Total Fitness Club Members ‘Pedal to End Cancer’
The Total Fitness Club in Bristol, R.I., hosted its seventh-annual Pedal To End Cancer event (formerly Spin® For Hope) for the American Cancer Society on Sunday, March 2, 2014, with record-breaking attendance and donations.
Pedal To End Cancer is a three-hour indoor cycling fundraising event held simultaneously at multiple fitness centers in New England on the first Sunday in March each year. Participants register online and pay a $25 non-refundable registration fee to participate. They can cycle as a one-person team for all three hours, or form a team and split up the time however they see fit. “There’s always a point in the ride when it becomes emotional for people,” said Laura Jenkins, the group fitness director for Bristol Total Fitness.
In order to accommodate the event, extra bikes are moved from other Total Fitness Clubs nearby to the Bristol location. Six instructors managed the three-hour event by splitting it up into 30-minute sessions. “It’s basically just a cycling party for our instructors, enthusiasts and their friends,” said Jenkins.
The cycling event benefits the American Cancer Society in their cancer research, education, advocacy and service efforts. All funds raised support the American Cancer Society and its mission to eliminate cancer as a major public health threat. “We get a lot of support from the American Cancer Society,” said Jenkins, such as help with marketing the event. “They’re a great group to work with.”
Total Fitness has consistently been in the “top 10” of fundraising clubs for the American Cancer Society in New England since it started hosting the Pedal to End Cancer event. “For me, [cancer is] something that really touched my family over and over,” said Jenkins. “I’m sure others can relate to that. So when I first took over the group exercise department, I immediately jumped on board.”
While the event is open to the public and has been hosted by Total Fitness Clubs before, this year saw its greatest success yet. Typically, the event sees around 50 participants and raises an average of $10,000 per year. This year’s event pulled in 66 cyclers and raised over $18,000, all of which was awarded to the American Cancer Society.
Jenkins attributed several factors to the massive success of this year’s event. For example, beverages and coolers were donated by Coca-Cola. In addition, members and staff from all four Total Fitness Clubs (Bristol, R.I., Swansea, Mass., Seekonk, Mass. and Dartmouth, Mass.) participated in the event this year. Most notable is Andrea Alexander, a Total Fitness member who was named the “Top Pedal to End Cancer Fundraiser” in all of New England, with contributions totaling $8,250.
“I’m in awe of the overwhelming dedication and passion possessed by our Total Fitness members, staff and instructors,” said Jenkins. “The life of every single person in the room had been touched by cancer in some way and we were all [cycling] together for the same cause that morning. The energy in the room was palpable. It was a moment in time that will not soon be forgotten by our Total Fitness community.”
By Rachel Zabonick and Maggie Cunningham