and benefits The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
TORONTO, June 10, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer announced the 2013 Ride will include multiple start, finish and route choices between Toronto and Niagara Falls after this year's event drew 4,852 participants who raised $18.1 million. The 2012 event set fundraising and participation records, as dollars raised support the creation and implementation of Personalized Cancer Medicine at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
"This has been an absolutely incredible and insightful weekend," said Paul Alofs, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.
"Our 5th annual Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer has been record-breaking, and our decision to offer multiple starts, finishes and routes between Toronto and Niagara Falls for the first time has been well-received by Riders. Additionally, we've gained some incredible leanings to build on this success in 2013. In fact, we're already seeing strong numbers of Riders signing up now for next year's event," Alofs added.
For the first time in The Ride's five-year history, the event start, finish and opening ceremonies took place in two locations: Toronto and Niagara Falls. Moments before the start, Alofs and event organizers addressed thousands of participants simultaneously in both Toronto and Niagara Falls, and shared the total number of participants and funds raised for the 2012 event.
This year participants could select from six different routes between Toronto and Niagara Falls with an overnight campsite at Mohawk College in Hamilton. From start to finish, each Rider cycled over 200km along roads through the countryside of Ontario.
"I have taken part in The Ride for four years and this year has been particularly exciting as we celebrate the fifth annual event with participants cycling on different routes, but for one cause," says Rob McColm from Oakville.
"I have seen first-hand the difference that research has made at The Princess Margaret. They saved my life four years ago and my wife's life this year. I look forward to this event every year and will definitely be back in 2013," McColm added.
Now commencing for the 6th consecutive year, The Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer remains the largest cycling fundraiser in Canadian history, having raised over $80.2 million for The Princess Margaret, and $149.3 million for cancer institutes across Canada. The annual event draws tens of thousands of participants from across the nation and brings together communities of survivors, cyclists and supporters who train and fundraise for months to participate in The Ride.
"We are making great strides in our mission to conquer cancer in our lifetime. Yet, on average, everyday, almost 500 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer and more than 200 Canadians will die from cancer," says Dr. Benjamin Neel, Director of The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at The Princess Margaret.
"While we celebrate the tremendous success of this year's event, we still have much more to do to conquer cancer. Funds raised from this year's event are being put to use to fund Personalized Cancer Medicine and the people who run the efforts at The Princess Margaret, and help improve and save lives every day," Dr. Neel added.
Ride organizers introduced additional components this year including Gold Helmets to designate Riders who have participated in all five annual Rides since 2008, SUGOi black & white "polka-dot" jerseys for the first ten participants to reach $15K in fundraising and gold pins, which indicate cancer survivors. Survivors are also designated en route with a yellow flag affixed to their bike.
"I wore my Golden Helmet proudly, as it's been a privilege to take part in The Ride for the past five years to make a personal difference in the battle to conquer cancer," says Chinyere Eni from Toronto.
"As a child, I lost my leg to cancer, but I survived. I have taken part in The Ride for the past five years to fight for all those who are currently in their battle and the belief that one day, cancer will be conquered," Eni added.