Spearheading Team Roswell’s top fundraising team

Spearheading Team Roswell’s top fundraising team

Employees at Roswell Park serve cancer patients every day, but their commitment to the cause doesn’t stop there. Hundreds of employees also do their part in the mission to end cancer by participating in Ride for Roswell. We call this group, along with their family members, Team Roswell. Since 2012, Team Roswell has raised more than $3.5 million through the Ride.

For several years, the Donor Center has been the top Roswell Park team — led by Maria Turner.

Getting Involved with Ride for Roswell

Maria, who is also the marketing and communications manager for Roswell Park’s donor center, took part in her first Ride for Roswell as a vendor representing the donor center in the mid-2000s. She says the experience was eye-opening, and encouraged her to come back the following year as a participant.

That next year, Maria’s entire family participated in the event and she rode a tandem bike with her son, who was just six years old at that time. What started as a one-time event for her family has grown into an annual tradition. She’s taken part every year since.

“It’s the most humbling thing we do every summer. It sets the tone for the rest of the summer because when you get in that mindset of doing something to help other people, then it stays with you and you want to keep doing that all summer long,” said Maria.

Maria Turner, a Ride for Roswell team captain
Riders on the Donor Center Team
Riders on the Donor Center team
Participants on the Donor Center team

Starting the Donor Center Team

Maria founded the Donor Center Team and she has been its captain every year.

“We stay in communication. We’re a close-knit group. We get together after the Ride to celebrate our success and we just have a good time.”

The Donor Center Team has held its place as the top Team Roswell team for several years. In 2024 alone, they have surpassed a goal of raising $60,000. Maria says they are passionate about their goals, which motivates each team member throughout Ride Season.

However, she credits their success largely due to a very determined team and the decision to dedicate their fundraising to a different patient each year.

“A couple years into it, we decided to ride in honor of one of our patients and, in particular, a patient who was utilizing blood products so that we could bring even more recognition to our program. Having our honoree family involved firsthand helped them understand a little bit more about Ride for Roswell.”

A win/win for both the donor center and Ride for Roswell — but that’s not all.

“What happens as a result is actually beyond amazing. Down to the most basic level of healing, we have seen by affording these patients and their families an opportunity to see beyond their own situation and become involved to a larger extent, ends up providing healing that I never saw coming. Our families consistently express their gratitude for the opportunity and how much it helped them”

Many of the honorees they’ve selected over the years have had no prior experience with the Ride, but as a result of riding with the donor center, their family and friends have stayed connected to the event long-term.

In fact, many of the patients the donor center rode in honor of are still active in the Ride

Advice to Anyone Considering Joining the Ride

When it comes to fundraising, Maria doesn’t want others to be intimidated by the donor center’s strong numbers. She recommends jumping in with social media to kick off your efforts. Her team also utilizes a large gift card raffle every year and other methods to encourage people to contribute. The key is just getting started.  

Maria believes the Ride is something you have to experience for yourself, and she thinks everyone should try to participate at least once.

“I encourage everybody to try it because you get hooked. Once you’re there and you realize all that’s happening, it’s something that you want to be part of every year. The experience is beyond what I can really put into words.”

Aside from the altruistic reasons to get involved, Maria stressed … it’s fun!

“Like we always say here at Roswell Park, ‘Just give it one day.’ I would say, ‘Just give it one Ride,’ I think you’ll see then why you’ll want to continue.”

The Donor Center table at Ride for Roswell
Donor Center at Ride for Roswell

Volunteer Information 2024

Volunteer Information 2024

We want to extend our heartfelt thanks for dedicating your time to volunteer with us. Ride for Roswell would not be the event it is today without the support of our community! 

We have volunteers assisting throughout the entire week. Please read this information thoroughly to understand the details of your upcoming shift. Specifics on your role and the opportunity you signed up for can be found on the volunteer portal.

UB North Campus Volunteers

Where To Park: Park in the Governors B lot.

