Sign-ups are underway for the university’s second annual Dolphins Cycling Challenge spin-a-thon on Wednesday, Oct. 23, to raise money for life-saving cancer research.
UM officials created the spin-a-thon as a way to involve more students and others on campus who might not be able to participate in the DCC’s main fundraising event, which features group bike rides in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties on Nov. 2-3.
The spin-a-thon — open to all students, faculty and staff — is a friendly competition that will take place outdoors this year on the new UC patio. Last year’s inaugural event was held in the atrium of the Wellness Center.
Students may participate as individuals or with a group, with each rider spinning for about an hour between 6 and 9 p.m. The UCheer team won last year’s giant DCC trophy, but organizers expect them to be challenged again by fraternities and sororities, other student organizations and individuals. And while it’s good fun, it’s also for a good cause.
“One-hundred percent of the funds go to [help UM’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center] to grow,” said Shira Kastan, assistant vice president of government affairs.
Last year spin-a-thon raised more than $5,000, helping push the overall DCC total to $2.2 million.
While registration for students is free, each individual is responsible to fund-raise a minimum of $175. Those who bring in the most money will win the trophy and prizes, including a catered party at Lime and a public recognition at a UM home football game.
For any faculty and staff who wish to participate, the registration is $25.
Kastan promises there will be a surprise guest speaker at the event, as well as free food for all riders, pump-up music played by WVUM and free spin-a-thon merchandise. A spin-class instructor from the Wellness Center will lead the group of riders.
When a team or individual registers, they will receive a personal link they can send out to family and friends who may donate as much as they please to the team’s pledge goal. In addition to the link, teams can fund-raise in the UC breezeway in their own creative ways.
“This is for cancer research– everyone knows someone that’s been hit by cancer,” Kastan said.
The DCC began in 2010 by the former Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee, who modeled it on Boston’s Pan-Mass Challenge, which he was involved in when he was CEO for the Red Sox.
UM alum and movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has shown a particular interest in the spin-a-thon since his mother was treated at Sylvester.
Hoping to surpass last year’s results and create greater community involvement, Kastan and others have been planning how to make the 2013 spin-a-thon better than the last.
“It was fun last year in the atrium, where the event lasted for six hours,” said Connie Nickel, associate athletic director and a cancer survivor herself. She said that hopefully the weather will be cooler and drier a month from now, making the new patio next to the Student Activities Center a perfect place to ride, watch and support those helping out for a great cause.
Kastan encourage anyone interested to register as soon as possible because spots are filling quickly. There will be a total of 37 bikes available for the spin-a-thon.
Interested groups will need to identify a team leader who will email firstname.lastname@example.org to register the team. Use the same link for any questions on how to form a team, fund-raising tips and how to get the waiver code for registration.
Members of the UM community are also encouraged to take part in one of the DCC bike rides on Nov. 2 and 3, which drew more than 1,400 people last year. Students can also receive a waiver for the registration, and the university will cover half of the $150 fee for any faculty and staff who sign up for Team UM Sylvester.