Jim Mize Honored as Volunteer of the Year
Volunteers are at the core of what makes Ride for Roswell such an impactful event year after year. They keep riders safe, fed, hydrated and happy. Jim Mize embodies all the best of what it means to be a Ride for Roswell volunteer. That’s why he’s being honored as the 2023 Ride for Roswell Volunteer of the Year.
Jim began volunteering with Ride for Roswell 15 years ago and now serves as the start-line lead volunteer.
“The amalgamation of people from all different ages and groups working together for a common cause makes the Ride a very special experience.”
When asked about his secret to longevity as a volunteer, without hesitation Jim replied, “It’s the people. I love working with the Ride for Roswell team, the staff. I love working with the volunteers and interacting with the riders and spectators. It is such a fun event, and there is a great buzz, but even if you take all of that away, we’re raising funds for such a good cause – cancer research.”
Funds raised through the Ride directly benefit cancer research and critical clinical trials at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. For Jim, that mission resonates on a personal level.
“Cancer has hit close to home many times. I never met my grandmother because she passed from cancer at the age of 37. Both of my grandfathers were lost to cancer as were my mother-in-law and my father. My father so wished he had more time here on Earth. My hope and my motivation for serving on the Ride team is to do what I can to help raise funds for cancer research so that others may have a better outcome. This organization is constantly progressing with the research and the treatments that are being developed. The progress that has been made is both encouraging and wonderful.”
Message to the next generation of volunteers
Jim describes his time volunteering with Ride for Roswell as fun and rewarding. He believes there’s a great balance between longtime volunteers and young people who have just recently joined the cause.
His message to someone considering volunteering at next year’s Ride: “Anybody who volunteers is going to find that it’s a great experience. This is one of the best events that I’ve ever been a part of from a volunteer standpoint. My overall feeling about Ride for Roswell is so good that I just want to keep coming back. I love it.”
Volunteer of the Year
Every year, dedicated members of the Ride Community are honored during a celebration in the Kathy and Joe Curatolo Pathways Park. The event shines a light on the event’s top fundraisers, teams and volunteers.
As the 2023 Volunteer of the Year, a brick with Jim’s name on it now has a permanent home in Pathways Park on Roswell Park’s campus, to be seen by employees, visitors and patients for generations to come.
“I am honored and humbled by this kind gesture. I am also grateful for the great support of Ashley Gracie, Katie Menke, Andrea Gregory and Tom Johnston. I also appreciate all of the excellent volunteers who helped with the start line on Ride Day. It is fun to be around everyone as we help raise funds for such a great cause.”