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A team of bike-riding fundraisers representing St. Bonaventure University will head to Buffalo on Friday and Saturday to participate in the annual Ride for Roswell, Western New York’s largest fundraiser, to raise money for cancer research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in honor of President Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F.
Samantha Van Wicklin, 14, led the effort to form the SBU team with her fellow eighth-graders at Ellicottville Central School, Megan Stuve and Ainsley Watt. Van Wicklin has been raising funds for Roswell for the past five years.
“I’m so touched by Samantha’s efforts, and for all the remarkable support I’ve received since revealing my diagnosis,” Sr. Margaret said. “To understand how much money has been raised in my honor for this great cause is truly humbling.”
When she learned in February of Sr. Margaret’s diagnosis of multiple myeloma, and her subsequent treatment at Roswell, Van Wicklin looked to form Team SBU #CarneyStrong to show the community’s support. Van Wicklin has raised more than $80,000 for Roswell since she started riding at age 10.
“I was so sad to hear about Sr. Margaret’s cancer diagnosis,” said Van Wicklin, whose father, Bob, is vice president for advancement at the university. “My dad just started working at St. Bonaventure so I had gotten to know Sister pretty well. As soon as I heard that she was going to be treated at Roswell, I asked her if we could form a team to show our support and raise more money to get rid of cancer for good.”
Team SBU #CarneyStrong was formed in March and consists of 26 riders who pledged to raise at least $200 each for cancer research at Roswell. As of this week, the team has raised well over $45,000, far surpassing the team’s initial goal of $35,000. They are among the top 10 fundraisers for this year’s ride.
“We have 26 rider-fundraisers officially on our team, and they are Bona’s faculty, staff, alumni, prospective students, even trustees,” Van Wicklin said. “But really, we have hundreds more team members supporting us through donations in honor of Sister and anyone who they know who is going through or has survived cancer, and in memory of those who lost their battle to cancer.
“We all realize that cancer isn’t going to just cure itself, so we need to do whatever we can to make sure a cure is found, and this is what I can do.”
The team’s website is http://give.roswellpark.org/goto/sbu. Interested donors can make a donation to any of the team’s 26 riders by clicking on their name and following directions to donate.
Several team members, including Sr. Margaret, will participate in the Ride for Roswell’s opening ceremony at UB’s North Campus on Friday, June 24, and all will ride on various routes on Saturday, June 25.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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