PARE Pedaling for a Good Cause

For Tracy Palmer, Pelotonia hits close to home. Palmer, a Building Information Modeling Coordinator for PARE, is a breast cancer survivor. She was a virtual rider in the past, and when she heard about Planning, Architecture and Real Estate’s (PARE) team, decided to do it again. 

“I always said this was a group (cancer survivor) that I never wanted to belong to, but now that I’m in it, it’s kind of cool,” Palmer said. “There’s just a lot of comaraderie there and support.”

Palmer says she found a lump in her breast the week that she started working at Ohio State and got immediate comfort from the Buckeye community. 

“I work with amazing people,” Palmer said. “There were people who didn’t know me that were donating some of their vacation time to me so I could have my mastectomy. It’s just a very supportive community atmosphere.”

Palmer is one of 10 riders, or virtual riders or volunteers on the PARE Pedalers, a Pelotonia team started by her coworker, Andrew Neil. As a Buckeye Wellness Innovator, he wanted to bring biking and business together. 

The idea gained traction and several people expressed their interest. 

“I just think it’s great when you can do something that you like and also fundraise for a great cause,” Neil said. “So it’s a win-win for us to get people active.” 

The idea of a team also got the attention of Joanne Ranft, a PARE Lease Coordinator. She used to ride bikes often. 

“I had a couple of surgeries back-to-back that took me out of bike riding,” Ranft said. “So, I gave my bike away to my daughter. Then I said I’ll be a virtual rider and help my team.”

Marie Tullidge has worked as a Real Estate Coordinator with PARE for three years and is volunteering with the team. She reached her $100 goal by selling T-shirts. 

“I’ve been proud and impressed,” Tullidge said. “It’s hard to get participation, but for this team in particular, we’ve seen much more of a connection, not just a checked box.”

“It’s like paying it forward, and you’re helping the next person down the road,” Palmer said. “Cancer touches so many lives, and I’m just so amazed at how many people are willing to take time out of their lives to help me.”

Pelotonia was founded in 2008 with the objective of funding lifesaving cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. So far, it’s raised more than $184 million for the cause. The PARE Pedalers have raised more than $2,500.

Neil’s goal is to ride 100 miles to raise $2,000. “It’s impressive to see friends that you never even thought of give 20 or 50 bucks,” he said.

The 2019 Pelotonia takes place August 2-4.

Donate to the PARE Pedalers (link is external).

Note: This article was originally published June 24, 2019.