Volunteer Feature: Meet Ginny

Meet Ginny, route guide and cancer warrior.

“I’m a cancer survivor by seven years. The colon cancer has been eradicated and the AML (acute myeloid leukemia) is under control. I attribute that to the good care I’ve gotten from Roswell Park,” Ginny Beyer says.

Inspired by her cancer journey and that of her cousin who fought childhood leukemia, Ginny decided to take a stand in the fight to end cancer. Alongside her husband, Roger, she signed up as a route guide for the Ride for Roswell — just to see what it was all about. Four years later, Ginny and Roger couldn’t imagine missing the event.

“I’ve got one of my Ride for Roswell T-shirts that says ‘survivor.’ Of course, it’s vibrant orange. I wear it everywhere, and people go, ‘Wow, congratulations!’ and I tell them about the event. So, Ride is a whole year-long thing now.”

Ginny and Roger set up post at the first turn on the Ride course, right after the cyclists exit the University at Buffalo. It gives the duo the chance to see people at the start of their journey, at a moment when their excitement is fresh and tangible. They see riders, young and old, of all different backgrounds and abilities. Ginny vividly remembers one rider who was tackling the 30-mile route while hooked up to oxygen.

“I thought, ‘Wow, you’ve courage, lady,’” Ginny says. “There’s story after story like that, of people showing their strength to fight cancer.”

Being a route guide gives Ginny the ability to motivate people and cheer them on while making sure the event runs smoothly. That role, in turns, brings her joy and allows her to have fun. You’ll often see Ginny and Roger decked out in full costume with red noses and cowbells, ready to delight riders as they take the first turn. Sometimes the riders are decked out in costume, too — in tutus or superhero costumes — which takes the whole experience to the next level.

Beyond the fun, Ginny and Roger play a vital role in directing riders and making sure they take the right turn for the right route. Without their help, people would get lost more easily, and the Ride wouldn’t be the success it is today. Plus, Ginny says, volunteering for the Ride connects you directly to a cause that spreads hope for cancer patients like her. She encourages everyone to do it.   

“Do it because it is a lot of fun, and they need the help,” she says. “Whatever your limitations are, there’s a spot for you.”

Join Ginny and register as a Ride volunteer today.

Team Tents

We are so excited to be able to gather once again at UB after a long day of riding. There really is nothing better than celebrating crossing that finish line with family and friends in your own team tent!

These are the tent options this year for our team captains at UB:

1. Rent a team tent:

  • 10×10 tent with 1 table and 6 chairs – cost $300
  • 15×15 tent with 2 tables and 10 chairs – cost $340
  • 20×20 tent with 2 tables and 10 chairs – cost $400

2. Bring your own tent (no larger than 15×15) – no cost

Team Tent Rentals

  •  Rented team tents can be accessed for set up and decorating on Friday, June 24 from 1:30-6 p.m., or Saturday, June 25 from 5-9 a.m. 
  • Volunteers will be available during these times to assist you with transporting your items to your tent location. 

Bring Your Own Tents

  • All bring your own tents must be set-up on Friday, June 24 from 1:30-6 p.m., or Saturday, June 25 from 5-9 a.m. 
  • Volunteers will be on hand to assist with delivering your materials to your tent during these days and times only. 
  • Due to Ride for Roswell activities on Friday and Saturday, drop off and pickup of your tent and supplies may be limited. Specific instructions, along with a map of your tent location, will be sent to the email address provided after June 1. All teams will be responsible for set-up, take down, and all supplies within their tent. 
  • Limit of one (1) tent per team. Maximum size: 20’x20’ 
  • THIRD PARTY TENTS NOT ALLOWED. Unfortunately, due to the limited space, third party tent rentals are not allowed. Please contact the Ride for Roswell if you would like to rent a tent. 
  • Stakes are not allowed to be used for tent set up. 
  • All tents MUST comply with NYS Fire Code 24.04 and will have a tag affixed certifying treatment for flame resistance. Non-compliant tents will be removed at the discretion of the UB office of Environment Health and Safety. 

Volunteer Feature: Meet the Militos

Here’s what Lettia and Vinny have to say about volunteering for the load-in/ load-out crew

The sunrise on the morning of Ride Day

For the past 11 years, Lettia Milito has shown up before dawn on the morning of the Ride for Roswell with coffee in hand. She begins final set-up for the event before the sun comes up, while most of Buffalo is still asleep.

“It’s dark, cold and nobody’s there, but I love it at that time. The sunrise is absolutely gorgeous, and there’s just so much promise,” she says.

Lettia oversees a team that loads supplies in and out for Ride Day and the Celebration of Hope. Her duties typically begin the week leading up to the event and end long after the last rider has crossed the finish line. She started volunteering more than a decade ago to fulfill a requirement for her project management certification, but she comes back every year for the people, the atmosphere and the positive energy — not to mention the great cause.

A Family Effort

Lettia’s husband, Vinny, began volunteering with the Ride about six years ago, around the time he retired from his job as the director of global customer services at Oracle. In addition to managing the loading and unloading of supplies, he also oversees the distribution of supplies to each rest stop, matching the number of riders expected to pass through to available supplies. Supply quantities change often, so distribution remains fluid until the trucks are fully loaded the day before the Ride.

“There are challenging moments, but in spite of it all, we make sure everybody has the supplies they need,” Vinny says. “When the last of those trucks leaves, there’s a lot of satisfaction in knowing that the rest stops will be ready to go come Saturday morning when riders start coming in.”

Lettia shares similar sentiments and says she enjoys both managing logistics and setting her crew members up for success. When asked on Zoom why people might want to volunteer, she gave a slight smirk and said, “Well, everybody knows my team has the most fun.”

Lettia was half joking, but most of the volunteers she works with are repeats like her and Vinny who keep coming back year after year. She remembers one particular volunteer, a high school student whose mother made him get involved. His disgruntled attitude soon dissipated into laughter, and by the end of his shift, he was truly enjoying himself. That volunteer came back again the next year — that time, of his own accord. 

On Volunteering

Load-in and load-out roles tend to be extremely active and are perfect for those looking to get their steps in. According to Lettia and Vinny, though, there’s a perfect job for just about everyone.

“There are so many different things that you can do,” Lettia says. “There’s going to be something you’ll enjoy doing.”

“A lot of people feel like they should volunteer for something but don’t know how to get started,” Vinny says. “The Ride is so large now that there’s going to be something you can pick that will give you satisfaction in knowing you did something for a good cause.”

To view all opportunities and register to volunteer, visit our page below.

Contact.

Office address.

Elm and Carlton Streets
Buffalo, NY 14263

Phone number.

716-THE-RIDE
716-843-7433

Proceeds directly benefit: