Pelotonia is a grassroots bike tour with one goal: to end cancer
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Thank you, Volunteers

Thank you, Volunteers

Pelotonia wouldn’t be the organization it is without its hardworking volunteers. They’re the ones who work behind the scenes, on the route, and everywhere in between. In 2019, Pelotonia had 3,174 volunteers! In honor of National Volunteer Day on December 5, we want to honor this group of people. 

In this blog, we’re highlighting the experiences of two volunteers – Abby Weaver and Rob McKay.

Abby started as a photography volunteer in 2018. She signed up after she saw an ad for Pelotonia volunteers and thought it’d be a great way to utilize her love of photography.

For Abby, Pelotonia’s mission hits close to home as her husband is a cancer survivor. He went through treatment for melanoma while in college and is 17 years cancer free as of June this year. Additionally, her stepfather is a recent cancer survivor. During the year of his treatment, he stood and cheered for his family while they rode in Pelotonia.

“I have always been a big cancer fighter due to my husband’s history and now because of my stepfather’s history too,” she remarks.

For the past two years, Abby has been the one with the professional camera at the New Albany finish line. She finds just the right angles to fully capture the emotions of numerous individuals finishing their Rides.

“I find this job so powerful,” Abby says. “I love seeing the emotions of the Riders and how tired and exhausted they are but how excited that they completed the journey.”

Speaking with the participants is one of the things that has helped Abby forge a unique emotional connection with the Pelotonia community. She says that Pelotonia is different than any other organization she’s ever been a part of because of this powerful connection.

“The passion is there with every single person volunteering, riding, and donating. That passion is huge to the Pelotonia community.”

View some of Abby’s favorite photos she’s taken in the below.

Rob McKay began volunteering with Pelotonia in 2015 at the urging of his friend, who’s a Pelotonia High Roller. At the time, Rob was moving back home to Columbus after retiring from his banking job in Chicago.

When he first started volunteering, Rob didn’t have any personal experiences with cancer. Now, he’s seen the effects of cancer firsthand. Two of his three sisters have now been treated for breast cancer at the OSUCCC – James.

“It’s crazy to think how much has changed since I first started volunteering with Pelotonia,” he explains. “The mission is so much more personal now.”

Rob signed up for a general volunteering position his first year, helping with food and beverages and bike management. He still remembers how moving that original experience was for him.

“Having been in corporate America for over 20 years, this was a big difference,” he says. “Everyone who’s at Pelotonia wants to be there. The amount of positive energy is amazing.”

He was so amazed after his first experience that he personally wrote Pelotonia CEO Doug Ulman an email to express his appreciation for the Pelotonia community. Since then, he’s been heavily involved in Pelotonia in various ways.

For example, you can say hi to Rob at the front desk at the Pelotonia HQ. He volunteers at HQ once or twice a week, helping with various tasks and greeting visitors. He also assists with events throughout the year, including A Night of Impact.

These are just two of the amazing Volunteers who have donated their time and their talents to Pelotonia. We know there are so many more stories out there, and we can’t wait to hear them. Have a Volunteer you would like to honor? Send us an email to pelotonia@pelotonia.org with their information.

For those thinking about volunteering with Pelotonia next year check out these top three tips from Rob and Abby:  

  1. 1.Think about what you like to do, because there’s probably some way you can use your talents to volunteer.
  2. 2.The day sign-ups open, get on and sign up!
  3. 3.During Ride Weekend and through other events, take the opportunity to talk with Riders and hear people’s stories.
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