easily spread the word

One of the best parts about utilizing Facebook is that you can easily spread the word to your entire network. Think about your Facebook friends – family, people you went to school with, colleagues, teachers and more. You’ll be able to tell them why you’re riding without needing their phone number or email address.

Additionally, Facebook fundraisers are public, so anyone on the app can find your fundraiser, be inspired by your reason for riding and donate to support you! You never know who you might get a donation from. 

Create more impact

You are riding because you want to make an impact in the lives of cancer patients, right? Well Facebook can help you make an even bigger impact. Riders who fundraise using Facebook raise, on average, more than $500 in comparison with riders who do not. 

So, what are you waiting for? Connect your online dashboard with Facebook and raise more funds for patients at Roswell Park.