Symmes Township, Ohio – Emma Rudnicki, was honored to present a check on behalf of the Ride Cincinnati Foundation for local cancer research in the amount of $500,000. Emma is a 13 year-old 8th grader at Loveland Middle School and led a team of Youth Ambassadors to raise funds for this year’s virtual ride/campaign.
The check was presented to the Barrett Cancer Center at the University of Cincinnati.
Emma plays tennis for Loveland Middle and the Club at Harper’s Point, and has danced at Premier Tumbling & Dance here in Loveland for several years. She has cheered for Loveland Youth Football in the past as well.
Emma reached out to family and friends to raise over $1,000 for her team (one of several pelotons). She formed a team and sent communications out on a regular basis during the 2020 campaign year.
She rode her bike on the Loveland Bike Trail, usually with her father Mike and posted her rides on social media to promote the cause and helped others to understand the need for the Foundation.
Mike Rudnicki said, “Our family has been a part of the event for 10 years. Under the new format for the ride, the minimum age to ride is 14 or older. While not quite 14, Emma asked me how she could continue to be a part of the event.” Together, they came up with the idea of forming a team of young people, Youth Ambassadors, to be able to participate and get involved in the annual fundraising campaign. “We pitched the idea to the Foundation’s planning committee and they approved the idea. In addition, they commissioned a Youth Ambassador tee-shirt for those that raised funds and were a part of her team,” Mike said.
Emma was the first Youth Ambassador, however, several of her friends helped her with spreading the word. She was identified by the Ride Cincinnati Foundation as the Youth Ambassador for 2020. Her father said that this year, and in future years, they hope to have a Youth Ambassador program to identify another Youth Ambassador to get other young people involved, raise funds, and spread the word regarding the work of the Foundation.
Mike Rudnicki is the foundation’s treasurer and a board member. He has helped raise funds for the event for several years. “I recently became involved, along with the founders, the Harris Family, to help transition the organization to raise funds similar to other events like Pelotonia in Columbus which benefits the James Cancer Center and VeloSano in Cleveland benefitting the Cleveland Clinic/Taussig Cancer Center.”
Mike said that Cincinnati is the largest area in the country without a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center. Should UC/Cincinnati Children’s/UC Health get the designation, that would be a benefit to all area health systems in the region. “Mercy, St. Elizabeth’s, TriHealth, and Christ have all joined in to support the cause and are forming teams. There are several companies who have made significant pledges toward a capital campaign for this project. Ride Cincinnati aims to be the annual fundraising arm to help raise significant funds for cancer research and care,” said Mike.
Emma’s ultimate goal is raising money to bring a NCI center to Cincinnati. Normally, they have an in-person event, but that was cancelled this year. They hope to host an in-person event September 17-18 of 2021.
ABOUT Ride Cincinnati
“Choose a ride distance and fundraise a recommended amount or simply elect to establish your own goal as a virtual rider without a distance. Don’t forget, regardless of your choice, there are no fundraising requirements or minimums. As an important reminder, 100% of every participant-raised dollar is proudly directed to cancer research and care in the Greater Cincinnati area. How many organizations can say every penny you raise goes to research and care?”
“Born in 2007, Ride Cincinnati’s objective is to become the leading grassroots organization funding cancer research and care in Greater Cincinnati. 100% of every rider-raised dollar goes directly to life-saving cancer research and care right here in our community.” https://ridecincinnati.org