Pelotonia unveils new cycling fundraisers for pediatric cancer research

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For 15 years, adults all around Ohio have come together to raise money and fight for hope, now kids can too.

Pelotonia has partnered with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center to host five kids-ride events under the banner of Pelotonia Kids, with 100% of the money going toward pediatric cancer research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

“All of our fundraising that we do at Pelotonia goes to cancer research at Ohio State and this time, all the kids’ rides will be directed to that research that’s focused on childhood cancers,” said Katie Wilson, director of marketing and communications at Pelotonia.  

On top of this, many of the events are centered around local events, creating greater engagement. 

“The Upper Arlington one is at a middle school around the Fourth of July celebrations that happen around town that weekend, so there’s a lot of community involvement and excitement around that,” said Wilson. 

“It was a pretty audacious task at the time, launching a bike ride and, you know, trying to convince people to ride bikes around central Ohio for fundraising, for cancer research,” said Pelotonia CEO Joe Apgar. 

Despite the challenge, Pelotonia came out swinging from the start. In their launch year of 2009, Pelotonia had 2,200 participants and raised $4.5 million, far exceeding Apgar’s expectations. 

“It was actually one of the largest first-year philanthropy events in the country back in 2009,” said Apgar. 

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Today, Pelotonia has raised over $283 million for cancer research and the hope is to keep that number growing with the introduction of Pelotonia Kids.  

Apgar and Wilson have stressed the principal role that community members played in making this happen.  

“It’s based on existing rides that had already been happening as fundraisers,” said Wilson. 

Pelotonia Founder and CEO Joe Apgar

Many Pelotonia volunteers were creating family-friendly events where children could participate on their own or alongside adults, and Pelotonia noticed. 

“It was sort of a match made in heaven for us to just almost formalize and really brand what had been started by the community. Pelotonia’s Ride Weekend has always been a family affair,” said Apgar.  

Despite that, Apgar said that historically, the involvement of children under 14 was relegated to spectating and cheering, so it was time for a change. Apgar said Pelotonia is thrilled to provide kids under 14 with a more extensive chance to participate. 

“I think this gives kids an opportunity to really get involved in cycling and philanthropy and fundraising and ultimately for a really good cause,” said Apgar. 

Looking ahead

June 15: Pedal for Pancakes, Capital University, East Main Street and College Avenue, Bexley, hosted by Team Bexley.

July 6:Pelotonia Kids UA, Jones Middle School, 2100 Arlington Ave., Upper Arlington, hosted by Sarah Jane and Paul Germain. 

July 27: SpokesKIDS Jr., Wildwood Park, 785 W. Broadway, Granville, hosted by Team Granville Spokesmen for a Cure Peloton members.

July 27: SpokesKIDS, Apple Tree Auction Center, 1625 W. Church St., Newark to the Robbins Hunter Museum, 221 E. Broadway, Granville, hosted by Team Granville Spokesmen for a Cure Peloton members.

To Be Announced: Building Brighter Futures, Plain City, hosted by M/I Homes, Inc. The starting location for this ride has yet to be announced.

Youths interested in registering, and anyone interested in donating can do so at pelotoniakids.com.