  • A parking pass is required if you plan to park there on Saturday, June 22.
  • A parking pass is not needed if you are working any day before Ride Day.
  • General parking is available for all volunteers.

Where To Check-In: Outside in the Governors E parking lot, UB North Campus, Buffalo, NY 14228.

T-Shirt & Parking Pass Pickup: Items can be picked up at check-in prior to your shift. If you prefer to come sooner or need a parking pass, you may do so Thursday, June 20 or Friday, June 21 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Event Details: The event will take place rain or shine, so please dress accordingly and wear comfortable, sturdy outdoor footwear. Please allow enough time to park and walk/shuttle to volunteer check-in.  

Ride/Team Check-in Volunteers

Where To Park: Park in the Governors B lot.

Where To Check-In: Go straight to the Jarvis A parking lot and check-in at UB North Campus, Buffalo, NY 14228.

Parking Pass Pickup: A parking pass is required if you plan to park there on Saturday, June 22. The pass can be picked up Thursday, June 20 or Friday, June 21 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. at volunteer check-in. A parking pass is not needed if you are working any day before Ride Day. General parking is available for all volunteers.

Event Details: The event will take place rain or shine, so please dress accordingly and wear comfortable, sturdy outdoor footwear. A T-shirt will be provided at check-in. Please allow enough time to park and walk/shuttle to check-in.  

Route Guide Volunteers

Where To Park: Park in the Jarvis B lot.

Supply Pickup: Thursday, June 20 or Friday, June 21 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  • Outside in the Jarvis A parking lot, UB North Campus, Buffalo, NY 14228. Next to rider check-in.
  • T-shirt, volunteer care kit, safety vest and flag will be provided.

Event Details: The event will take place rain or shine, so please dress accordingly and wear comfortable, sturdy outdoor footwear.

  • Arrive at your assigned location 10 minutes prior to your start time.
  • Use the email link sent to check-in.
  • Call 716-THE-RIDE if you see anything that needs to be reported.
  • This role is self-sufficient; details on directing riders can be discussed at supply pick up.
  • Wear the provided safety gear and collaborate with any other volunteer assigned to the same location.
  • Your post may not have a replacement route guide assigned when your shift ends. There is no need to stay longer.

Peloton & Canada Volunteers

Where To Park: 

  • Friday Volunteers: Park in the Roswell Park ramp located on the corner of Michigan Ave and Carlton Street.
  • Saturday Volunteers: Park in the 589 Ellicott Street Parking Lot.

Where To Check-In: Outside in Kaminski Park, 120 Carlton St, Buffalo, NY 14228. Head to the large white tent.

Event Details: The event will take place rain or shine, so please dress accordingly and wear comfortable, sturdy outdoor footwear. 

  • Arrive at your assigned location 10 minutes prior to your start time. 
  • Use the email link sent to check-in. 
  • T-shirt will be provided at check-in.  

Any specific concerns or further inquiries?

Please contact us at 716-845-1055 or email us here.

Thank you and enjoy volunteering at the Ride for Roswell. You are making a difference!

Ride for Roswell Impact Series, powered by West Herr

Ride for Roswell Impact Series, powered by West Herr

West Herr Logo: West Herr is powering the Ride for Roswell Impact Series.

When you Ride for Roswell, you’re making a difference for people living with cancer right now.

The groundbreaking innovations happening each day at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center would not be possible without community support. The donors, volunteers and fundraisers who support Roswell Park through events like Ride for Roswell are fueling lifesaving clinical trials, critical cancer research and compassionate patient care programs that reach thousands of patients.

Here you will find four episodes of the Ride for Roswell Impact Series, powered by West Herr. Through this series, you can experience the full spectrum of care your support provides to cancer patients seeking hope at Roswell Park.

CAR T-cell Therapy

Quality-of-Life Programs

Response to Therapy

SurVaxM

Thank you for supporting Ride for Roswell and our mission to end cancer.